The Symptoms of Seasickness

Headache; dizziness; nausea and vomiting, with severe retching; great prostration.

This disease generally occurs in persons who are taking a voyage at sea, or on any large body of water. The symptoms exhibited are essentially the same in character and originate from the same cause as those which result from whirling, riding on the cars, or riding backward, being undoubtedly due to the disturbance of the brain, which results from the unusual and irregular impressions received from the senses of sight and touch. When occurring at sea, the disease is undoubtedly aggravated by the foul odors frequently present in the close, unventilated apartments of the ship. Undoubtedly, the rich and unwholesome food generally used on shipboard has much to do with the production of seasickness. Fortunately, the disease is very rarely fatal in itself, although the violent retching has, in some instances, produced hemorrhage from the stomach which has resulted in death.

The Treatment of Seasickness

A person preparing to take a sea voyage should eat very sparingly of the simplest and most wholesome food for at least three or four days before going on shipboard. After going on board, he should retire to his berth before the peculiar motion of the ship becomes in any very great degree noticeable. He should remain in a horizontal position most of the time for the first twenty-four hours, eating chiefly dry and very simple food, as graham or oatmeal crackers, dry toast with a little fruit. Liquids, if taken, should be either cold or quite hot. Slight qualmishness, if it occurs, may be relieved by swallowing a few bits of ice or taking a few sips of hot lemonade. Nothing highly seasoned should be taken into the stomach during the voyage. Fried food, cake, pastry, lard biscuit, and all similar substances should be strictly prohibited. It is also best to abstain from the free use of meat. After the first day or two, it will be safe to venture upon deck. The precaution should be taken to protect the body thoroughly from the cold, moist air by warm wraps. Many persons find themselves entirely free from seasickness while upon deck, only feeling sick when confined within the close, poorly ventilated apartments below. Wearing a tight bandage about the abdomen is recommended by sailors as a preventive of seasickness. Some physicians recommend the use of pickled oysters, ham, and smoked herring, and the free use of cayenne pepper, spice, and mustard, which advice we would earnestly exhort our readers to ignore.