Custom Search

February 15, 2009

First Aid for Travellers

I am one of those people who gets sick even just at the thought of travel. This is due to Vata, the dosha which reacts badly to change, movement and lack of routine. There are lots of things you can do to minimise these aspects of travel, like eating and sleeping at regular times, travelling more slowly and spending more time in one spot.

You can also take a few herbs and essential oils to assist you in the case of minor illnesses. What you choose depend on what illnesses you personally tend towards and the illnessess associated with the place in which you are travelling. Here are my favourites:
  • Nutmeg (as freshly grated as possible)
  • triphla
  • lavender oil
  • ginger powder
  • fennel seeds
  • 1 part rock salt mixed with 8 parts grated jaggary sugar
I buy a whole bunch of little snap lock plastic bags for storage. Now here's what you can use this first aid for:

Constipation is so common when travelling due to Vata aggravation and extravagant feasting. If you are prone to constipation you could almost take triphla every day whilst travelling for a month as a general digestive aid. 1/2 -1 teaspoon in warm water before bed.

Diarrhea is especially common is less developed countries. If it is a simple case of food poisining let it run it's course. If after three days you still have diarrhea take 1-2 tspns of nutmeg in warm water before eating something soupy and go and see a doctor. See also dehydration.

Burns and bites are best treated topically with lavender oil. Take pitta reducing foods.

Travel sickness responds well to ginger. Take half a teaspoon of ginger powder in hot water before travelling. Take some more along the way for long trips. Feeling hungry or too full exacerbates travel sickness.

Dehydration often results from sun, wind, exercise, diarrhea or if water supply is not reliable. Dissolve three teaspoons of the salt/sugar mix with 2 tspns of lime juice in half a litre of hot water. Sip constantly. You can use less lime in case of high Pitta. Water that rice has been cooked in or green coconut water both make effective electrolyte drinks for rehydration too, and may better for pitta.

Headaches can be treated topically by smearing a paste of ginger powder and water on the forehead and resting in a cool dark room. Try some lavender oil on the temples. See also dehydration.

Indigestion from over eating, unusual food or bad food combining can be helped by drinking hot water with a pinch of ginger, chewing fennel seeds after meals or in stronger cases taking triphla (as for constipation).

Insomnia is common due to jetlag or lack of routine. It can be helped by taking 1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg in hot milk before bed (not to be used in case of constipation). Try to regulate your sleeping patterns and try some deep breathing or pose of the child daily. Lavender oil is a calming scent.

Above all get adequate rest whilst you are travelling. Avoid over eating and try to keep some simple routine in you day to day life. Enjoy!

No comments: