How to stay healthy while traveling, my natural first aid travel kit

holisitc_travel_first_aid_kit

 

Are you planning a long haul trip this year?

Worried about your health? Today I will share what I did to stay healthy and well on my recent trip from the UK to Tokyo.

When my husband announced that it was nearly cheaper to go to Japan than to one of the EU destinations I had proposed, my first thought was how am I going to cope with sitting for so many hours with my AS.

The next concern was, how am I going to avoid catching viruses in the confined space of the plane. And then I remembered that I always get dehydration headaches when I fly anywhere.

My digestion also always took a turn for the worse, not nice to be constipated when on holiday.

So with my main concerns established I made a list of what I wanted to be prepared for and researched what natural products I could use to help myself.

 

My travel health concern list:Japanese_food_Yakiniku_grilling_at_table

  • dehydration during the flight
  • AS pain
  • muscle pain and spasms
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • ear ache
  • prescription medication time change
  • head aches
  • jet lag
  • cold or flu viruses
  • food born parasites and food poisoning
  • travellers constipation
  • food quality during travel
  • food options and quality at the  destination country
  • basic supplements to take

 

 

Avoiding dehydration during the flight

I recommend to ensure you have plenty of cash in all currencies you may encounter on your trip. We took Pounds, Euros and Yen so we were be able to buy water everywhere we would touch down.

We had a stop over in Amsterdam where we had a chance to get more water.

On the long haul flights, they generally provide water but I would not recommend to exclusively rely on that as they kind of run out of water towards the end of the journey when we flew.

I like to add a few grains of sea salt and one drop per oz of water of Citricidal Liquid Grapefruit seed extract.  Citricidal Liquid Grapefruit seed extract is said to have antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. It can help avoid catching viruses, traveller’s diarrhoea, picking up water born parasites and food poisoning. Make sure you follow the instructions for the Citricidal carefully it is a very strong.

The sea salt helps top up the generally insufficient mineral levels in bottled water, which washes you out rather than hydrating you.

During the journey, I also used a couple of drops of Oreganol P73 under the tongue to avoid sore throat and generally support my immune system and avoid infections. Oreganol P73 holds very strong natural antibacterial, antiviral, and anti fungal properties; it has also be linked with reduction of inflammation. Beware it is very hot, if used inappropriately oregano oil can burn the skin.

I also recommend taking an electrolyte product with you in case you do suffer from symptoms of vomiting and diarrhoea to help replace, prevent or treat the loss of too much body water (dehydration). Having the right amount of fluids and minerals is important for the normal functioning of the body. I like elete Electrolytes because they do not have added sweeteners (real or artificial), no artificial colours or flavours; basically nothing except electrolyte compounds.

 

 

AS pain from sitting

My plan was to keep moving as much as possible during the times when we were not on the plane. So we strolled up and down the airport, when we waited in the waiting area we stood rather than sat down.

My thought was, I will have to sit for a long time later, I might as well stand and move whilst I can.

It is a shame that even when you decide to get up and move around on a plane, it is not easily done. You may be trapped at the window seat and if everyone would get up and move around there would be chaos, we all know space is a luxury when flying.

Try to wriggle and twist, reach and stretch arms, legs and torso. When you keep drinking to stay hydrated you will have to get up regularly so use that time to move the legs more extensively.

Another thing I found helpful is to stay positive and calm. I decided that I would do everything in my power to stay well whilst on that plane and that it will all work out.

On the stop over in Amsterdam we had 4-5 hours break so we had a look round for a rest lounge and the meditation room that I had looked up before we flew. Most airports seem to have these facilities, check what is available on your route before you travel.

The rest area was far away from the hustle and bustle, it had many recliner chairs where you could have a lay down and power nap.

I went into the meditation/ prayer room, which is open to everyone who wants to spend spiritual time. I had a round of Tai chi Qigong Shibashi practice to soothe mind and body.

Doing the tai chi really helped me keep my body supple during the stressful travel. I used the exercises that pump the spinal fluid and moved every joint of my body. The deep breathing was calming and restorative and gave me plenty of positive energy for the upcoming 12hour flight.

 

 

Muscle pain and spasms

I also packed Traumeel and Quali Patch Poultice to help me out should I get a pain attack. At home I use hot water bottles, which is not as easy when out and about, so the herbal Quali patch is very helpful when wanting to soothe aching muscles.

The Traumeel is a homeopathic cream that is said to help with acute traumatic injuries, inflammation and arthritis. I did not have to use it much on holiday but I have used it successfully to heal my heel bursitis and sore muscles from exercise.

