It is easy to get lost in the many medicinal recommendations that are out there when getting ready for a big trip. Getting sick when traveling is probably one of the worst things imaginable and it is hard to take in or enjoy much when feeling completely drained or having to be near a toilet. I think most of us have been in this situation at some point! Luckily, there are a few things to do in order to prepare yourself – both before and during your trip. Our recommendations are primarily all natural remedies or supplements, followed by a few ‘most-have back-ups’ of stronger pharmaceutical medicine in your travel kit.
Keeping a strong and healthy stomach and colon is important both when traveling, as much as it is in our daily lives. Probiotics are friendly bacteria and yeasts that are necessary for a healthy colon and a good digestive and immune system. After having taken antibiotics where we lose our healthy bacteria, probiotics is it’s good for bringing them back. You can find probiotics in food such as kefir, sauerkraut and miso soup. However, for traveling it will be easier to bring probiotics in pill form.
Leafy green vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. They are full of good stuff, such as minerals, vitamins and fiber. When traveling in remote areas such as on the Tibetan Plateau or in the Himalayan foothills of Nepal when leafy greens are more scarce, having greens as a powder is an especially great supplement to keeping healthy and strong.
Arnica is a wonderful go-to homeopathic remedy when you have been hiking all day and your muscles are feeling sore. Arnica helps stimulate the body’s natural healing response and soothes muscle ache.
Another great natural remedy for the travel bag! Tea Tree oil is a fantastic essential oil that you can use as an antiseptic on blisters, burns and cuts.
Lavender essential oil is one of my favourites. It’s a wonderful travel companion as it can be used both as a relaxant by applying a bit on the ear lope or a bit under the nose for inhalation when traveling. It’s great for travel sickness and then it has anti-bacterial properties that are helpful if you have a sun born or have small scrapes.
The Bach flower Rescue Remedy is great for stress and calming the nerves. Putting a couple of drops in your water bottle or under the tongue works magic when you need it whilst traveling.
This wonderful spice is the best thing for so many ailments. It works as a potent anti-inflammatory and can be used for any soreness, muscle pain and aches during your trip. The turmeric supplement is absorbed best with intake of black pepper.
The high plains of the Tibetan Plateau
When traveling in high altitude where the oxygen levels are sometimes less than 50 % for our lungs to take in and as the air gets thinner we are likely to feel the symptoms of high altitude sickness. This can be experienced as headache, fatigue, dizziness or nauseas. It’s quite normal to feel these symptoms during the first days of arriving in high altitude, such as in Lhasa. This is why it is important to acclimatize the body and make sure to drink a lot and to eat regularly (even when not overly hungry) to maintain the natural salt and energy levels in the body. Here are some natural remedies below that I have found incredibly helpful when guiding groups into high altitude.
Rhodiola is an herb that grows in cold, mountainous regions of Europe and Asia. It is also known as artic root. People in Iceland and Scandinavian countries use rhodiola to treat depression, fatigue and anxiety for centuries. Rhodiola is also a widely used remedy to prevent high altitude sickness in the Himalayan region and in areas of Tibet as it helps increase oxygenation in the body and helps relaxe the system in high altitude.
One of the most trustworthy remedies that people have used for altitude sickness is extract ginkgo biloba. This herb is known to increase overall circulation in the body and increases oxygenation of the brain and tolerance to low-oxygen effects. This herb is best used as a preventative and should be taken several weeks leading up to your trip into high altitude.
Finding some fresh ginger root whilst traveling in high altitude works wonders. As it is so important to drink plenty of liquids every day there is no better drink than applying some fresh ginger root into your water bottle or thermos with hot water. Ginger root works as a natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and also helps to increase the oxygenation of the brain, as well as the gingo biloba.
Finally, here are a few most-have ‘back-ups’ of stronger pharmaceutical medicine to bring in your travel kit:
It is always good to bring paracetamol for headaches and as a pain reliever.
Although it seems wiser to let whatever bacteria that has found its way into your system run its course – so to say! and be rid of it, having Imodium as a backup for long travel hours on a bus or in a jeep is always good. Activated charcoal can be a gentle and natural alternative to Imodium. Activated charcoal capsules can help bind stools and also remove systemic toxins from the body.
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