"But does anyone know WHY it works? Is there an expert in the house (pharmacist? nutritionist? M.D.?) who knows? "
Yes, expert on seasickness here. The definitive clinical trials on most motion sickness were done long ago by NASA, the friendly folks who have so many basic problems with rocket science that they figure a disabled astronaut is simply not an allowable risk.
So NASA has tried everything, with plenty of doctors and labs and rocket scientists taking copious notes.
Ginger is a mild irritant, what is called a "rubefacient" because it dilates the capillaries and makes the skin "ruby" aka red. When you dilate the capillaries you increase capillary blood flow which in turn increases oxygenation to every part of the body.
Good oxygenation prevents seasickness. That's all part and parcel of why we are also told DO NOT DRINK for 24 ours before going out to sea, DO NOT SMOKE (the carbon monoxide lowers a smoker's blood oxygen level about ten percent), DO NOT INHALE DIESEL EXHAUST
(monoxide, again, and petrochemicals).
Go if you are dosing yourself on ginger in any form--do it until you've got a rosy glow, that means it is at the maximum effective level. No glow? You're underdosed.
Ginger was used for thousands of years as a Chinese herbal remedy for this same problem. And before health
food stores got into selling pricey capsules, we used to just buy bottle of ginger form the spice rack, and pack it into empty vitamin capsules, which can be purchased really cheap
from a real pharmacy. (Or removed from "time delay" vitamins or other meds.)
By the way, NASA also found that even their phenergan "cocktail" only helps 1/3 of the folks who take it, no seasickness med is more effective than 1:3.
Brett? "By the way, I've found I can reduce the side effects of Scopalomine by cutting it in half. " Wrong way to use patches, any patches. If you cut them the medicine now can leak uncontrollably from the cut line and the dosage may be terribly uneven. The "medically correct" way to reduce the dosage is by blocking off half of the patch, i.e. cut a strip of the plastic liner material and place that strip under half of the patch, or under the middle of the patch.
Now, you have not broken the distribution mechanism, you have simply restricted the transfer to half of the normal volume. (Dosage.)
Same thing for fentanyl (painkiller), nicotine, anything using a "patch".
Or you can order an rx for "Scopace", 100 to the bottle, the same scopalamine but in small white pills. Adjust your dosage by taking more of less pills as/when needed. Way cheaper than the patches, and easily dissolved under the tongue, so you can't puke them up.