The Magnesium that I pack to help with constipation is also a daily supplement to keep my magnesium levels up and my muscles supple. I notice immediately when I have not taken it for a few days. Some people need a lot more magnesium than others. It is always a good one to try when you suffer with muscle tightness or spasms.

 

 

Deep vein thrombosis

I think my approach to move as much as possible and drink plenty really helped. I did use the nasty flight socks, very tricky when you have very well developed calves.

Make sure you check in the shop that your calves will fit into them; the branded socks were larger than the Boots own brand.

 

 

Ear ache during descent

After looking online for some tips I got the flight ears, little earplugs that you put in before the descent commences. I think they worked ok; I did have a tiny little bit of problem but nothing that I could not cope with. I used saline nasal sprays I still had from another trip to ensure my nasal mucous membrane would be well moisturized. Overall I do think that it also depends on how the pilot lands the plane. A few years back a stewardess gave me hot cups on a flight where I had the worst ear ache ever, they really helped.

There really is nothing worse than earache.

I have stopped using normal chewing gum as nearly all of them have Aspartame – a nasty artificial sweetener – which causes quite a few side effects. If you want to use chewing gum to help equal out the pressure more easily get hold of Peppersmith they use xylitol in their chewing gum.

 

Planning timing for taking prescription medication

As mentioned in a previous post I take LDN for my AS because it keeps the pain away. I normally take it at night before bed.

For this trip, I had to plan how to change the timing of taking my medication so that I would not miss a dose but also get the time I take it to fit with the time zone or the destination.

I took my normal dose as close to my normal UK time night time which was half way through the 12hour flight. That worked well I had no unusual problems other than what normal people would experience when stuck on plane.

We arrived in Tokyo in the morning around 9am; it took us a while to get train tickets and find a plan on how to get to our hotel and stock up on more water. On the way to out accommodation we stopped off at a park, I wanted to try the recommendation of getting my feet on the grass for some grounding/ de-charging. Grounding has been reported to help with jetlag when traveling by plane. Interestingly quite a few athletes use grounding sheets on their beds overnight to aid recovery. Unfortunately it looks like many parks in Tokyo do not have grassland areas. So I just got a nice dose of Vit D from the lovely sun that was there to stay for the whole holiday.

 

 

Head ache

On this Japan trip I managed to avoid head aches but I was prepared, the only actual medication other than LDN I took with me was Aspirins, just in case. Pain meds are not always easily obtained when traveling. Also – be especially careful of what medication you bring to Japan! Their customs rules are extremely strict, so you could end up with a very hefty fine for what you may consider over the counter medication!

 

 

Time zone adjustment/ jet lag

Later at the hotel we made sure we would stay up as long as possible to get back on track with the normal bed time. I used my Philips goLITE, a compact energy daylight lamp that has 100000LUX and is usually used during winter to give the body the impression of a bright summer day. It can help with seasonal affective disorder, also known as winter depression. I used it to help my body  understand that it is still day time which helped re-set my body clock to Tokyo time.

 

 

Catching cold or flu viruses

On top of the already mentioned oregano P73 and the Citricidal I also took high doses of vitamin C powder several times during the holiday, usually 1 teaspoon at a time with water. In the first two days and then every time I felt that I might have something like a sore throat coming on or when have been out and about on busy tubes.

If you normally use antibacterial hand gels, you should consider the Orega Spray instead, it is natural and much more powerful. Many bacteria and viruses do not get killed with chemical antibacterial agents and they are also harmful to your health when you absorb the compounds through your skin.

I am a living example that you can absorb anything through your skin and make yourself sick. I am allergic to licorice, it makes my potassium levels drop so severely that I get horrendous leg pains that drive me insane. I had some mosquito bites once and did not have the magic Prrikweg in the house, so I used another spray I found in my draw – incidentally it contained licorice which I didn’t know until my legs started hurting. Previously I had only experience that licorice problem from ingestion not from skin absorption!

More information on Triclosan and other chemicals you may want to avoid.

 

 

Avoiding food born parasites and food poisoning

Being in the land of raw fish/ sushi called for some extra precautions. I had experienced severe food poisoning before and intended to avoid a repeat at all cost. Because I have done quite a bit of studying on Parasites and digestive infections I was very aware that prevention would be far easier than to deal with an infection or a parasite later on. I do love sushi and intended to eat it as it is as unprocessed as it can get when it comes to food.

