While traveling often requires a healthy dose of human contact, shared surfaces and germs abound. No one has time to fall prey to illness and discomfort on vacation. With that said, you may not have your regular medicine cabinet of go-to remedies nearby — luckily, there are countless natural solutions to common complaints.
Finding a natural remedy can often be easier than running to a nearby pharmacy. Think of all the times you suddenly had a headache in a restaurant or uncomfortable stomach in transit. While one solution could be to load up on medication for all possible ailments in your carry-on, another is to seek out nearby and natural solutions.
First and foremost, aloe vera is one of those natural remedies that also happens to be trending, meaning you can find it easily. The healing, soothing and cleansing properties of aloe help improve ailments both inside and outside the body. If you get a sunburn or blemish, aloe vera can help. If you feel your gastrointestinal tract is a bit off, some aloe vera water can ease pain, improve digestion and liver and kidney function. The anti-inflammatory components of aloe help balance acidity and calm nervous stomachs. Read more about its benefits here and find versatile products online that can do a few jobs at once.
If you’re feeling off, like your immune system may be down or you need a natural defense that can also help ease stress and give you a natural boost, antioxidants can help. Your antioxidants help protect your body’s cells from oxidation damage and with circulation, promoting healthy tissue. This is all to say, just like with Vitamin C (in oranges) and Vitamin E (in aloe vera), antioxidant-enriched food can help you take on the day, no matter where you are. A green juice with antioxidants or fresh berries can do the trick, just be sure to have a healthy dose before, during and after your trip to keep your body running efficiently and smoothly, without all the added sugar. Raspberries, kale, dark chocolate and blueberries are all high in antioxidants, along with this list. Order a few for breakfast while vacationing, or pack snacks to take with you while sightseeing.
Apple Cider Vinegar
One remedy a little tougher to swallow: apple cider vinegar. ACV has been known for centuries as a cure-all for ailments, including infection prevention, improves digestion, relieves arthritis pain and helps remove toxins from the body. At home, you can mix a tablespoon in your water in the morning to dilute the taste, or mix it in juices and smoothies. Take some on the go in a small travel-sized container so you can keep up with the healthy routine while traveling.
More than just a spicy pepper seasoning, cayenne has a slew of body-balancing benefits. While it can be a difficult flavor for anyone averse to spice, cayenne can clear sinus congestion, improve digestion and even speed metabolism — not necessarily a remedy for ailments, but a dash to lemon water in the morning can kick-start your system and help you stay light and active, even while dining on heavy rich dishes abroad. Even topically used, cayenne can help ease minor muscle discomfort if lightly massaged into the skin, just be sure to wash your hands before touching your eyes.
Another easy find, chamomile is a great ingredient found in tea that can ease flu-like symptoms, aches, pains and inflammation. For serious pain and illness, chamomile can only do so much and you may actually need medication or to see a doctor, but in a pinch, order a few organic chamomile teas to help ease discomfort.
Another friend of the immune and digestive systems, cinnamon is an essential oil distilled from bark and leaves. Used for centuries, cinnamon oil has been known to ease sore muscles, boost circulation, fight off infection and work with your body’s digestive system.
Cranberry juice can be found in most bars and restaurants while traveling, even if it’s from concentrate. The benefits of cranberry are almost instant when it comes to killing bacteria in your digestive system and urinary tract. Drink a few glasses for two or three days and you can prevent kidney stones, kill germs and stop bladder infections.
Earl Grey Tea
The essential oil bergamot is found in Earl Grey tea. It can help clear skin and detox the body. Bergamot comes from a citrus plant and is often found to relieve stress, so try to drink a cup or two after a day of eating sugar and drinking alcohol, or have a cup mid-afternoon during an especially hectic day.
Your body needs omega fatty acids to help prevent inflammation and promote heart health. No more than once a week, eat omega-oil rich fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel.
If you feel like you need a mood adjustment or pick-me-up, lemon is an easy go-to remedy. Fresh lemons, juice and oil can all aid in digestion and respiratory function, while the scent will help elevate stress.
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