Our patients often ask us what preventive and maintenance remedies they should carry when traveling out of the country.
The list depends on whether you’ll be traveling in developed or developing countries, whether you’ll be roughing it or staying in upscale digs, and whether you’ll be traveling in remote areas or major cities.
If you’re taking generic daily vitamins and minerals not prescribed for a specific health condition, it’s probably okay to pare down to a single complete multivitamin-mineral formula for several weeks – that said, you will know your daily needs better than I.
When Marcel and I travel, we carry the following items. We stock most of them in our Pacific Naturopathic office, where we carry only items that we’ve thoroughly tested and believe in.
*Probiotic Pearls. We favor this probiotic while traveling. The pearls are enteric-coated, so they deliver helpful bacterial intact all the way down to the large intestine. They don’t require refrigeration, and they come in a convenient blister pack, so they won’t melt or stick together in humid climates. Take one cap daily, away from food, as a preventive. If you’re experiencing intestinal distress, take one cap twice daily, away from food.
*Charcoal Capsules. Charcoal is a widely recognized medium for absorbing gastrointestinal toxins. When the food in your location is questionable, take one cap with each meal. If G.I. issues occur, take a capsule twice daily between meals, away from medications or food. These caps will turn your stool black, which isn’t a problem, but could be scary if you aren’t aware that it will happen.
*Grapefruit seed extract. This product and colloidal silver (described below) are both excellent antimicrobials. You can add liquid grapefruit seed extract to water to wash suspect produce, and if you can tolerate the exceptional bitterness, you can take it orally as well. Most people choose the capsule form, taking one or two caps twice daily to treat infections.
* NutraSilver colloidal silver. You can add grapefruit seed extract and a drop of colloidal silver to any drink that might be suspect (not from a sealed bottle or can), or any drink containing ice from a suspect water source. Before brushing teeth, add a drop to the water into which you dip your toothbrush. In acute situations, start with 10 drops of colloidal silver three times daily, held under the tongue.
*ProBoost. ProBoost is a thymic protein product that supports the immune system and rallies the body’s defenses against bacterial, viral, or allergic issues. Dissolve one packet under the tongue twice daily if something seems to be coming on. In acute cases, dissolve one packet under the tongue three times daily.
*RxEme Cream. This is an essential oil-based ointment that is fabulous for all manner of skin rashes and itching – anything from burns to hemorrhoids to insect bites.
*Rescue Remedy can help with travel anxiety.
*Essential oil hand sanitizer wipes (also gel or spray) are made by EO and are wonderful for their antibacterial value, and for calming travel anxiety and nerves (they are made with lavender oil). We don’t carry these products in our office; follow this link to browse the sanitizer products on the EO website.
More Take-Alongs for Healthy Travel
Besides these items, Marcel and I always bring several traditional travel remedies.
*Dramamine is a must for those prone to travel sickness. Yes, we know there are lots of natural remedies, ranging from wrist bands to essential oils to ginger capsules. If they work for you, by all means take them, but Dramamine has stood the test of time.
*Polysporin topical antibiotic cream. Very useful for cuts and scrapes, and can also be used in case of eye infections. (The package insert says not to use in eyes, but pediatricians have used this remedy for years to treat eye infections in infants and young children.)
*Imodium can be a lifesaver when you’re confronted with diarrhea during a long ride on curvy mountain roads in an ancient bus with no bathroom.
These preventive and first aid measures can help keep you healthy while traveling, and decrease doctor visits so you can enjoy your time away.
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