Incidentally, Tokyo is actually home to a parasite museum! I didn’t manage to go as it was holiday season, but for those of you who are interested, their webpage is here.

Before every meal I would take 2 charcoal capsules and 1 AP MagAyush Herbs.Japanese_food_breakfast

The Charcoal can bind any toxic material when consuming food and help with acute food poisoning, vomiting, diarrhoea, etc.

The AP Mag is a natural anti parasitic which can help kill anything that is coming in with the food you eat. In my case visiting Japan I was particularly concerned about possibly catching a fish worm egg infection.

Healthy and vital people do not always have to catch a parasite infection even if they ingest a worm egg or similar. I have previously highlighted the importance of stomach acid; this is one situation where lack of stomach acid is a problem. Stomach acid is meant to kill any bacteria and other unwanted guest that we take in for our food.

 

 

Avoiding continuous constipation

I took plenty of Magnesium supplement with me as Magnesium in high doses has a natural laxative effect and can help clear you out if you have constipation that does not go way after a couple of days. The same as it is not good to take chemical laxative it is not good to be continuously constipated. We should pass stool every day at least once and feel fully evacuated to avoid re-absorbing the toxic waste.

 

 

Food quality during journey

When you have established a way of eating that keeps healthy and full of energy you wouldn’t want to take a gamble when traveling.

I always pack plenty of fresh food for initial journey and dry natural foods for emergencies when it is tough to find something suitable when out and about.

 

 

Japanese_food_breakfast_buffet

My travel foods:

  • Boiled eggs
  • bacon egg nests
  • Meatzza
  • Cut vegetables
  • Apples
  • Home made muffins
  • Mixed: nuts, seeds, cocoa nibs, goji berries
  • Lindt 90% chocolate
  • Jerky
  • Coconut oil for quick energy on the go

Most of these are part of the Breakfast list I have previously made available here. Or go straight to the download here.

 

 

Food options and quality in destination country

It is useful to thoroughly research what the food is like at the destination country, in this case Tokyo, Japan. It was important to me to know what gluten free foods are available widely and whether there a traditional meals that do not contain sugar or gluten. I also researched translated cards that I could show the staff in restaurants to let them know my food sensitivities.

My research had shown that they put gluten into many many products even into soy sauce and wasabi. That had me worried since I had not eaten gluten in several years.

I wasn’t keen on finding out how my body would react to gluten. To avoid making myself ill by unknowingly eating gluten, I took Enzymedica GlutenEase with every meal that had soy sauce or any other foods that were not guaranteed 100% gluten free.

With Japan we have the added complication that it is not easy to read labels in the supermarket or explain our food intolerance in the restaurant. So I erred on the side of caution by ordering food that was natural and un-processed like Shabu Shabu, Yakiniku, Sashimi and Sushi.

Japanese_food_Yakiniku_style

 

 

Basic supplements

I also used a basic supplement regime of a BetterYou MultiVit and Bio-Kult probiotics that can be stored at room temperature. When we travel, we are bound to come in contact with many new bacteria and viruses it is essential to keep your body and the immune system supported with everything it needs.

 

 

 

The full list of products I would take on a trip:

