Does Ginger Cure Motion Sickness and Cybersickness?

With today’s latest technology advancing in leaps and bounds we only have to look back to the old flip phone to realise that with the onset of the new smartphone that virtual reality headsets are just around the corner.


In fact, many of you will be saying that we have in fact had the ability to produce virtual reality games and the headsets needed to play them for some time, yet for some unknown reason, tech giants Sony, HTC and the Facebook-owned Oculus have baulked at bringing them to the marketplace.


From what we understand, after having listened to scientists and read the news coming out of numerous gaming conferences is that the main stumbling block has been the manufacturer’s inability to alleviate the motion or cybersickness a player suffers while playing a virtual reality game.


This has proven to be a huge headache for the boffins to solve, as no one will want to play a game that will bring the feeling of motion sickness, similar to what some people suffer while in an automobile or while out at sea on a boat.


Even the United States military has come up against a brick wall in finding a cure and still grounds pilots for 12 hours following training on a virtual reality simulator.

 virtual reality headset

Is Ginger the answer?

The world’s leading independent general medical journal, the Lancet conducted a test involving 36 people who were known to suffer from motion sickness, giving half of them a harmless placebo and the rest two capsules of powdered ginger.

Once the medication had been given 20 minutes to enter the bloodstream, they were all placed in motorised chairs and spun for six minutes. None of the patients who were given the placebo managed to endure the entire six minutes, while the patients given the ginger capsules managed to stay in the chairs twice as long.

The study also found that of the 18 patients who were given the ginger capsules, nine managed to stay in the spinning chair for the entire six minutes.

As well as the Lancet study in the UK, the Danish navy conducted a test using 80 cadets who were prone to sea sickness in the hope that ginger would alleviate the nauseous feeling of being at sea.

The study concluded that the cadets who were given ginger lasted longer that those who were not despite scientists not knowing exactly what role ginger played in alleviating nausea other than the fact that one of its compounds enhanced gastrointestinal transport.



The Bottom Line

What these two studies show us is that ginger does, in fact, help alleviate nausea associated with motion sickness, but does not help cure the dizziness that virtual reality headset manufacturers worry about.

For those of us that hate to take over the counter medications such as Dramamine due to the way the drug makes you feel so tired back on land, ginger may help us to lessen the dosage and feel less nausea, but is certainly not a cure for cyber or motion sickness.

However, saying that you can be sure that with a billion dollar industry at hand the big boys in the tech world are doing all they can to counter the cybersickness their virtual reality headsets induce in Gamers.

Photos courtesy of Scott Nelson and Nan Palmero.


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