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My herbal travel rescue kit

We have all been there; traveling in a developing country and suddenly you do not feel so great. Whether its stomach issues, cuts and bruises, insect bites or a nasty flu,
smart travelers should pack a good first aid kit, full of all those things you may need in case of an emergency.

Sadly, I have no travel plans this month but my girlfriend J is on her way to Thailand and asked me to share with her my traveling secret remedies. Of course, I want you all to stay healthy too, so I am forwarding my list of remedies to her and to all of you as well. This list of wonderful remedies is also in my medicine cabinet at home so if you are stuck here this summer like me, no worries, this list may still end up coming in handy.

Here is the list and it includes some great natural remedies that I love and that can help prevent many travel related ailments.

13698228_10153783644511705_3225095798230110961_o.jpg(This amazing photo is courtesy of my ex neighbor in Minneapolis, the talented Edward Bock. You can learn more about him and his work on http://www.edwardbock.com .)

By the way, this list is a work in progress and so if you have any remedies that you love, please feel free to share them with mesince my list is always evolving

1. Good Quality Probiotic

This is probably the single most important natural remedy you can carry in your first aid kit. Traveller’s diarrhea is one of the biggest issue most of us face when travelling through developing countries.

Probiotics increase the number of friendly bacteria in your gut and these little guys can help keep the not so nice ones in check. Be mindful that your immune system is closely tied to the health of your gut flora, so having a happy gut, will keep you strong and healthy as well.

The best kind to bring with you are ones that do not need to be refrigerated. So read the label carefully on the product that you choose and at least try and get one with 1 billion live strains.

2. Oil of Oregano

This is another great remedy that I always include in my travel kit. Oil of oregano has many different uses that can help you on your trip. Oil of oregano contains antimicrobial, antiviral, anti parasitic, anti allergenic and anti fungal properties. A study from the US Department of Agriculture showed that oil of oregano was effective against Salmonella and E. Coli bacteria. So if you find yourself coming down with something, whether its a stomach bug, flu, cold like symptoms or sore throat , take 3-5 drops under your tongue, 3 times a day until you are feeling better.

Just a reminder that oil of oregano is potent, so this remedy is not recommended for everyday use. Just use it when you think you need it. And brace yourself, the taste is quite strong.

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3. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is a concentrated blend of pink pulp, orange skin and seeds of the grapefruit. Like oil of oregano, it is a potent antibacterial, antiviral, anti fungal. I always carry a little bit of this stuff while travelling to disinfect suspect food and water. Sometimes you may find yourself somewhere with no clean water to buy. You can put a few drops of this into questionable water to kill anything in there that could make you sick. Sometimes while travelling on long bus rides, your only choice for food may be street vendors. I have put this stuff directly onto sketchy looking food to make it safer for consumption.

When buying grapefruit seed extract, make sure to find a good quality brand. Some products have been found to contain synthetic additives which could cause you harm. Visit your local health food store and talk with someone in the know.

4. Magnesium

Magnesium has a couple different applications that can be useful during travelling. Taken orally, magnesium has the ability to relax the intestines and colon. This is a great thing to take if you are experiencing constipation. There is nothing worse than being on some remote backcountry trek and being all blocked up. It can make you bloated and irritable. Magnesium can clear this issue up within 24 hours.

Since magnesium is a relaxant, it is also great to take at night before bedtime. So if you ever experience insomnia while travelling, magnesium can calm you nerves and help you get that much needed rest.

There are a variety of forms of magnesium available out there and they are all not absorbed equally in your system. The best forms are magnesium glycinate and magnesium taurate.

5. Activated charcoal

This supplement is good for relief from food poisoning, gluten exposure if you need it, stomach bugs, gas, bloating and diarrhea. It reduces toxicity by adsorbing chemicals in the GI tract. Be sure to take with plenty of water and stay very well hydrated with clean filtered water while taking this supplement.

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6. Ginger capsules or ginger chews
Great remedy for tummy upsets, including motion sickness, morning sickness and gas.

7. Echinacea and Goldenseal

Echinacea helps support a healthy immune system, and has antibacterial and antibiotic properties. If you start to feel an illness coming on, dosing yourself with a tincture of echinacea is a good way to help you stay healthy.

Goldenseal is a powerful antibacterial, antibiotic, and antiparasitical potion. In powdered form, it can be applied to open cuts to help them from getting infected. You can also take this internally for infections as it acts as a natural antibiotic.

8. Lavender essential oil

Lavender essential oil is my favorite essential oil because it smells divine but also because it can be used topically on the skin for irritations, wounds bites and burns and also can be used to help with insomnia, anxiety and headaches. For most people, it can be applied directly to the skin. One drop takes the swelling and itch out of mosquito bites. It is an anti-inflammatory and has antiseptic properties.

9. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer. This stuff can be incredibly hydrating if you are travelling in a country with a dry climate. You can rub this stuff all over your body and it makes your skin soft, smooth and shiny. Using this product is truly the best thing you can do for your skin. It can offer protection against a number of harsh weather conditions including wind, sun and snow. I often put coconut oil on my lips when they are chapped and in need of some TLC. Aside from being a great natural lubricant, coconut oil also contains a little SPF and it does have some antimicrobial and antifungal properties as well so can also be used for calming a number of skin conditions including rashes, eczema and acne.

Of course, you shouldn’t just stock your first aid kit with natural remedies. It is always good to have some good backups, just in case, especially if you are travelling to remote areas with little access to emergency services.

