Safe Summers Journeys

August 18, 2009

Update your first aid kit with herbs for healthy, happy trails.

by Nancy Eagles

Travelling soon? Contrary to popular belief, the most common health dangers while travelling are not the great unknown exotic bugs, but those same old familiar ailments that we get at home. Assembling a personalized first aid travel kit with some multipurpose and portable herbs can be a simple task.

Keep in mind your destination and its potential challenges, as well as your own health issues. Will there be a clinic or pharmacy nearby? If not, try to anticipate these common travel bumps in the road and prepare accordingly:

Herbal First Aid Kit for Travelling

  • Have trouble sleeping in a strange bed? Take along your favourite, natural sleep remedy, such as lavender essential oil. Using a few drops of Lavender, in the bath or on the pillow, can often aid sleep, ease headaches or soothe burns.
  • If diarrhea should present itself, you’ll be glad you packed a couple tablespoons of cinnamon powder in a small zip-lock bag. You can make a tea by mixing ½ tsp of cinnamon in a cup of hot water to help settle things. Be sure to re-hydrate by drinking plenty of water. Try adding 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar per cup water, to help replace lost electrolytes.
  • Prone to catching colds from airplane travel or air conditioning? It’s helpful to have along some Echinacea tincture or throat spray. This can also be used to cleanse a wound, before bandaging, and for gum irritations.
  • Get toothache sometimes? It’s easy to pack a dozen or so cloves from the spice cupboard in a tiny zip-lock bag. If toothache strikes, place a clove on the affected area. An old-time remedy that can really help.
  • Garlic bulb, although frowned upon by customs agents, can be a wonderful addition to a first aid travel kit. At first sign of a cold, mince a clove of garlic and, right after a meal, down the pieces like pills, with water.
  • Or, cover minced garlic with honey, in a cup: about 2 Tbsp garlic to 3 Tbsp honey. Cover cup, and let sit overnight. The resulting syrup is pretty tasty, and can help zap a cough. Dose: 1 tablespoon 3 times/day. Use for cough, cold, impending flu.

These suggestions are not meant to replace consultation with a qualified medical practitioner.

About the Author: Nancy Eagles is a Chartered Herbalist. Information about her practice and products can be found at Inanna Herbs

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