Written by Lyne Desforges, B.Ed., R.H.N.
I love travelling and exploring the world at large. Part of the pleasure comes from trying out new foods and experiencing new cultures. Many of my past travels have involved an active component (hiking, cycling, snowshoeing, etc.) so there is no room for sickness. In order to stay strong, I make sure to stay hydrated, maintain a good sleep routine, limit my alcohol intake, and eat healthy as much as possible.
I also make sure to pack my travel health kit to ensure I have what I need whenever I need it. Here are my recommendations for your travel health kit:
Betaine HCl & Digestive Enzymes
BioDigest by BioClinic contains a combo of Betaine HCl and Digestive Enzymes. Betaine HCl will ensure you have enough stomach acid to destroy any unwanted pathogens that enter your digestive system. The digestive enzymes will help break down food and facilitate digestion. Since your diet may be slightly different that your usual fare, this will support your digestive system and ensure you still get all the nutrients you need for optimal health. Usually one tablet at every meal does the trick.
Note: our stomach acid and digestive enzymes both naturally decrease in our bodies as we age so it is a good thing to take all the time.
I love MeloMatrix by Cyto-Matrix because it is a liquid form of melatonin and it can be taken sublingually (under the tongue). Sleeping in a different bed or travelling through various time zones means that sleep may be disrupted. Taking melatonin 30 minutes before bedtime will help your body reset its circadian rhythm.
Note: You should take it for a couple of weeks after you arrive in your destination, and for a couple of weeks after you return home.
I take two kinds while travelling. First a multi-strain probiotic (such as Multi-Strain 50 by Cyto-Matrix). Since 70% of your immune system is in your gut, ensuring a good gut bacterial balance means better health.
The second one is saccharomyces boulardii and is very specific to travelling. I use Saccharo-B by Cyto-Matrix. This latest one is not a bacteria but a non-pathogenic yeast. It has been proven to help prevent traveller’s diarrhea or help deal with it if it happens.
Note: Start taking both of these a week or two before leaving and throughout the trip to ensure optimal gut health.
Chewable Ginger Tablets
If you or any of your family members suffer from motion sickness or nausea, having a few ginger tablets on hand may be all you need to help settle your stomach. As a bonus, ginger is a great anti-microbial nutrient plus it can help with digestion. Take as needed.
Note: for anti-microbial power, you could also bring some Oregano oil.
If everything else fails and you somehow ended up with an unwanted pathogen that is making you ill, then you may want to try activated charcoal. Activated charcoal can soak up many times its weight and has been used for poisoning. So whatever toxin made it in your digestive track, the charcoal will extract it and soak it up and it will help you eliminate it. This is a great natural defense against any food poisoning.
Note: Make sure to take a glass of pure filtered water every time you take a capsule.
Magnesium is an essential supplement for any active holiday. It will help relax muscles and reduce cramping. It can help with sleep and with regularity. I usually take one to two capsules in the evening.
Note: If your bowels don’t enjoy travelling, bring along some flaxseeds and/or chia seeds and add those regularly to whatever you are eating. The extra fibre should help.
Essential Oils by DoTerra
Many essential oils have great anti-microbial properties. One of my favourites is an oil blend called OnGuard Touch by DoTerra. It contains a combo of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary essential oils, in a fractionated coconut oil. Use this oil as an alternative to hand sanitizers.
Another favourite is an oil blend called Easy Air. It contains Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Tea tree, Lemon, Cardamon, Ravintsara, Ravensara, and Laurus Nobilis essential oils. I used this one a lot when we were cycling on busy roads in Southeast Asia. Take a few drops in your hands, then breathe in the oils deeply to clear and detoxify your lungs.
We carry many of these supplements and essential oils in our clinic. Feel free to come by to ask questions and find out more. If you mention this blog, you get a 10% discount on the supplements mentioned.