If you stock your first aid kit with these things, and make sure to take your probiotic everyday, your chances are high of having the healthiest trip you have had yet.

Safe travels and namaste!

 

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Ginger brews; My favorite hot and healthy herb plus an amazing delicious recipe

Ginger is one of my favorite hot herbs. It is fabulously versatile, medicinal and a very popular culinary herb in cuisines across the world. Ginger is hot not only because it is spicy but because in the medicinal world, it is also known to lower inflammation which is a common cause of so many illnesses that we are seeing today.  Ginger is abundant in the phytonutrient gingerol, a natural ingredient that relieves bloating and gas. It also facilitates and promotes healthy digestion while improving bowel function. Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory by reducing the synthesis of pro-inflammatory (inflammation causing) prostaglandins.

Tip:  ginger can be used on inflamed joints to relieve pain just by placing cold pressed ginger juice in a flannel cloth with some castor oil over the affected joint for 5-10 minutes
It is also rich in essential oils, vitamin B, potassium, manganese, copper and magnesium.
I have used it in my practice with pregnant woman to prevent nausea, in fact for centuries ginger has been used in India, China and other Asian countries as a remedy for nausea.

Ginger can be taken in a capsule, eaten fresh and raw, cooked or brewed as a tea.

TIP: You can cut ginger place two to tsp in boiling water and steep for ten minutes. After cooling, optionally you can add honey, pieces of lemon or orange. When I am sick i will brew with a few cloves of garlic (my other favorite herb)

I also just saw this recipe which I cannot wait to try

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled, finely chopped ginger
  • 2 cups purified water
  • raw honey (optional)
  • sparkling water
  • 1 lemon, juiced

Preparation:

Boil 2 cups of water, and add the ginger. Reduce the heat to medium low, and let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes.

Take it off the heat and strain.

When serving, use 1 part of ginger syrup and 3 parts of sparkling water. Serve it on the rocks. Sweeten to taste, using raw honey, or stevia, and add some lemon juice.

from http://www.bestherbalhealth.com

Enjoy !

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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House Green and Clean

lemonsI have been getting some good blog feedback lately and what I am hearing is that I am apparently slightly kale obsessed. Not that there is anything wrong with this…but there is so much more to healthy living than kale and I want to share it all with you! So today I am moving along and moving forward onto my next favorite green; collards, just kidding. This green issue is not the leafy green type, it’s about ‘house green and clean’ and I have to say for the sake of our ultimate health and that of our families, our bodies and also that of the sake of the health of the planet, let’s not contribute to creating a more toxic home. House green and clean and feel the difference! Here are some tips on how you can do it!

Here is a list of natural products that will get you on your way to cleaning naturally:

  • Baking Soda – good for scrubbing dirty surface also reacts to lemon and vinegar.
  • Borax – It whitens, and deodorizes area and surface.
  • Lemon Juice – Deodorizes, disinfects and cut through greases.
  • Olive Oil – Removes dirt and polishes wood surface.
  • Cornstarch – Can be used to polish furniture and clean windows.
  • Vinegar – Loosen dirt and disinfects.
  • Washing Soda – Good rust and stain remover.
  • Castile Soap – Good foaming Cleaner.

Essential oils of thymol and tea tree and lemon can be added to cleanse while lavender, peppermint, lemon can add powerful healing aromas.

Store bought options:

Biokleen Super Concentrated All Purpose Cleaner & Degreaser works in every room in the house, including the bathroom, without harsh chemicals and fumes that can be released with steam when you take a hot shower.

Bon Ami Powder Cleanser is an oldie but goodie. First produced in 1886, it’s still used today for scrubbing away grease and grime using all-natural ingredients like the mineral feldspar, limestone, and palm oils.

Green Works Natural Dishwashing Liquid is made with plant-based, biodegradable ingredients and has no harsh chemical fumes.

Seventh Generation Natural Automatic Dishwasher Gel is made of lemon, grapefruit, and other natural ingredients to help keep your dishes clean and your air chlorine-free.

For more information:

http://www.safecleaningproducts.net/natural-cleaning-solutions/8-tips-natural-cleaning-solutions/

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Need to De-Stress? Try a little Zest!

Last night I was working in the crazy busy urgent care and I needed a second to recuperate, so I went to dictate a few charts, peeled myself a beautiful orange/mandarin for some good ol fashioned nourishment and within an instant the stale room that was filled with four other doctors and years of who knows what kind of aromas, was suddenly replaced by the wonderful fresh, refreshing, uplifting scent of this glorious orange. Within seconds I felt revitalized and I had not even taken a bite yet!

Ah the glories of the citrus family! In the world of essential oils, citrus is known to improve mood, decrease appetite and lower anxiety. So many reasons to sniff a mandarin or orange peel if you are feeling down or having a gloomy day.

So today, if you are feeling a little anxious or just need to de-stress, try a little zest! Studies have shown that scents can help you to de-stress. Linalool; a substance found in lemons for example, not only has anti-inflammatory properties but may also help to reduce the flight-or-fight stress response. Other scents like basil, juniper, and lavender have also been found to lower stress as well.

So sniff and eat I say! Cause not only do citrus fruits wake up your sense of smell but they are packed with vitamin C, which brings high stress hormones back to normal levels more quickly. Vitamin C also helps lower blood pressure. Blood pressure can rise in response to stressful situations. Eat an orange as a snack on the days when you anticipate extra stress at home or at work. Doing so about an hour before a stressful situation can help you stay calm.

So go and find your favorite citrus fruit, bring it along with you today and enjoy your calm fabulous day…

 
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Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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