I love my natural medicine travel kit and firmly believe that no family should be without one. Use it to augment your conventional first-aid travel kit, which should be stocked with bandages, topical antibiotic creams, and pain medications. Here are some ideas of what to put in your natural kit so you’re ready to travel.

For diarrhea, gas, and cramping

  • Activated charcoal (AC). Several studies show that AC reduces excessive intestinal gas accumulation, according to the European Food and Safety Authority. It also appears to have an anti-diarrheal effect. In 2018, researchers reported in Current Medical Research and Opinion that it is a suitable treatment that offers fewer side effects than other anti-diarrheal medications. For an acute bout of painful gas or diarrhea, take three to four 250-milligram (mg) charcoal capsules with an 8-ounce glass of water. Repeat in 30 minutes or after every bowel movement as needed for up to 24 hours. Do not use charcoal daily because it can interfere with the absorption of nutrients and medications. Don’t take it within two hours of taking medication, as it may make some medications ineffective.
  • Peppermint tea. Drink 4 ounces of strong, hot, unsweetened peppermint leaf tea every few hours.

If you have a fever or diarrhea for more than 24 hours, seek medical attention. 

For cuts or insect bites

  • Calendula tincture. Wash the wound or bite with soap and water, and then apply Calendula tincture, full strength, directly as an antiseptic and to help skin heal. For open wounds, dilute with water (one part water to two parts Calendula) before use. A study published in Wound Repair and Regeneration reported that calendula leads to faster resolution of the inflammation phase of wound healing.

For sprains and strains

  • Arnica gel or a combination product such as T-Relief is excellent first aid medicine. Made from the Arnica Montana plant, homeopathic Arnica lotion or gel applied topically quickly helps with bruising and swelling. A study published in the journal Medicines noted that arnica extract relieves pain as well. Apply three times a day directly to the skin. Do not put Arnica on any open cuts or wounds.

For motion sickness nausea, vomiting, or dizziness

  • Ginger is a well-studied anti-nausea remedy. A study in the journal Pharmacology notes: “The efficacy of ginger rhizome for the prevention of nausea, dizziness and vomiting … has been well documented and proved beyond a doubt in numerous high-quality clinical studies.” Put 45 drops of a ginger tincture in two ounces of warm water and sip as often as needed.

A one-ounce bottle of each of the tinctures is usually enough for one travel-related ailment. Tinctures, homeopathic remedies, and activated charcoal have very long shelf lives, retaining effectiveness and safety for at least five years. They are stable at high and low temperatures, though you should protect all of them from temperature extremes. Don’t store them in a car

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