There is no bigger bummer than getting sick during a long-awaited vacation. Whether you are dealing with digestive upsets or a sore throat, pack my natural travel kit in your suitcase and you can travel worry-free!
The longer I have been exposed to the world of herbs and other holistic remedies the more convinced I become of their effectiveness. There is a reason some of these remedies have been passed on from generation to generation. They work! So the next time you travel, pack these essential items with you so that you are not stranded without effective and natural remedies that can have you back to enjoying the sights and the local cuisine.
1. Oil of Oregano: this is the mother of all antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral naturally occurring substances in the world! I don’t travel without this little puppy. Whenever I feel like I am coming down with something, I take 10 drops under the tongue to maximize absorption and chase it with some warm water (side note: taking medication under the tongue/sublingually means that the thousands of small capillaries under the tongue will quickly absorb the liquid and deliver it to the bloodstream) . It doesn’t taste yummy but it does the job. Pathogens, be gone! Oil of oregano is not just great for sore throats and colds but is also effective for digestive upsets, cold sores, muscle aches, joint pain, and is a natural insect repellent!
2. Probiotics: let’s be honest, we all indulge more than we should during vacations. The muffin from the local bakery or the decadent dessert after dinner. If you are like me you may eat where the locals eat, taste the street food, and seek out the ‘hole-in-the-wall’ establishments that offer the most authentic local cuisine. So what do you do when your system ingests something wrong during this culinary adventure? I always carry probiotics to help with bowel regularity and to fight off pathogens by increasing the number of good bacteria in my gut. Take one with each meal or a couple after dinner each night.
3. Digestive Enzymes: along the same lines as probiotics, plant-based enzymes help digest and absorb food that may not otherwise be easily digestible. Food cooked at high temperatures is usually devoid of not just nutrients but also the enzymes needed to break it down. So if you are on the road and not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables (which are rich in live enzymes), then do your body a solid and take a digestive enzyme before each meal. You will experience considerably less bloating, gas, and other unmentionable issues that come with eating heavy, cooked meals.
4. Traumeel: Arnica is a homeopathic remedy that is extremely effective for cuts, bruises, burns, aches, and pains. Traumeel is a homeopathic formulation that includes Arnica and other complementary remedies to help the body heal faster. I carry the ointment for first aid and for the aches and pains that come with lots of walking, hiking, and carrying around shopping bags (yeh, I’m old). Traumeel also comes as tablets and drops.
5. Natural Sleep Aids: the Bach Flower Rescue Remedy and Melatonin are great examples of natural sleep aids that are effective yet have no side effects and are not habit-forming. The rescue remedy works best for folks that can’t sleep due to stress and repetitive thoughts. Melatonin is a hormone produced by our bodies during the night. Increased melatonin levels are related to the body feeling less alert, and more relaxed. Melatonin works as an effective, non-habit-forming sleep aid for many with insomnia. Both the rescue remedy and melatonin are good options for when you are trying to get over jet lag and need a good night’s rest. You can also have a cup of camomile or skullcap tea to relax the nervous and muscular systems.
6. Antioxidants: be sure to take some sachets of Emergen-C or Ester-C with you. Both these products contain a whopping 1,000 mg of Vitamin C plus other vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. It’s a great way to supplement your diet while traveling and to protect your body from pathogens. When I am feeling dehydrated, I drink a large glass of water with some Emergen-C or Ester-C popped in. For extra hydration use coconut water (which is chock full of electrolytes) instead of filtered water.
Remember to hydrate lots when you are traveling! Planes have a way of sucking all the moisture out of you. Drink lots of fluids when you are walking around, sightseeing, and taking an embarrassing number of selfies. Ah, and don’t forget to smile, you are on vacation!