Summertime is here! Before you head off to your summer destination, you can plan ahead with some help from nature. Don’t let minor stings and aches spoil your travel fun! Put together a natural first aid kit so you are prepared for the unexpected.
When traveling, it’s always easier to have things close by and avoid the emergency scramble to find things and/or communicate your needs in a foreign language. All it takes is a few trips to an organic store and a pharmacy to take care of the essentials.
So what are some emergency essentials to keep on hand? The Belgian Red Cross has a First Aid kit available for around 20 euros and contains all the basics including bandages, an emergency thermal wrap, etc. In addition, here are some natural remedies (in alphabetical order) to get you started.
Arnica – a tube in gel or cream form of this is useful for any trauma – but do not use on open wounds. Arnica also comes in oil form which you can use on sore and strained muscles. Try arnica in homeopathic form for internal use to minimize trauma.
Aloe Vera – the gel of this plant is great for sunburns and skin irritations.
Calendula – available in many forms including cream, this plant has soothing, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties often used for healing wounds and burns. Many baby creams and oils contain calendula to help skin irritations.
Charcoal – look for this at a bio store and get the activated charcoal variety. This is a highly absorbent powder that is great for stomach ailments including diarrhea. It comes in powder, granular or capsule form (easiest when traveling).
Clay – Bring along a tube of ready-to-use green clay paste made from raw illite clay which can be used for clay packs and compresses in case of bone or muscle damage.
Essential oil-based insect repellant – make your own or buy one of the ready-prepared mixes that include essential oils like lemongrass, peppermint, cedar, geranium, or rosemary.
Natural eye drops made from euphrasia are useful for long flights. They come in handy, single-use tubes.
Ginger – with anti-spasmodic properties, ginger capsules are especially useful for motion sickness. Keep on hand for car or sea sickness. Another easy way to bring it with you is in tea bag form. You can also try specially formulated wrist bands that use acupressure to soothe stomach upsets.
Homeopathic remedies – head over to a specialist pharmacy like Debrus-Tensi near Montgomery for some tubes to help with common problems like runny nose, fever, stings, and overindulgence. You can also get homeopathic bug bite ointments.
Oregano – another plant with anti-bacterial properties that comes in capsule form, oregano is useful at the onset of a cold or sore throat. Pranarom has a whole line of essential oil formulas that come in capsule or spray form for easy transport and storage.
Other essential oils that come in handy include lavender and tea tree oil. Lavender is easy to use directly on the skin (test a small area first to ensure there are no allergies) and helps with burns and wounds. It’s also good for relaxing and for easing headaches. Both lavender and tea tree take the swelling and itch out of mosquito bites. Tea tree has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Rescue Remedy - Bach flower remedies for calming all kinds of emotions like anger, grief, and fear are also handy to have. There is also a specific night time formula to help with sleeplessness.
Keep all of the above in a safe place – you can get creative and store them all in a recycled cookie tin or lunch box, and remember to include some padding for the glass bottles so the contents stay safe for traveling.