Homoeopathic remedies can be extremely useful in helping us to adapt to change and cope with cope with jet lag symptoms and any anticipatory excitement and anxiety. There are also excellent remedies for first aid and the treatment of simple ailments and a compact travel kit takes up very little luggage space.
PREPARATION FOR THE TRIP
To help with adjustment to change start your jet lag remedies a few days before departure. Start a dose of Arsenicum 6c at this time as well and continue for the course of the trip or at least until settled at your destination. When travelling to areas where mosquitos are a problem, a regular dose of Ledum 6c is understood to reduce the incidence. It is important to note that remedies such as these, taken for their precautionary action, work best in low potency. Thinking that 30c or higher will be better can be counter productive.
Homoeopathic remedies and a sound knowledge of first aid and what to expect in the environs is an invaluable asset when travelling, especially if camping and trekking in isolated areas. Sometimes medical attention is too far away or entirely undesirable in foreign countries. Be very familiar with the use of your remedies and other supplies.
If you are going to travel into remote areas don’t skimp on your remedy kit, carefully read the following information and chose remedies to suit your individual needs. It is wise to ensure that your remedies are well labelled and accompanied by descriptive leaflets and the Owen Home Prescribing booklet.
Adjustment to change: Kali phos 6c is an excellent remedy for those of us who can become overstimulated with time changes, long flights and so on. Arsenicum 6c helps the body to adjust to change, physical, emotional and psychic. This includes adjusting to food, water and climate.When there are alterations to our usual routines, particularly affecting sleep and digestive function – Nux vomica.
Anxiety and fear: Anxiety and fear can be common reactions before the onset of a journey. Use the chosen remedy in the 30th potency and start it a few days before the journey. Acute fear and excitement – Aconite. Fear and apprehension with diarrhoea. Very talkative. Fears of heights, crowds, closed spaces etc – Argent nit. Quiet, subdued and trembling. Fear of flying and especially fear as the plane descends. Trembling, quiet and shut down – Gelsemium (also Borax).
Backache and discomfort: As well as reducing jet lag Arnica may help with the associated ‘bruised and beaten’ feeling. Bellis perennis relieves the discomfort of aching buttocks and soreness in the spine from extended periods of sitting during long flights.
Ear pain: Some people suffer from earache associated with air travel. It is very important to seek professional attention on arrival if the symptoms resolve only partially or recur. Initially the indicated remedy may need to be repeated frequently until some relief is experienced. For acute pain in the ears as the plane loses height – Pulsatilla. Screaming and inconsolable from irritability and pain – Chamomilla. For sudden onset of violent pain, especially if it is right sided – Belladonna.
Fluid retention and circulation: Nat mur 6c taken regularly during the flight can help balance fluid levels and reduce swollen ankles. Sluggish venous circulation is helped by Hamamelis, Pulsatilla, Sepia or Lachesis depending on your particular symptoms. Tissue salts Calc fluor 6x, Ferrum phos 6x, Mag phos 6x and Nat mur 6x help strengthen the veins. If possible start them a week or two before your trip.
Jet Lag: Start these remedies the day before the flight and take regularly during the flight, continuing afterwards until there are no more symptoms.Physical tiredness with aching muscles and limbs, ‘as if bruised and beaten’ – Arnica 30c. Kali phos – has a calming effect on the nervous system. Alternate with Arnica. Dizzy and stressed from loss of sleep – Cocculus. Radiation Remedy is a specific Bach Flower combination for jet lag and to minimise radiation effects. Use regularly during the flight and until the symptoms disappear. Add 10 drops to a bottle of spring water and sip it often during the flight. When finished, top it up from the drink fountain and add more Bach Flower Remedy. As well as giving you the flower remedy, this will help keep you hydrated – dehydration being a major component of jet lag. Also recommend Echinacea and extra Vitamin C.
Travel sickness: Whether from car, boat or air travel, travel sickness is a most unpleasant experience, especially for small children. Give the indicated remedy frequently, starting 1-2 hours before travel, depending on severity. If the usual reaction is very severe give 2-3 doses the day before travel. Gagging and retching. Headache with queasiness – Nux vomica. Giddy, nauseous and wants to lie down – Cocculus. Tabacum or Petroleum may suit you better.
Accidents, injuries and shock: Arnica is very important for bruising, trauma and shock. It is great to carry with you in case of an accident. Use immediately if there is an accident or injury and repeat as needed. Initially the dose may need to be much more often until the situation is under control. For fright and shock without injury use Aconite and repeat as needed. Abscesses and infected wounds – Hepar sulph. Any nerve damage, jammed fingers or toes, spinal injuries, splinters, puncture wounds, bites and stings – Hypericum. Take regularly if there are wounds which threaten infection. A daily dose of Ledum helps when travelling in mosquito infested areas and discourages sepsis of scratches in tropical climates.
Altitude adaptation: Ferrum met improves oxygen carrying capacity and reduces fatigue. For numbness and tingling with icy coldness of hands and feet – Aconite. Fear of falling and downward motion – Borax. Altitude headaches – Glonoine.
Bites and stings: It’s understood that you can modify body scent to deter insects by increasing garlic, Vitamin B1 (50mg twice daily for adults) and taking Caladium 6c and Ledum 6c each day may help. For insect and animal bites and stings take the appropriate nosode and additional Ledum. If there are shooting pains use Hypericum. Swelling and itching, especially bee and wasp – Apis. The allergic reaction can also be modified by homoeopathic Histamine. For secondary infections take Gunpowder and Pyrogen and continue for several weeks. Should a watery blister develop – Cantharis. Shock and collapse – Carbo veg.
