If you are like most people, you are more than ready to travel this summer. The possibility of going on vacation has never been so exciting, and distressing. Although travel regulations and tourist protocols have changed, natural methods for supporting your health while on holiday remain tried and true. Below are a few of our favorite herbs to help you stay balanced and well as you travel this vacation season.
Herbs for Immune Support
Stress, changes in food, location, and altitude can weaken the immune system. Some people experience feeling slightly ill due to the changes in temperature on the plane. Having immune-boosting herbs in your carry on bag for easy access will be helpful. The three we like are:
Conventional and holistic health professionals alike can agree on the immune-boosting effects of echinacea. This popular herb can travel easily as a tincture to add to your water or as a lozenge. Taking echinacea a day or two before and during your travels can strengthen your defenses while also reducing any cold-related symptoms.
If you don’t already take camu camu, you’re going to want to before you take off! This sour berry is a phenomenal antioxidant. It contains 60 times more vitamin C than an orange. The sour taste may be a bit much if you’re considering adding camu camu as a powder. Capsules are not only more convenient, but it saves you the inevitable pucker face that comes with eating something sour!
Like echinacea, elderberry is known for its ability to prevent and treat the common cold and related symptoms. It is also beneficial for reducing inflammation, which is a possibility if you’re experiencing stress on your trip. Capsules, tea, and lozenges are some popular forms. If you have space for a tincture or syrup, these are also great and potent ways to get your daily dose in.
Herbs for Digestion
Many people are caught off guard by digestive upset when enjoying foreign cuisine. While food poisoning may require more urgent care, there are remedies to help with the most common digestive issues experienced while traveling.
Ginger is one of the best herbs for digestion! It is well known for reducing nausea and diarrhea. It accompanies sushi not only as a palate cleanser, but also to kill the bacteria present in raw fish. Ginger powder capsules may be the easiest to get down when your stomach is not feeling the greatest. We suggest carrying a few ginger tea bags as well. The warmth from the tea can swiftly impart comfort to settle an upset stomach.
This plant has many uses. While traveling, licorice is beneficial for acid reflux and indigestion. It is quite likely that you’ll eat foods that are not normally in your daily diet. Most foods enjoyed on vacation are fatty and rich--a recipe for digestive discomfort. Licorice root has been shown to relieve symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and acute indigestion.
Fennel is not as common as ginger for digestion, but it certainly should be on your radar! For many, traveling can slow digestion, resulting in constipation. Fennel seeds can relax the intestinal muscles to help ease elimination. It is also a wonderful herb to have on hand if you’re experiencing intestinal bloating and gas. Fennel seeds are easy to transport to chew, although you can easily throw a few fennel tea bags in your carry on for convenience.
Nothing is more refreshing than a cool glass of peppermint tea. Thankfully, this herb is also soothing for an angry gut. Peppermint leaves improve the flow of bile, a fluid secreted by the liver to help digest fats. It also helps reduce bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. Peppermint tea is common and therefore easy to bring along on your travels. Peppermint leaves or oil capsules are also great choices if you’re not fond of tea.
Activated charcoal isn’t an herb, but its benefits cannot be overlooked. Charcoal is adsorbent, acting as an adhesive for bacteria and other toxins that may negatively impact your health. It's used effectively in urgent cases of toxic overload as well. While charcoal-infused water is available, capsules are the most portable and common form for travel purposes.
Herbs for Sleep and Stress
Needless to say, traveling can be stressful. While some people sleep well while on vacation, many others have a difficult time doing so. The herbs below can help you rest and relax along the way.
Chamomile is a popular herb for relaxation. Often taken as tea before bedtime, this delicate herb can promote sleep as well as a calmer mood. Tea bags, capsules or tincture are easy to carry aboard any flight.
If you experience flight or airport anxiety, passionflower can be beneficial. Like chamomile, passionflower can promote good sleep and restfulness. It can have a light sedative effect on some so large amounts are not necessary. Passionflower tea, tincture, or capsules will work wonderfully.
One of our favorite herbs, ashwagandha is excellent at supporting the body through stressful situations. It always helps to begin taking this herb at least a week before traveling to allow your body time to adapt. Ashwagandha is most commonly taken in capsule or tincture form. Choose whichever form works best for you and take as directed.
Herbs for Motion Sickness
One in three people experience motion sickness. Whether it is a roller coaster, boat, or flight, unnatural movement can trigger nausea and vomiting. Ginger and peppermint, two herbs mentioned above in this article can alleviate these symptoms.
Wherever you decide to jet off to this summer, you’ll benefit from bringing a mini-herbal travel kit with you to keep your health in tact. To make sure your kit makes it through security, any tinctures or syrups should be under 3 oz. and secured in a clear case. Use your own discernment with the foods and beverages you consume to avoid digestive upset. And finally, if you have any questions about the herbs mentioned above, feel free to reach out to us.