We all look forward to our holidays and time away from the stresses and strains of life. However, travelling itself or just a change of water, food or routine can sometimes play havoc with our health.
The good news is that nature always has our back in this respect; if you know what to pack there are a range of natural supplements which can help ensure you stay well.
Clinical Nutritionist Suzie Sawyer shares her five top choices to take on holiday, chosen from nature’s medicine cabinet.
Sleep peacefully with valerian
Sleep can often be disrupted when on holiday even if you haven’t travelled across time zones. The heat can impact how well we sleep. Or perhaps your holiday location might not provide the quiet retreat you were hoping for.
Help is at hand in the form of the herb valerian. Used for many hundreds of years as a traditional remedy for sleep disorders, it’s perfect and easy to pack in supplement form in your suitcase. Valerian works on one of our soothing neurotransmitters, GABA, to also help feelings of calm, and it doesn’t cause drowsiness the next day.
Probiotics to soothe digestion
Probiotics are the trillions off good bacteria that live in our digestive tract and are so very important for overall health. However, sometimes these guys get upset and imbalanced and then digestive issues can arise. This can often happen on holiday, sometimes in the form of unpleasant diarrhoea.
It’s certainly worth taking a course of probiotics in supplement form before holiday. Or alternatively, you can load up on probiotic-feeding foods such as garlic, ginger, asparagus, artichoke, green tea, and other fibrous vegetables.
However, do pack a particular probiotic called saccharomyces boulardii which is great for helping to ease traveller’s diarrhoea. It’s available in supplement form and can be taken long-term too.
Beat the bugs with vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of our key immune-boosting nutrients. Unfortunately, flights, travel stress, a little too much alcohol, and a new environment can often leave us more vulnerable to colds and infections. This is where vitamin C comes in.
It’s worth packing some effervescent vitamin C tablets and start taking them at the first sign of coughs and sneezes, repeating every few hours. The sooner you start taking it, the more effective it will be. Some people find their bowels become looser when using it which is perfectly normal. Vitamin C is quickly excreted from the body which is why it’s best to take it regularly throughout the day.
Also load up on plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, all of which contain some Vitamin C.
Calming Aloe vera for sunburn
Unfortunately, we can often be too enthusiastic when it comes to sunbathing. Plus, pesky mosquitos can often be an annoyance. This is where soothing aloe vera gel comes to the rescue.
Another remedy that’s been used for centuries, aloe vera is the perfect antidote for any skin issues. It can also help with dandruff and an itchy scalp. Even better, Cleopatra used to call aloe vera ‘The Elixir of Youth’ . She had amazing skin which she attributed to using aloe vera. So, you may come back from holiday looking 10 years younger too!
Banish bacteria with tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is one of those remedies that has such a range of uses, it really needs to find its way into your suitcase.
Tea tree is a natural antibacterial agent so you can disinfect anything with it; you can spray it around you on planes or public transport if people are coughing and sneezing or onto any cuts, scrapes, bruises or fungal infections …. the list goes on!
Avoid spraying down the throat or into the ears, but other than that it’s pretty safe to use.
With a little extra precaution, and a few natural remedies, you can have a trouble-free vacation!
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