My younger brother keeps what you would call an active travel schedule. In the last few months he’s been to: England, Russia, Italy, Poland, Brazil, South Africa, China, Malaysia, Switzerland, Canada and several points around the U.S. And I’m probably forgetting a few. As chief of staff of one of the heads of a major investment bank, the guy is no slouch when it comes to globetrotting. Luckily, he’s constitutionally equipped to hard travel. He’s also one of those people who can actually operate on 4 hours of sleep for days at a time, which is a genetic inheritance that we do not share. Another trait that predisposes him to being a good traveler is that he can sleep literally anywhere. I always kid him that he could easily nap in the middle of Grand Central at rush hour. And, actually, he probably could. He doesn’t really get sick and he’s one of those can-do, optimistic types, both of which truly make the frustrations and headaches of layovers, long flights and multiple time zone-hopping all the easier.
Nevertheless, he does suffer from the odd travel-related complaint. Now that it’s time for Christmas gift-giving, I’ve been scratching my head when I drew his name in the sibling present lottery. For someone with a whole lot of interests and talents, he’s also something of a minimalist when it comes to stuff. And, yet, I thought: why not tap into my naturopathic repertoire and give him a travel toolkit that he could take with him on journeys short or long? I know he’s particularly irked by a few things when he travels: back and neck pain from sitting and sleeping, dry eyes, and catching a chill or sickness on planes.
I’m hoping he’s too busy to read this blog or else I’ve blown it in the surprise department. Peter, if you’re reading this: Stop now!
Herewith, what I present Peter’s Travel Kit:
Muscle pain from long flights will disappear when he uses:
- Arnica oil (Weleda): Arnica is the number one herb for restoring muscles tired and painful from either overuse or the immobility of long flights. Rub a few drops on tight spots throughout the flight and in the first day or two at destination.
To keep his eyes from drying out:
- Optique 1 Eye Drops (Boiron): Great for the redness, itchiness and dryness, as well as eye strain, that comes from being cooped up in an airplane for hours on end. Start dosing a few drops in each eye in first hour of flight and continue as needed.
So he doesn’t catch a virus on the plane or elsewhere:
- Echinachea Goldenseal Throat Spray (Gaia Herbs): A couple of sprays of these two powerhouse immune herbs every hour on a long flight will kill off germs that even think about infecting.
- Airborne Chewables: Who doesn’t love Airborne? It works because it’s literally an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink immune product containing tons of vitamins (A, C and E), minerals (zinc and selenium) and herbs (echinacea, ginger). Chew 4 on the flight every four hours.
To banish the beastly jet lag:
- Melatonin (D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition): Resets the sleep-wake cycle. Take a couple of 3 mg capsules when the hour to sleep in the new place has arrived.
- Rescue Remedy (Bach): A combination of flower essences, this homeopathic is a time-tested favorite for alleviating the insomnia of jet lag and the stress of long travel. Can be taken as a few drops under the tongue or in a small glass of water.
- Methyl 12 Plus (D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition): Taking one to two capsules of this dramatically increases energy levels depleted by jet lag.
Digestion is the key to happiness. My brother will stay serene with:
- Digesteze (D’Adamo Personalized Nutrition): Take one of these digestive enzymes with each meal to help the body process unfamiliar foods and reduce any sign of gas, bloating and stomach upset.
- Ginger candies (Reed’s): Ginger is great not only for motion sickness but also for any kind of nausea, particularly brought on by eating the wrong thing or catching a stomach bug abroad. Chew as needed.
I’ve always thought that some of the best gifts are ones that lighten the load, making life lighter and easier. I’ll follow up with Peter on a future blog to see whether I’ve accomplished this, as I believe the intrepid traveler has a trip to the Middle East coming up first thing in the New Year.