Are you scaling the Andes Mountains, sunning yourself in the Caribbean, sampling the local delicacies in Morocco or spending the summer on the festival circuit? Despite our best efforts to stay healthy whilst on holiday, sometimes we have jetlag to contend with, maybe pick up a bad case of holiday tummy or fall victim to a nasty insect bite. That’s why we decided to put together a handy, easy to carry, “Natural Travel Kit” – a little box of tricks containing multi-purpose natural remedies for common ailments we may experience when we travel outside of our comfort zone!
Only taking up a minute amount of room but packing a powerful healing punch, don’t leave home without:
Not only does it smell divine, various studies have found that Lavender essential oil contains antibacterial, antifungal, carminative and sedative properties. This makes it effective for burns, wounds and insect bites – try mixing it with Sweet Almond oil as a wonderfully scented and soothing after sun balm. This versatile oil will aid insomnia – just pop few drops on your pillowcase for a restful night’s sleep, it will even alleviate the anxiety caused by fear of flying - try putting a few drops on a clean handkerchief and inhaling as necessary.
Of the many natural ways to treat infections, Tea Tree is one of the very best. It has a wide variety of uses with strong antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Whilst it can be used without a carrier oil, it’s best to do a patch test on your skin first and if sensitive it can be diluted. It will take the sting and the itch out of insect bites as well as being an effective insect repellent. A 70% - 100% solution can be applied to wounds to disinfect and promote speedy healing, it is also effective against fungal infections such as athlete’s foot.
With a calming and cooling effect on the body, Peppermint Oil is a must have in any holiday first aid kit. It has been proven to relax stomach muscles and can dramatically reduce motion sickness by simple inhalation. Diffuse and/or rub on the abdomen for a more severe case of “holiday tummy” – it will even ease headaches by applying a couple of drops to the temples and the forehead. For sunburn simply mix a few drops with Coconut Oil and apply to the affected area to immediately cool and heal the skin.
Again, only taking up a small amount of room in your luggage, the inclusion of a few carefully selected tinctures will provide a myriad of benefits.
This wonderful plant truly is a heal-all. Naturally antibiotic, Goldenseal has numerous uses including; digestive issues, diarrhoea, urinary tract disorders, allergies and infections. It can also be used as a mouthwash for sore throats, gum complaints and mouth ulcers.
It’s a good idea to start taking this tincture before you actually jet off on your hols – studies have found it has immune boosting properties, increasing white blood cells and antigen specific antibody production. This will ensure your immune system is in tip-top condition to fight off any potential holiday bugs.
Not only will Ashwagandha give you lots of pep, it is one of those rare herbs that is both energising and calming at the same time – earning it the classification as an adaptogen. Adaptogens contain a unique set of phytonutrients that improve your body’s ability to withstand stress and to adapt to extremely hot or cold temperatures. If you’re staying closer to home and holidaying in the UK, Ashwagandha can be useful in treating hay fever and allergic rhinitis.
With strong antiseptic properties, Marigold heals skin wounds, burns and rashes. It is powerfully anti-inflammatory, will ease cramps and spasms – not only that, it repels insects too! Make in to a calming tea for digestive problems or menstrual cramps.
With many people now opting to protect their skin naturally, some oils have been shown to contain sun protection factors to rival those of their chemical counterparts. If you decide on the natural route for your holiday skincare then don’t leave home without:
One of the best sources of natural Vitamin E, when applied to the skin Wheatgerm Oil moisturises tissues whilst acting as an antioxidant to prevent free radical damage. A study published in the “International Journal of Pharmacology Research” found that Wheatgerm Oil has a SPF of 22.
Unless you tan very easily it is better to use Coconut Oil as an after sun balm as opposed to a sun cream. Although it has an SPF, some studies have found it to be as high as 10 whilst others as low as 2 – this seems to be dependant on the quality of the oil. Containing lauric acid, saturated fats, antioxidants and medium chain fatty acids that allow for easy absorption, slather yourself in Coconut Oil after a day at the beach and this unique combination of fatty acids will speed the healing of sunburned skin and relieve any inflammation.
Worried you won’t be able to get your morning smoothie? Make sure your nutritional needs are met wherever you may roam and pack some Spirulina and Chlorella Tablets. These famous supergreen algae are fantastic sources of highly digestible, complete plant protein and are extremely nutrient dense. Bursting with essential minerals and vitamins, the contain almost the full spectrum of B Vitamins and are packed with powerful antioxidants.
Whether you’re home or away, box clever this summer and don’t be without these important essentials on your travels!