Alternative Medicine and Travel

by | Feb 15, 2022 | Global | 1 comment

I’d like to think I can handle just about anything that comes up when I’m traveling with a fistful of supplies stowed away that TSA won’t quibble with.

The fun part comes in when you indulge in some pre-trip prep on yourself and let go of trying to think of every last item to pack.  If you don’t already know what a good massage feels like, find out. Or visit a good chiropractor, osteopath or Craniosacral therapist.  Traveling out of the country can be long and tedious.  Some consider it an endurance sport.  So be kind to yourself before you go.

The other reason I suggest these as part of a pre-trip plan is that you will know how to duplicate the experience at your destination.  If you know what kind of massage works for you, you will know to opt-out of that Rolfing session if you get a crick in your neck on the plane and you prefer a light touch.

Consider Homeopathy

Homeopathy is another consideration.  I must admit, I was less than convinced when I was first introduced to it. It was my dog that verified it for me when he came to me with a histamine reaction to his bee eating habit.  I gave him Apis, which is a reedy against bee stings.  He stopped suffering almost immediately.  It happened a second time with the same result.

I can’t say it stopped him from eating the bees, but it did stop the labored breathing.  The vet was unimpressed but I decided to explore more. I found Arnica. Arnica in homeopathic form is my go-to for sore muscles, bruising or sprains and I don’t leave home without it.

Probiotics are very popular right now.  They are especially good to have on hand if you have a history of antibiotic use or if antibiotics are your favorite option in a pinch. Be sure you get a good one and research which ones are best for travel. Many of them require refrigeration.

Careful With the Caffeine

Yogurt...go for it Sara Cervera
Yogurt…go for it Sara Cervera

Yogurt is a possibility, but again, it should be of good quality. Otherwise, it could introduce more of the nasty bacteria with fruit syrup than of the beneficial ones….no matter how they advertise it.

It’s tempting to load up on coffee when crossing time zones.  Jet lag is no fun and dealing with it can be confusing.  There is a lot of information out there, but some of my favorite remedies include essential oils…again.

I think it’s because they make me feel nurtured and somewhat indulgent at the same time.

Peppermint oil is great for perking up and if you have a groggy ‘please-hit-the-snooze-button’ kind of headache after little sleep.  It also helps with digestion. Eucalyptus is uplifting after spending who knows how many hours breathing canned air.

Sage Advice

Clary sage is a natural euphoric so even if you feel you must stumble through that first day of sightseeing or meetings, at least you’ll be happy. Lavender, chamomile oil and geranium are soothing and will help with sleep…great for skin too.

Oiling the human machine Jaron Whelan
Oiling the human-machine Jaron Whelan

Altitude is something to contend with here in the Ecuadorean Andes. It’s important to know whether this is an issue for you and what the symptoms are.

There is a lot of information about this online and I would recommend talking to your doctor if you have any health issues at all.

Altitude can compound the situation. There are also meds available to alleviate the problem.

Hydration is paramount and, here it is again, lavender oil can help with nausea and sleeplessness.

Chewing Coca Leaves

Interestingly, coca tea is recommended for altitude adjustment.  Some of us have wondered if this is actually legal.  It is.  Coca leaves have been consumed for centuries by local indigenous throughout the Andes. The leaves are chewed or can be brewed in a tea.  They don’t have much taste but the results are said to be profound.

It would take 800 pounds of coca leaves to make one kilo of cocaine. (I just looked that up.)  Unfortunately, the appetite for cocaine in developed countries has demonized an otherwise healthful plant and created a black market that has ruined lives to say the very least. Plants are powerful medicine. They are an amazing gift when you know how to use them.


Needless to say, I am not a medical doctor, and none of my personal experiences constitute giving medical advise. Always consult with a medical professional when looking for cures.

What have you found to be helpful? Are any of these herbal remedies useful in your new location?

by: Lezley Suleiman