A Holistic Traveller’s First Aid Kit

Being a health care professional, I always make sure that one of the first things I pack when preparing for a trip is my own personal first aid kit.  In it I have combined the best of Western and Holistic Medicine into a little package that has kept me quite healthy on my travels around the world.  Since I am a Licensed Acupuncturist, I am going to share my favorite Holistic remedies to bring when abroad.  If you are more interested in the Western remedies, I encourage you to consult your primary physician for further advice.

#1 Ginger:

  • The most common problem that people encounter when traveling to a new environment is an upset stomach or diarrhea.  This is because your stomach is not used to the new micro-organisms found in the local food and water.  Ginger is an herb that people have been using for thousands of years to treat any kind of digestive issue.  It comes in many forms, such as chewable tablets, herbal tea, and crystallized candy.  It can also be used for nausea associated with any type of motion sickness.  Feel free to use it as a preventive measure.

#2 Aloe

  • Even if you do not plan on visiting a sunny climate where you might get a sunburn, aloe is useful for other burns, scrapes, or bites.  It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and its cooling effect will help ease the pain.  Many people are not aware that aloe can also be ingested to help strengthen the immune system and combat digestive issues.

#3 Arnica

  • Arnica is an herb that can be used as a natural substitute for over-the-counter anti-inflammatory/pain medications.  It is incredibly effective in treating any pain, swelling, and bruising.  It comes in 2 forms: cream or pills.  The cream is best for superficial problems, whereas the pills are best for internalized problems.  You can pop a pill or two to prevent a hangover headache in the morning as well.

#4 Tiger Balm

  • Traveling long hours and carrying heavy luggage leads to muscle soreness, fatigue, and pain.  One of the best ways to treat this is by rubbing Tiger Balm ointment, which is a combination of Chinese herbs, on to the affected area.  Relief is guaranteed almost instantly.

#5 Lavender Essential Oil

  • Besides the fact that it smells divine, lavender happens to be a powerful antibiotic.  If used on the skin, it can help cure rashes or disinfect scrapes or bites.  If used internally, it can help boost the immune system.  Put a couple of drops in a bottle of water and drink while on the plane to prevent catching a cold.  Another benefit of this essential oil is its ability to relax the nervous system.  Therefore, if inhaled before sleep it will help insomnia from jetlag.

Of course your kit will highly depend on your particular health concerns and the destination of your travels, however while I hope you will never have to use one of these five remedies it is better to have them than to not have them.  Please remember my suggestions are for non-serious ailments.  If your ailments do not get better or they become worse, you should seek more advanced care immediately.

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