With the summer holidays just around the corner many Aussies are heading off on their annual holiday. Whether it’s to one of our country’s magnificent beaches or overseas there’s always the chance that some mishap will occur. If you’re not prepared it can really mar the whole holiday. But it’s easy to leave home well prepared for travel illness with your own natural remedies first-aid kit.
Most people going on holiday take along some products or medications just in case they’re one of the unlucky ones who fall ill – even if this is as simple as aloe gel for sunburn. But with a little foresight you can leave home much better prepared.
Whenever anyone in my family heads off on holiday they always put together a Natural Therapy First Aid Kit to take with them.
Our family natural remedy kit started soon after I first used homeopathic remedies for my boys when they were quite young. Our collection of remedies was kept in a partitioned plastic case that slid under the car seat when we went camping at the beach. It proved invaluable many, many times for all sorts of ailments from sunburn, summer colds, Bluebottle stinger attacks, sprained ankles through to New Years Day hangovers. The remedies were often pulled out to treat other campers as well.
Over the last decade we traveled further afield, through SE Asia, Southern Africa and across the Pacific to Mexico, South America and USA, and natural remedies went along on each journey. Items from the kit have been used on every trip.
Homeopathic First-Aid Kits
Our kits contain Homeopathic remedies to deal with Travelers Diarhorrea, food poisoning, fluid retention, sunburn and burns, sprains strains and bruising, nausea, travel sickness, infections, fever, insect and animal bites and stings, plus others. We also add various remedies selected to suit the individual using each kit. A migraine remedy for one, another gets sinus pain in flight, two are very susceptible to altitude sickness, another to skin infections, so we add these types or remedies where they are needed.
I usually pack everything together in a small plastic storage box from the supermarket. It keeps the products dry and clean and helps prevent spillage and breakage.
BUILD YOUR OWN NATURAL REMEDY KIT
My Family’s Basics
Homeopathic remedies always form the basis of our travel kit. They are small, light and quickly very effective. There are a number of basic remedies we take wherever we go. Then we add others selected specifically for the problems we’ll likely encounter in the area we’re visiting.
I pack these remedies into a small zipped leather pouch. It keeps the remedies secure and has the added advantage of being easy to flip open to be manually scanned at the airports (rather than passing them through on the higher powered scanning belt which may damage them).
There are a number of different strengths, or potencies, but 30c is quite suitable to use and the better choice if you’re not familiar with using them. They come in the form of tiny pillules which are dissolved under the tongue.
It can be difficult to source homeopathic remedies. Many Homeopaths have Travel Kits for sale but if you don’t have a Homeopath you visit regularly then the best alternative is to buy a Travel Kit online. They come with a small instruction booklet
Martin & Pleasance in Melbourne Australia make a compact little kit containing 20 remedies. (It comes in the same case I use to fill with my own remedies).
What Natural Remedies To Add
Many people from industrial countries find it difficult when they travel through developing nations because there’s a huge range of bacteria that they’re not normally exposed to.
Taking good quality probiotics increases good gut bacteria and supports your immune system. Taking them right through your travel may help protect you from ‘Travellers Diahorrea’, keeping your immunity high so you don’t get sick so easily, and help your digestion when it’s weakened by a strange diet or unfamiliar bacteria. They’re also very restorative if you do happen to catch parasites.
You need to select a probiotic that doesn’t require refrigeration.
Activated Charcoal Tablets
Charcoal tablets are activated carbon that absorbs toxins. They’re excellent for reducing diarrhoea. Their special benefit over medications is they absorb the bacteria and toxins from your gut, carrying them out of your body when you use your bowels.
The good news is they’re odourless and tasteless.
Don’t mix activated charcoal with ice-cream or chocolate as these reduce the effectiveness. But avoid these foods anyway if you’re suffering from travel diarrhoea!
Bach Rescue Remedy
Bach Rescue remedy has been such a basic for natural first aid for decades. A blend of flower essences developed by Dr Bach, it helps you recover quickly from shock and upset. Great for dealing calmly with lost baggage or missed flights.
But it’s also useful to avert many acute illnesses, or manage acute stress by keeping down anxiety levels. Losing luggage, missing connections, problems with accommodation, all the stresses that can spoil a holiday can be reduced and managed with the help of Rescue Remedy.
You could use Australian Bush Flower Emergency Essence instead – some people seem to respond better to this, although I’ve found the Bach Rescue Remedy works for everyone I’ve given it to. You simply take a few drops under your tongue.
Creams are easy to carry and use and Calendula is a ‘must-have’.
