Holidays are so important. They give us the opportunity to relax, rebalance and rebuild both physically and mentally. So how do you make sure that this year’s hols is the best experience ever and not the holiday-from-hell? Experts at the College of Naturopathic Medicine have devised these tips to ensure you have a fabulous time (naturally!)
The body can so easily become dehydrated on sunny days especially if travelling by car or plane, in the heat. So our first tip is to make sure you drink enough water. Water is essential for rehydration. We need at least 6 glasses of water per day. The colour of urine is always a god indicator of whether you are dehydrated: it should be clear and pale yellow; if it is dark or has an odour you need more water. Remember too, that tea, coffee and alcohol are diuretics; for every cup you drink you will lose 1 ½ cups and you need to drink this amount of water to replenish lost fluid.
…but not too much
Ideally limit your alcohol consumption, drink plenty of water and eat food when drinking alcohol. But this is a holiday so if you do over indulge there are remedies that will ease our suffering the next day.
Methionine is an amino acid that helps our liver detoxify alcohol. This can be taken before and after drinking. Milk thistle is an herbal remedy that will help to metabolise alcohol and protect the liver from damage. And, of course, the classic homoeopathic remedy is Nux vomica (this is a useful remedy to pack, also good for sickness when travelling – see below)
Before you go…
Long journeys for holidays whether by car, plane or train tend to start with happy excited children but deteriorate rapidly as they become tired, overheated or suffer travel sickness. Don’t leave home without packing a flask of peppermint tea with a few slices of fresh ginger: this infusion is a perfect anti-emetic to help prevent nausea and vomiting. Try sucking on crystallised ginger, drinking ginger tea or look for ginger in capsule form. Adults also sometimes get travel sickness, aggravated by rich food or alcohol from the night before. The homeopathic remedy nux vomica (30c) is perfect in this instance. The classic homoeopathic remedy for travel sickness is Petrolinum 30C, three times a day and can be picked up from any homoeopath.
…and when you’re there
Your moment in the sun has arrived! So don’t let sunburn spoil anyone’s holiday. The suns rays are the strongest between 11am and 3pm so to prevent skin cancer stay out of direct sunlight during these hours. In summer sun it is best to always wear sun cream on exposed skin – and not just when sunbathing – remember you can get burnt even while enjoying that game of golf or fishing expedition! So slap on a generous layer of SPF30 and reapply at frequent intervals. Always wear a hat too. Cantharis 30C is a homoeopathic remedy that is brilliant not only to relieve the pain of sunburn but also any kind of burn injury. To soothe and heal sunburned skin, mix a few drops of lavender oil with some aloe vera gel and gently apply. This cooling gel is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.
Bites and stings…
Midges, mosquitoes, wasps, bees and jellyfish to name just a few. Bites and stings can be very distressing but seldom dangerous (If any swelling of the face or tongue occurs seek medical advice immediately). Citronella is an essential oil that is a powerful mosquito repellent (although not for use directly on the skin as it can cause photosensitivity). Cover arms and legs when going out particularly in the evening. For jellyfish stings the best remedy is vinegar. Ledum 30C is good for all bites, taken every 10 minutes up to 3 times then every hour until symptoms subside.
In many countries it is safer to use bottled water rather than tap water. Don’t put ice in your drinks; peel all fruit and clean teeth with bottled water. There are some natural and powerful remedies that will help prevent and treat travel bugs. Take an acidophilus or bifidus supplement before and during your stay. Good gut health before you leave is essential in resistance to bacteria so include plenty of natural probiotics such as leeks, bananas and artichokes in your diet. For specific infections such as giardia or cryptosporidium, remedies such as citricidal, golden seal and caprylic acid are powerful gut anti-microbials that should be taken as directed.
Finally, it’s a good idea to take your remedies along with you – rather than wait until you arrive and find you can’t get what you want. But, make sure that you are familiar with any restrictions for travelling with potions and pills, if travelling by air.
THE COLLEGE OF NATUROPATHIC MEDICINE (CNM) is a leader in the field of Naturopathic training. It operates five colleges in Ireland in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Belfast. For those interested in pursuing a career in naturopathy, they will be holding open evenings on 17th June, 1st July and 22nd July. For more information check www.naturopathy-ireland.com or phone (01) 235 3094