6 Natural Health Tips for Travel
1. Immune tincture
Taking a botanical immune support formula is a great idea to combat in flight germs. This is a very common place for people to report getting sick from. A formula including botanical medicines with antimicrobial actions as well as having an affinity for the Ears Nose Throat and Upper respiratory tract are most important. I like to use a formula of Astragalus, Sage, Echinacea, and Mullein.
Also, doubling up on a Multivitamin is a good idea. Basically, you want to guarantee you have adequate levels of Vitamin D, C, and A, as well as immune benefiting minerals like Zinc and Selenium. N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is another great nutraceutical to use if you have it.
If you are in a pinch and don’t have access to an apothecary (first world probz), Airborne Immune Support works great, and can be found in most airport. Airborne was originally created by a school teacher to prevent herself from getting sick from her students, it worked well for her thus she took the formula to market. The formula includes immune-support vitamins and minerals as well as several botanical medicines such as Echinacea, Forsythia, and Ginger. I’ve heard a lot of good feedback respecting this product. However, like I said, I would go to this in a pinch; my issues with the product is that it contains less-than-natural ingredients in it- lots of sugar and cheap, poorly-absorbed forms of nutrients such as magnesium oxide, alpha-tocopherol, and zinc sulfate. This product is not something I would recommend taking daily.
2. Kinesio-Taping compromised joints
Traveling requires a lot of picking up and moving luggage. Depending on your luggage, this can often be one-sided bicep curls. It may be just enough to push that hip or disc the wrong direction, or fray the already torn rotator cuff muscle. Also, you may be trying to sleep in awkward positions and sitting in uncomfortable chairs. These things can wear on the musculoskeletal body, leaving it at risk for reactivating old injuries or even causing new ones!
As mention, luggage is important, I suggest the ones with 4 wheels on the bottom, these are very easy and comfortable to maneuver.
As just mentioned, sleep is often compromised while traveling. Seating is uncomfortable and if you are lucky enough to be able to fall asleep you will probably wake up in pain and in need of a joint manipulation. I suggest a firm memory foam neck pillow, ear plugs, and a silk eye pillow. Quality sleep is important with a full itinerary.
4. Probiotics and other digestive aids
Different water supplies often cause people Gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances, hence the common problem known as ‘Travelers Diarrhea’. Taking a good quality shelf-stable probiotic may help negate minor GI disturbances while promoting regularity during your visit away from home.
If experiencing travelers’ diarrhea, it is good to have activated charcoal tablets with you, and ginger pills to woe any stomachaches. Arsenicum is a classic food poison homeopathic remedy that may come in handy.
5. Adrenal Support
Many people claim melatonin helps regulate their jet lag. This makes sense in theory, regulating the circadian rhythm, and it’s a supplement that is generally regarded as safe. However, as a Naturopath, I believe we could go one step further and support the adrenal glands and regulate cortisol with botanical medicines. As lovely as travel is and how relaxing the vacation may be, the body often processes the act of traveling as a stressor, thus promoting excess cortisol. Adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha, eleuthero, and/or rhodiola will help promote regular cortisol levels and normal circadian rhythm during your trip.
6. Maintaining the Diet
This section deserves its own blog post. However, some staples I pack in my bag are nuts and seeds, MCT oil, and maybe some dried fruit. It is very easy to be able to travel and maintain an anti-inflammatory diet. In fact, it’s probably easier to travel and maintain healthy eating habits than at home- where the habits are rooted.