Earlier this year, I read somewhere that holding a russet potato can help prevent car sickness. I had no idea how or why, but I thought it was worth a shot. Because if you have kids who get car sick, you know that you will try anything. Like…anything.
On a long windy car trip to Zion National Park, my boyfriend tried it out with his (always carsick) daughter and OMG. It worked.
No puking. No nausea. Just a happy kid on arrival, holding a potato in her hand.
So this past weekend, I tried the potato trick with my own daughter as we headed to sleepaway camp down lots of windy country roads. I posted a shot of it offhandedly in an Instagram story and my DMs blew up!
Why? How? Are you joking? Does this really work?
I know that motion sickness or car sickness occurs when your inner ear, your eyes, and the muscles in your body are all perceiving different things and sending those conflicting signals to the brain. But not entirely sure what a potato has to do with that, I searched the web to give all my friends answers.
Here’s what I have found about why holding a potato works to help prevent car sickness:
Seriously, not a thing.
This is total junk science, and as a believer in facts and science, I need to let you know that there are none, or none that I could find.
Now there are theories floating around that it has to do with the scent of the potato, or that it gives kids something specific to focus on. It could even be psychosomatic.
What I do know for a fact is that that not once having to stop for a puke break with a car full of children is about the most delightful thing ever, and I am not one to argue with success.
With my boyfriend’s daughter, it worked like a charm once again. As for for my own daughter (not a puker, but she can’t so much as glance at her phone in the car or she’ll become nauseated), she said “well, I still feel a little nauseous.” But considering she jumped right out of the car with a smile on her face and no requests for ginger ale, we’re making a run for russets on the way home from camp.
Now for a failsafe cure for motion sickness, personally, I’m a fan of Sea-Bands ($6.68 on sale right now from our affiliate Amazon) which work by applying acupressure to a single point on your inner wrist. They work magic for me and my kids, and have been identified as one of nine scientifically proven cures for motion sickness which is why I never leave home without a couple sets in my bag.
In fact, on a cruise last year, all of the ship’s staff were wearing Sea-Bands, which I take as the ultimate endorsement.
But hey, if nothing else has worked for your kids who get car sick, try a potato.
Worst case scenario: you get to eat a potato later.