Your summer essentials
Don’t let holiday health hazards spoil your long awaited and well-deserved break.
Adopt these useful tips to ensure your holiday is ‘smooth sailing’!
* Travel sickness – one of the best remedies for travel sickness is ginger. You can have it as tea. Add warm water, not boiling, and drink before travel or sip during if possible. You can also take ginger in a capsule form. It exerts its calming effect not only on the digestive system but also on the nervous system. Other calming choices are spearmint and peppermint. Liquorice can help with calming the adrenals as worry is often associated with motion sickness. Magnesium works in a similar fashion. And fennel has a long history of calming digestion and helping with gas, bloating and distention.
☼ Ginger ☼ Peppermint ☼ Liquorice ☼ Magnesium ☼ Fennel
* Sunburn – it’s best to stay out of the sun between 11am – 3pm, particularly if you’re in a hot environment, even more relevant if heat is something you’re not used to. It’s better to have short bursts of sun exposure. To avoid burning work out your sun exposure gradually. Wear a cotton long-sleeved top during the hottest part of the day. A wide-brimmed hat is a must to protect your face, ears, neck and hair. Sunglasses are another essential item, they should block 99 – 100 per cent of the sun’s UV rays, so check the label before your purchase. Use a ‘natural’ sunscreen that is mineral and / or zinc based and make sure you reapply it every two to three hours, or after swimming or excessive sweating. Pack Aloe Vera gel with you as it’s soothes and calms any sunburn.
☼ Long-sleeved top ☼ Hat ☼ Sunglasses ☼ Natural sunscreen ☼ Aloe Vera gel
* Traveller’s diarrhoea - when going abroad we’re likely to ingest new strains of bacteria. When our immune system encounters a new potentially pathogenic bacteria (PPB) it will try to eradicate it from the system often resulting in diarrhoea. It is therefore useful to take probiotics (live bacteria) at least a couple of weeks before you travel as they help with balancing your gut microflora and also support your immune system. Drinking plenty of bottled water will help to flush any PPB strains though, with the hope that they will not interact with the immune system and cause diarrhoea. It is advisable to take probiotics for two weeks before, during and two weeks after your holiday.
☼ Probiotics ☼ Bottled water
* Insects and mites – try to avoid getting bitten in the first place by wearing loose-fitting, light-coloured, long-sleeved clothing. Certain essential oils can help to repel insects including: citronella, lemon, lemongrass, eucalyptus, tea tree and lavender. Apply a couple of drops on your neck, wrists and ankles. Also apply a couple of drops on your bedlinen to repel insects and mites while you’re asleep. Taking garlic capsules or eating higher amounts of garlic will help to keep the insects at bay. Cucumber slices or chilled tea bags are great for treating bites as they help to reduce the swelling. Tea tree oil applied directly onto the bite will help it to heal faster.
☼ Citronella oil ☼ Loose clothing ☼ Garlic capsules
* Dehydration - it is important to keep hydrated to avoid dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. We lose electrolytes through sweating, exercise and heat and therefore must ensure that we replace them regularly. Electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium, phosphate and chlorine are vital for many heart, nerve and muscle functions. They also help our body to retain water, reducing dehydration. Coconut water is one of the best refreshing drinks on hot days as it is naturally high in electrolytes.
☼ Coconut water
Natural sunscreens: Green People, Lavera, Jason, Lovea