I’ve always had the travel bug but I like to avoid picking up bugs on my travels! I love nothing more than a new adventure; I’ve done a fair amount of exploring over the years. When the kids came along, long distance trips got less frequent but I feel I’ve passed on the spirit of adventure. In two weeks I’m going to find out! Over Easter we’re taking a three-week trip to Nepal.
We’ll be visiting Chitwan wildlife reserve, Pokhara - a lakeside town in the foothills of the Annapurna range and the Kathmandu Valley. My sister is based there so we’ll have a local guide. I’ve been to Nepal only once before, 15 years ago when I was free and single. Although I’ve some idea what to expect, it’s a different story traveling as a mum with a 10 and 8 year old. In order to keep everyone healthy and well, I’m packing a thorough first aid kit. Here’s my essential list for travelling as a family (somewhat off the beaten track) in Asia.
Homeopathic Jet Lag remedy – I’m going to make one up with a few remedies combined but generally Arnica 200 is recommended for after a long haul trip to help the whole body adjust.
Plenty of fluids for the plane; keep everyone well hydrated. I know you get drinks on board but I get very thirsty on long haul flights. I’ll be buying some large bottles of mineral water once we’ve cleared security.
The Australian Bush Flower Travel Essence can also help the circadian rhythms to adapt and overcome jetlag.
Tea tree and Lavender essential oils for bites, stings, cuts or sunburn (Lavender).
Hypercal ointment for cuts, grazes and injuries (I prefer ointment to cream as it absorbs quicker). Weleda do a great one.
Arnica Cream for sore muscles, we may be we doing a lot of walking and hiking.
Aloe Vera Gel for after-sun, sunburn and other skin irritations.
A standard kit with plasters, bandages, cotton swabs etc.
A packet of Dioralyte – rehydration salts.
A good strong sunscreen, I think I’ll go for Jason Sun Family Suncreeen SPF 45
Helios Travellers Kit - This contains 36 common homeopathic remedies for the traveler including Apis (for stings and bites), Nux Vomica (for indigestion/heartburn) and Cocculus for travel sickness.
Helios First Aid kit – I’ve decided to invest in this kit also as it has a great selection in the 200th strength which can be necessary in acute situations. The kit includes Ars 200 which is the number one remedy for ‘Dehli belly’, food poisoning or vomiting/diarrhea. Both kits come with a handy booklet but I’ll also bring a copy of Miranda Castro – Complete Homeopathy Book.
Grapefruit seed extract – is a strong anti bacterial and can be used as a preventative when traveling in remote places where risk of bugs or hepatitis is high. It can also be used to treat acute tummy bugs. Use sparingly – just one or two drops diluted in glass of water or juice.
Oregano oil – another anti-bacterial and great general remedy for throat infection or bugs generally. I’m aware Kathmandu is very polluted and dusty so throat problems/coughs may be an issue.
Natural eye drops, Vogel do a good one – for the same reason as above.
Beta Glucans: High in antoxidants and immune boosting powers, these are anti-bacterial and fight viruses and bad tummy bugs.
Good probiotics – my travel motto is “strengthen and protect the GUT and that will protect the rest”.
Sunhats and long sleeved cotton tops.
I’m also packing the common homeopathic remedies that my kids benefit from in daily life. For example if my son gets a bad cough, Drosera is a great remedy for him, so I make sure to have those old reliables on board.
The most common problem in Nepal and India is parasites such as worms, giardia and tummy bugs generally. To protect ourselves I'm using Beta Glucans and a specific probiotic for fighting bacteria and bugs called Saccharomyces Boulardii. Beta Glucans are natural antioxidants and antibacterials that can be taken to fight viruses such as flu but also unpleasnt foreign bacteria and bugs. Adults and children can take one daily as a preventative. The manager of The Health Store, Tallaght reliably informs me that the probiotic Saccharomyces Boulardii is most effective in these bugs so we're bringing those too. Viridian do a 30 capsule bottle for €20.95.
The areas we are travelling to are not malarial risk areas but I’ll still be vigilant about long sleeved tops, particularly from dusk to dawn. We’ll be taking the usual precautions of course, drinking bottled water and taking care not to eat unwashed fruit and veg. Hot cooked food is best in these countries.
I’m planning for a fantastic adventure, well protected and well prepared to deal with any health issues that come out way. I hope you also find these tips useful for any travel you may be taking with your nearest and dearest. Bon Voyage!
Siobhán Daffy runs Natural Rhythms Homeopathy and Holistic Healing from Alethea Centre, Parkwest Dublin 12. She works a lot with children and families interested in a natural approach to building health and wellbeing.