Myth versus medicine

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What a nice break from school. During my interim break between the spring and summer semester, we went on a nice Caribbean vacation. It was our first time in St. Thomas, and I must say it was breathtaking. If you ever get the chance or opportunity be sure to take the trip. The overall experience was beyond description.

During our trip we got to swim with the sea turtles as well as take a nice sunset cruise. Both were enjoyed via a Catamaran boat – another first. I, for one, have been on other boats, but my wife has not. This was quite the gamble since my wife can get nauseous quite easily (she has been known to get car sick).

The irony of it all is that my wife is a fellow nurse. So you’d think she has the cast iron stomach that is pretty much a requirement to do our job. Somehow she only gets the ‘motion’ sickness. And like I said, the boat trips were a gamble.

It was recommended by the local staff that we seek out the boat crew to have her take some ginger (Ginger?? Really??). They claimed it calmed the stomach (we weren’t buying it).

We knew she needed medication. Some sort of anticholinergic would do the trick. We got lucky and found an OTC medication that had meclizine in it. We thought we were set. We had a plan: Take some before, take it right when she boards and then possibly during the trip. They were chewable which of course helped.

The trip out for the turtle swim went without incident. We got in the water and saw some amazing turtles and other marine life (honestly I’m really downplaying how truly amazing it was!). Once she got out of the water and back on the boat she got the ‘wave’ of nausea that everyone hates. She immediately took another dose of that OTC med.

She spent the next 15 minutes battling through it like a trooper — watching the land, keeping her eyes off the water and anything that moved. She did the purse-lip breathing. She did everything shy of standing on her head (as if that would have helped).

During the entire ‘wave of nausea’ episode the boat crew and captain wouldn’t stop talking about the darn ginger! Take the ginger ‘concoction’ — it’s the spice mixed in with some ginger ale (and up until I typed this sentence I never realized it was ‘ginger’ in ginger ale – go figure that one out?). They swore up and down it will get rid of the nausea.

Since her nausea was not going away, she caved in and took the ginger concoction. She had to ‘chug’ the stuff, which she tells me was not the most tasty.

Within 15-20 minutes her nausea disappeared…

…as if she never got nauseous in the first place!!


We were THE BIGGEST skeptics about this ‘natural’ remedy. And had I not seen it with my own two eyes and had it not been my wife, I probably would still tell you your full of it.

This trip made us believers.

Needless to say the next day when we took our sunset cruise, the boat crew had her ‘ginger’ waiting for her and she never once got nauseous.

This was one of those instances where all your education and experience don’t mean squat and you just have to go on faith and believe those who just ‘know better.’

We are both still laughing at how shocked we were at the results.

Anyone else have any mythical remedies that work better than our standard western medicine practices?

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7 Responses to Myth versus medicine

  1. Sarah

    I had read about ginger for nausea in a pregnancy book–I think there is actually some research behind it–and found that at the worst points of my first pregnancy I could drink some ginger ale. Sometimes I would even open up my container of ground ginger and inhale deeply. It was not a miracle cure for me, but did seem to have a calming effect.

  2. Sean Dent

    @Sarah Thanks for sharing your experience! We are definite fans of the herb as of now. LOL

  3. Joyce

    I’ve been an RN for 28 years, working in OB/Gyn & ER I strongly believe in holistic healing….You have to be careful & really do your research but some of the old herbal remedies & old “wife’s tales” ARE valid! Ancient healers had people with “weak hearts” chew on crushed foxglove petals……Digoxin is extracted from foxglove! Feverfew Tea was used in ancient times for headaches & other similar pains; there are now studies being done that show it does have benefits for Migraines (I grow & brew my own & it works!) Ginger Snap cookies also work for nausea–Be aware all ginger ales do not have real ginger in them—-Canada Dry is reliable; I keep it in my fridge @ all times!

  4. Sean Dent

    @Joyce I’m always a skeptic when it comes to a lack of sound evidence, but I’m slowly coming around! Thanks for the comment.

  5. Granny Rene, RN

    I can’t speak for ginger and motion or morning sickness, but I DID have a bit of ginger ale during labor and promptly threw up a few minutes later!
    Haven’t wanted ginger ale since! (26 yrs. ago!)
    NOW, what I asked for and REALLY wanted at the time was some good ‘ole Southern Sweet Iced Tea! But Yankee hospitals don’t know how to make this distinctly Southern cure for most maladies…

  6. Sean Dent

    @Granny Rene LOL. Thanks for sharing your story. I’m actually quite a fan of iced tea.

  7. mimic1983

    For me, it’s vinegar (usually a pickle) when I get severe heartburn despite my PPI and tums. It seems counterproductive. Acid on top of acid but amazingly it works EVERY single time.