Colds and flu: Anas barbariae 200c taken fortnightly may be of benefit if you are susceptible to colds and flu. First stages of colds and chills, especially after exposure to cold wind – Aconite. Colds that come on from changes in weather, burning throat, thirst and watery discharge – Arsenicum. Summer colds and slow onset flu, listless, heavy, drowsy. Classic “aches and pains flu” – Gelsemium.
Constipation: Stool large, dry and hard. Commonly needed for ‘travellers constipation’ – Bryonia. Bloated, windy, no desire – Lycopodium. Ineffectual urging, “ball” sensation – Sepia. Over-indulgence, ineffectual urging – Nux vomica. Bach Walnut for adjustment and sensitivity to changes. If haemorrhoids are a problem use tissue salts to improve elasticity and tone. Consider Nux vomica, Pulsatilla, Sulphur or Lachesis. If associated with back problems – Aesculus.
Cystitis: Drink plenty of water, eat extra vegetables, drink cranberry juice and avoid acid foods. Constant desire to urinate with burning and stinging, only a few drops pass – Cantharis. Constant desire with stinging pains and increased amount of urine – Apis. With high temperature – Belladonna. Burning between urination, worse from intercourse – Staphysagria.
Diarrhoea and stomach upset: First stages of stomach upsets and diarrhoea – Aconite. Food poisoning and stomach upsets that come on from changes in weather, food and water – Arsenicum. The effects of excesses such as too much rich food, coffee or alcohol or when alteration to routine causes stomach upset and constipation – Nux vomica. Symptoms caused by fear or a prolonged period of suspense – Argent nit. Severe cramps which cause doubling up – Colocynthis. Food poisoning and septic fevers, especially if other remedies fail – Pyrogen. To aid recovery and prevent recurrence – China, 2 or 3 times daily for 2-3 days. Acidophilus – helps restore normal function.
Earache see Ear Pain.
Exhausted and overextended: Exhaustion can be precipitated by over-exertion, diarrhoea, or over-exposure and it should be treated accordingly. Over-exertion, overtired, bed too hard, feels bruised and beaten – Arnica. Unfamiliar exercise and exposure, back pain – Bellis perennis. Muscular sprains and strains, chills – Rhus tox. Ligaments and tendons strain or damage – Ruta grav. Exhausted from dehydration or loss of fluids from sweating or diarrhoea – China, Phos acid or Ferrum phos.
Foot trauma: Bruised, painful and tired – Arnica. Swollen feet and ankles – Pulsatilla. Cracked heels – Ant crudum. Blisters – Hypericum or Cantharis and Calendula tincture or cream applied on a clean dressing and changed regularly. Tinea – Graphites or Thuja and apply Tea Tree oil or cream. Put a few drops of Tea Tree oil in your shoes or boots.
Sleeplessness: Aconite – sleepless with fear and excitement. Anxious, restless and worried. Coffea – sleepless from crowding of thoughts. Full of ideas and quick to act. Sleepless from joy. Nux vomica – from mental strain or over-indulgence in food, coffee etc. Bach Remedies and safe essential oils help relaxation.
Sunburn and sunstroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion: For burns use Cantharis, Causticum or Urtica, apply Hyperica or homoeopathic Burn cream or Hypericum Tincture if the skin is broken. The contents of a Vitamin E capsule promotes healing, reapply often. Severe heat headaches – Glonoine or Belladonna. Sunstroke is serious and may need urgent medical attention. For collapse – Carbo veg. Cramps, Cuprum met or Mag phos and gently massage muscles. Cramps, headaches and exhaustion often result from exertion in hot climate – give electrolyte replacement or a little salt and Rescue Remedy in clean water to help restore the fluid balance.
Thrush: This can be a problem in humid climates. Reduce sugar & yeast-based foods, wear cotton underwear & avoid using scented soap & other commercial products in the vaginal area. Creamy, bland or yellow/yellow-green discharge, often before period – Pulsatilla. Very offensive discharge with marked vaginal & vulval itching – Sepia. Clear, thick discharge, like the white of an egg. Worse mid cycle – Borax. Acidity and sour-smelling discharge – Nat Phos.
Trekking first aid: In addition to your homoeopathic remedy kit add the following supplies: Plasters, bandages, dressings etc. Sterile needles and syringes. One or two 10ml glass bottles and droppers. Euphrasia and Hypericum tinctures, Calendula cream, Burn cream and Rescue Remedy. Citronella oil or cream to repel insects. Lavender, Hypericum and Tea Tree oil or cream. Pack any aromatic substances separately to homoeopathics. Include acidophilus, electrolyte replacement, vitamin C and vitamin E capsules.
Don’t forget your Owen Homoeopathic Home Prescribing book and this leaflet. If travelling to remote areas we highly recommend The World Traveller’s Guide to Homoeopathy by Colin Lessell. You can email us or phone us for advice if you are unable to resolve a situation.
- Don’t drink local water or use ice cubes, treat water with iodine tablets if necessary.
- Take care to eat food hygienically prepared.
- Be careful in the sun.
- Protect against bites – with suitable clothing, mosquito netting and avoid infested areas.
- Take mosquito coils and repellents.
- Prepare adequately for the climate.
- Know your first aid and the local hazards.
- Advise consulates and local authorities if trekking or travelling into remote or war torn areas.