Philips goLITE When you feel jet lagged this gives you a natural energy lift and can help reset your body clock to the new time zone. It is small in size, rechargeable, come with storage case and international adapters
Vitamin C powder Taking vitamin C at the first sign of a cold or the flu may keep the illness from fully developing, and you’ll probably recover faster. It is a powerful immunity booster, and antioxidant.
BetterYou – MultiVit Convenient size with sublingual absorption to deliver its 14 essential nutrients straight into your bloodstream. Contains the full spectrum of vital B vitamins including folic acid. Combined with A, C, D, K1 and key minerals, MultiVit supports both your energy levels and your immune system.
Bio-Kult – probiotics Multi-strain probiotic containing 14 strains of live bacteria for everyday use. Can be stored at room temperature and has a 2 year shelf life. Gluten free and suitable for vegetarians. To support gut health and composition of gut flora.
Enzymedica – GlutenEase GlutenEase offers those who suffer with such intolerance assistance in digestion and assimilation of the offending proteins. GlutenEase is not formulated to prevent celiac symptoms.
VSM – Prrrikweg gel Use the homeopathic Prrrikweg gel to soothe insect and jellyfish bites.
Higher Nature – Citricida Liquid Grapefruit seed extract Citricidal Liquid Grapefruit seed extract is said to have antibacterial, antiviral, and anti fungal properties. It can help avoid catching viruses, traveller’s diarrhoea, picking up water born parasites and food poisoning.
Sea Salt Use in water for its mineral content and take to restaurants so you don’t have to use table salt that has been stripped of minerals.
American Herbs & Spices – Oreganol P73 Anti fungal, bacterial and parasitic properties.
Ayush Herbs Inc – AP Mag AP Mag is a great asset for the international traveler’s kit to support and maintain gastrointestinal health with its natural anti-parasitic ingredients.
Traumeel® S Ointment Can relieve musculoskeletal conditions such as pain and inflammation in the back, neck, knee, foot, wrist and other joints.
Quali Patch Poultice The patch has a unique ancient Chinese herbal composition that provides a warming effect that is long-lasting and can easy muscle pain.
Together – Natural Marine Magnesium Magnesium is useful for muscle relaxation and managing travel constipation naturally.
Charcoal Capsules Activated charcoal is a reliable remedy for detoxification, digestion issues, gas, bloating. Take it when you eat out at restaurants or eat low quality foods like processed junk foods to bind negative compounds. Minimise the toxic effects of drinking alcohol. Can be helpful for jet lag and travel stress.
Flight ears Air pressure regulating ear plugs. These are cheap, reusable ear plugs available at airports and in many pharmacies. These ear plugs slow the rate of air pressure change on the eardrum.
Flight socks Flight Socks can help reduce the risks of flight related deep vein thrombosis. Prevents swollen ankles and leg discomfort. For flights and long journeys.
Peppersmith – chewing gum  Natural chewing gum, no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives, no aspartame. This can also help relieve ear ache during air travel.
Weleda – Saline nasal sprays Rhinodoron spray has cleaning and soothing effects, and contains moisturising aloe vera. Rhinodoron helps break down and clear the crusty covering inside a congested nose that hinders breathing. Clear airways can also help with air travel induced ear ache. Moist nasal mucus membranes help prevent viruses and bacteria to enter the body.
elete Electrolytes Intense work or exercise in the heat and serious illness can quickly lead to dehydration. Drinking lots of fluid with electrolytes can prevent it. More info
Antihistamines Antihistamines are a type of medicine often used to treat a number of allergic health conditions. These include: hay fever, allergic rhinitis – inflammation of the nose caused by an allergic reaction to substances, allergic skin conditions such as hives, allergic conjunctivitis – inflammation of the eyes.
American Herbs & Spices – Orega Spray Orega Spray is the only completely natural, edible, multipurpose spray. With hundreds of uses it is the ideal: Vegetable wash, Air cleanser, Hand cleaner, Toothbrush spray, Food cleaner, Kitchen and bathroom cleaner, Insect repellant, Body or foot deodorant, Nursery spray, Public disinfectant, Breath freshener. Always take Orega Spray with you.
Organic sun cream I have used Green people in the past. Also check EWG’s sunscreen guide 2013, 2014 will come soon.
Plasters and bandages For any minor cuts, grazes or blisters.
Pocket Tissues Always good to have.
Biona Coconut oil Use on dry skin, chafing or as quick energy. Coconut oil has antibacterial and fungal properties.
Arnica Cream Apply to bruises, other benefits including pain relief from muscle pains, joint pains, sprains, strains, superficial phlebitis, swelling, and even from the inflammation caused by an insect bite.
Aspirin Often used as an analgesic to relieve minor aches and pains, as an antipyretic to reduce fever, and as an anti-inflammatory medication. The active ingredient of Aspirin was first discovered from the bark of the willow tree.
Nail kit with scissors and tweezers Always good to have scissors and tweezers which are good for removing any splinters.

 

 

I hope you found my little guide on what I took to support my health on holiday useful. Bear in mind that this is by no means exhaustive but based on what I wanted to address on my holiday to Japan. Other exotic destinations may need additional products to address special situations that may present themselves. Feel free to get in touch with any questions.

I highly recommend to run a full parasite, bacteria and fungals GI screen if you suspect that you have caught an infection whilst traveling. You can check if your symptoms link to a parasite infection here.

Click on the link below to complete the online questionnaire in order to determine whether you have any pathogenic overgrowths (Parasites, Fungus, Bacteria).

Complete the questionnaire

Should your test indicate a high likelihood of an infection, let me know. I can help you get hold of the test and walk you through the process as well as the possible protocol you may need to run to address the infection/s.

I know it is not easy because I have been through the whole process myself but it is worth it when you get your quality of life back.

Happy healthy traveling!

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