25 Feb Au Naturale: 9 Travel Apothecary Essentials
Sore muscles. Sunburn. Montezuma’s Revenge. Traveling comes with its own set of hazards. And while we forever stan bandages, antibiotic ointment and over-the-counter pain reliever, our med kits wouldn’t be complete without these travel-friendly natural remedies.
(Author’s note: These products are our tried and trues, but don’t just take our word for it. Ask your doctor before starting any kind of treatment.)
There’s a reason ginger tops our list: this knobby root packs a powerful punch. Ginger relieves gas and calms the stomach spasms that come with indigestion. It’s even been shown to reduce motion sickness better than Dramamine. Whether taken as a drink, chew, pill or powder, ginger is great for nausea and digestion, migraines, aches and pains and even congestion.
These motion sickness relief bands look like a cross between every bar wristband you’ve ever seen and those Timex watches you wore in middle school. These adjustable bands you wear on both wrists applies acupressure proven to help relieve nausea and vomiting. This drug-free, non-drowsy solution is so clutch: perfect for cruises, flights, road trips, even pregnancy-related morning sickness (which is a trip on its own).
Charcoal is having a *moment* in the beauty world, but did you know it’s amazing for so much more than your face? As a supplement, it absorbs chemicals in the GI tract, making it excellent for relieving stomach bugs, gas, bloating, diarrhea (traveler’s or otherwise), gluten exposure and food poisoning. Just make sure you’re staying hydrated while you’re taking it.
Probiotics may be the single biggest game changer we’ve come across. Let’s start with the basics: scientists now know that your body’s immune system launches its fight against what makes you sick in the digestive tract, specifically through gut flora (the bacteria in the gut). Bad bacteria throw this delicate balance of gut flora off. And this is where the probiotics come in, starting a probiotic regime about a week before you travel preps your digestive system for success. Find one that’s room temperature stable to make transporting easier and continue taking them until your trip is over. It’s like a bullet-proof vest for your stomach.
In gel or cream form, arnica flowers stimulate circulation, are antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It may help relieve sore muscles, strains and sprains, bruises and bumps. It’s a must-pack for our travel first aid kit.
So much of this list contains multitaskers, but our favorite–by far–is aloe vera. Used medicinally since at least 300 B.C. and hailed by both Native Americans for its healing properties, aloe vera contains enzymes, steroids, vitamins and minerals, tannins and antibiotic substances. Pure aloe juice works wonders for digestion issues, including heartburn. The gel soothes all kinds of burns, including sunburns and heat burns.
Witch hazel is a natural astringent with potent anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antiviral properties. It’s excellent for treating bug bites and minor bleeding.
Jet-lagged after hours on a cramped plane? Way too much time in a crowded airport? Lavender essential oil has you covered. A mainstay of ancient Greek and Roman bath culture, a few drops of lavender oil in a on or near you is sure to ease tension and help you relax. The ancients were on to something; studies show lavender has sedative properties. Try putting a few drops on a tissue before tucking it into your pillow, or gently massaging into your temples for a restful night sleep. Lavender’s also good in small doses to help heal burns, minor wounds and even insect bites.
If the lavender oil doesn’t tame your insomnia, melatonin may do the trick. Melatonin is a natural hormone supplement that assists with sleep. Your brain naturally produces it to tell your body when it’s time to hit the hay. When traveling, taking the minimum dose about a half hour before bed is our go-to way to reset our bodies before jet-lag has a chance to ruin our plans.
Whether you’re an eco-maniac or just looking for some new products to ease the unpleasant parts of traveling, we hope you find something that works for you!