Traveling Down that Road Feeling Fine

Make your journeys healthy ones with easy-to-carry natural remedies.

| May/June 2005

My friend Lynne recently spent 10 days in Mexico. The trip sounded idyllic — swimming, exploring ancient ruins and lying on the beach. But the long flight and pre-trip stress left her exhausted and fighting a cold, and the spicy food upset her stomach. “I need a vacation to recover from my vacation,” she told me.

The adventure of travel — including time zone changes, unfamiliar environments and exotic foods — often causes physical and emotional stress. But with a bit of planning and a travel kit of natural remedies, you can make certain your next journey is a healthy one.

Planning for a Healthy Trip

Although traveling can give you a great break from your daily routine, this doesn’t mean you want to take a vacation from your health. Before setting off on a long trip, and especially if you’re going to be traveling out of the country, be sure to check in with your doctor (see “Before You Go” on Page 22).

One of the first rules of stress-free travel is to pack light. But there’s always room in your luggage for a first-aid kit. A well-stocked travel kit can keep you healthy on the road, as well as save you from the frustration of trying to find your favorite natural remedies in an unfamiliar locale. Pack arnica gel for bruises and sore muscles; comfrey salve for minor skin abrasions; aloe vera gel for burns; and tea tree essential oil for its antiseptic and antifungal properties. I also always carry a small bottle of lavender essential oil, which helps calm stress.

Other herbal remedies I consider indispensable are echinacea extract as an all-purpose immune-booster; elderberry extract for warding off colds and flu; valerian or passionflower extract for insomnia; kava for anxiety; eleuthero for jet lag; and goldenseal capsules for treating traveler’s diarrhea. Capsules of powdered ginger are excellent for preventing and relieving motion sickness and nausea. A small package of mentholated throat lozenges eases sore throats, coughs and congestion. Nonherbal essentials for your first-aid kit include a pair of tweezers, a digital thermometer, an assortment of adhesive bandages, sterile gauze bandages, adhesive tape, cotton swabs, an elastic bandage, moleskin (for blister prevention) and waterless hand sanitizer. Don’t forget an herbal insect repellent. Choose one that contains citronella, which has been proven to repel biting insects effectively.

Take the Tension out of Travel

Whether you travel by car, train, boat or plane, taking care of yourself during the actual journey makes a big difference in how you’ll feel when you reach your destination.



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