Calendula is anti-inflammatory, reducing pain and swelling. It promotes the rapid healing of skin tissue. It’s great for applying to to chafed skin, scrapes, grazes, and minor burns including sunburn. It can also be used on minor wounds.
Hypercal Cream is antiseptic and particulary suited to cuts and wounds, particularly if there’s a chance they may heal slowly and become infected. It combines calendula with hypericum and often other herbals and like calendula cream provides pain relief.
Tea- tree is a powerful anti-bacterial and this cream is really effective on skin cuts, burns and infections. It’s also good for any fungal infection you may pick up on your feet. You could also take it in the form of oil. Either can be applied directly to the wound.
We use Homeopathic Arnica pillules for sore muscles, aching joints, bruises and pains. But Arnica is also available as a cream to rub into the sore areas. Not as strong-acting in the cream, it nonetheless gives wonderful relief and is used by many sports stars around the world. Traumeel ointment or gel combines 14 different Homeopathically prepared plants which all help relieve sprains, strains and sore muscles.
Through the ages water was often stored in silver because silver is an effective antimicrobial agent and it kept the water pure. Colloidal silver is a powerful natural antibiotic and works by suffocating the enzymes required by the harmful microorganism, without damaging any human enzymes.
It can be added to water to help purify it if you get caught out. I wouldn’t ingest it on a regular basis as long-term use may turn your skin grey, but it can be useful in an emergency.
It also has other uses. It’s often taken orally under the tongue or in water, to ward off viral and bacterial infection. Applied to the skin it can ward off infection.
In the tropics where the air’s very moist skin infections can be very difficult to heal. For my sons backpacking or traveling in isolated places where the conditions may not be hygienic, the prevention of infection is very important and colloidal silver is a must-have for them.
It’s also useful for tinea, eczema, psoriasis, acne or burns, wherever there’s the potential for a bacterial or fungal component.
If sleeping in a strange bed is a problem for you, or you’re a pillow princess (yes that’s me – pillow princess! I always take a pillow) a small bottle of lavender oil can be a lifesend. It’s a proven sleep enhancer and inhaling the scent or shaking a few drops on the pillow helps to sedate and promote a good sleep.
Lavender oil can also help you relax if you get nervous on the plane, but you need to be careful in the confined space as some people are allergic to it.
If you’re seeking a moisturizing agent coconut oil is your answer. It’s very hydrating in dry climates. calms rashes and is excellent for chapped lips. You can use it all over your body.
Not usually part of my family’s kit, magnesium is a great addition if you experience constipation. It clears it up very quickly. It’s also great to relax you before bed and help you sleep. If you find you’re insomniac while traveling magnesium will calm your nerves, relax you and help you get that rest.
Of course you’ll take sunscreen, but it’s worth selecting one that’s not laden with harmful chemicals. I have no affiliation with any brands of products I mention here. They’re just ones I’ve used and found to be effective and high quality.
My family loves Soleo All Natural Sunscreen because it’s very easy to apply. I love it because it’s organic and rated #1 sunscreen by the EWG.
Wotnotmakes an excellent sunscreen, which isn’t tested on animals,
UV Naturals is another excellent natural sunscreen recommended by the Feingold Association USA. Their range includes a special sunscreen formulated for babies.
These are all Australian made sunscreens, don’t contain titanium oxide and are available around the globe.
Bioeffectives come from pine needles. They’re loaded with a multitude of essential nutrients including chlorophyll and many substances already found in the blood, brain soft tissue, and skin. They’re a powerful antioxidant and address any imbalances, so are perfect to support the effects on the body caused by the different environment, including parasites and bacteria.
My son picked up an extremely nasty amoebic parasite in Columbia recently and was very grateful for the Bioeffective-A (used here as a probiotic substitute) he was carrying, as it helped his gut recover quickly so he could enjoy the rest of his travels.
My family uses straight homeopathic Arnica and homeopathic Coca for jet lag, but No-Jet-Lag, which is called Jet-Ease (in Australia), is a popular Homeopathic alternative which many swear by. It combines Arnica with four other homeopathic remedies that also address the negative effects of air travel .
Remember these remedies are specially prepared homeopathically and the substances used to make them can be quite toxic in their original form if ingested.
Of course I add a few other items such as bandages and alcohol swabs as my boys like to head off the beaten track. You can include anything else that’s relevant to your travel plans but this list should give you some starting ideas.
Most of these products are available from Health Food Stores or Natural Health Practitioners. Some are available online.
Get yourself prepared and have a great holiday!
Do you have any other Natural Health Remedies that you wouldn’t be without on holiday?Let us know in the comments.
All information and opinions presented here are for information purposes only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before following any of the treatment suggested on this site, particularly if you have an ongoing health issue.