We are well and truly into the travel and holiday season now and I’m sure many of you will be stocking up on sun cream, dusting down your bikinis and ticking things off on your packing lists. So, while you’re there, why not add a few remedies to that list. These are my top 10 homeopathic travel remedies for those common ailments that tend to crop up when we go away. They could mean that problems which are destined to spoil your time off can become quickly forgotten and you can get on with enjoying yourself. When I took my holiday last month I was very glad I’d brought some of these along with me – I wouldn’t go away without them.
ACONITE has a couple of great uses for travel. Firstly, it’s an excellent remedy for fear of flying, and for panic attacks in general. You can take it before and during a flight if you’re a nervous flyer, or if fear comes on with turbulence, for example. I’m not normally worried about flying, but I did have call to take Aconite during a particularly bumpy flight in a thunderstorm, and it saw me through. Secondly, it is great if taken in the first stages of colds, and can really stop them in their tracks. This is especially true of colds brought on by anxiety, fright or shock, or those coming on after being in cold, dry air or drafts. I have found that it seems to help colds brought on by excessive air conditioning, such as during flying.
APIS Insect bites or stings can often be a problem on holiday and if so, Apis is the first remedy to turn to. It is especially useful if stings become swollen, puffy, red and hot, and feel better for cold applications or ice. It can also be used for all allergic reactions (particularly to bee or wasp stings) where there is swelling.
ARNICA is the number one remedy in any homeopathic first aid kit. As a cream it works wonders on bruises, but the remedy can also be taken internally for bruising, injuries and any kind of shock or trauma, whether physical or emotional. It can be very helpful for jet lag, especially in a high potency, and can even help with train or sea-sickness.
ARSENICUM ALBUM Stomach upsets can often appear as we eat unusual foods in unfamiliar places. This is the first remedy I turn to in cases of stomach upsets or food poisoning, especially if the symptoms are accompanied by anxiety, restlessness or burning pains. A couple of other possible remedies for profuse diarrhoea and vomiting are Podophyllum and Veratrum.
BELLADONNA This is an excellent remedy to take if you’re travelling to hot countries as it can be used in cases of heat/sunstroke. The person affected will feel hot with hot skin, possibly redness and often with a feeling of congestion or fullness in the head. It is also an extremely useful remedy for any occasions of high fevers. It can be used together with Arsenicum where there is the combination of stomach upset and too much sun.
CALENDULA Calendula cream is another must for any first aid kit, as it is an antiseptic for cuts, grazes, wounds and minor burns. I have used it many times as an after-sun for those bits I inevitably miss with the sun cream. It can be taken internally as a remedy for these conditions too, and in both forms is fantastic for promoting healing anywhere in the body.
CANTHARIS is another remedy for sunburn and burns of any kind, particularly for severe sunburn with blistering.
COCCULUS This is my number one remedy for travel or motion sickness, and I remember one sea voyage where I took it constantly. Other great travel sickness remedies to try are Petroleum and Tabacum.
LEDUM is another remedy for insect bites or stings (and puncture wounds in general) and is good to try if Apis doesn’t work. It is most suitable if the area around the sting is blue or purple and feels cold, but is nevertheless better for cold applications. Ledum is also known as a preventative for tetanus after puncture wounds.
NUX VOMICA is the greatest remedy for hangovers and over-indulgence. Not to say that anything like that is going to happen on your holiday, but it’s always best to be prepared!
All of these remedies also have other uses in different contexts but I’ve just concentrated on their use for travel ailments here. Some of you may already travel with remedies and may have favourites that really work for you. For example, if your colds are better with Pulsatilla, your sore throats helped by Lycopodium, or your flu alleviated by Gelsemium, then definitely add those to your list. And let me know: which are your favourite remedies? what would you never travel without?
Safe travels everyone!
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