Taking a vacation can offer you many benefits. It resets your stress level, and the time away from work and home puts you in a completely different state of mind. A vacation reminds you that there are good things in life to look forward to. It gives you some new topics to discuss with your friends and opens up your world to add new friends.
A vacation puts distance between you and your friends you may be bickering with, so that when you come back, you may have forgotten about what the tiff was about, forgiven them and moved on emotionally. (Forgiveness is always a good thing.) And it renews your relationships with your pets that tell you how much they missed you.
When you’re traveling, the last thing you want to experience is illness. It’s uncomfortable, ruins all your plans, and the whole idea of finding a new doctor when you’re away from home can be a little frightening.
There are precautions you can take so that you don’t get sick – and these have worked with a lot of my patients over the years.
Here’s a list of five of those tips:
1. Always bring a diarrhea stopper with you on your travels.
The best diarrhea stopper I found is not an over-the-counter medication but an herb called slippery elm. This herb is amazing in that it has its own ‘brain’ and analyzes what is happening in your colon.
When you travel out of the local area, you are subject to different bacterial flora found in the foods and in the water. It’s this flora that may be contaminated with a harmful bacteria, virus or parasite, or may simply be so different than your own flora in your intestinal tract that a diarrhea reaction occurs.
Slippery elm herb comes as a powder or in capsules. Although you can find it in lozenges for sore throats, you really want it as powder or in capsules. Best when you travel is capsules that are already in a clearly marked bottle as to what they are. The powder might look a little suspicious to some airport security – and you don’t want to get held up from security and end up missing your flight.
If you do get diarrhea, your remedy is to take the equivalent of one tablespoon slippery elm powder, mix it with purified water, and let it sit to thicken for a minute. Then eat it. It has a pleasant taste to it. Repeat this every three hours until your diarrhea stops.
2. Always bring a second diarrhea stopper with you on your travels.
When it comes to diarrhea, you want to have a back-up plan – and diarrhea is the most common traveler’s ailment. Bring another small bottle of cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) 500 mg capsules. Take two capsules with purified water every few hours to stop the diarrhea. Cat’s claw is an immune system booster and increases white blood cell activity by 33% in two hours. It helps prepare the way for healing in the colon.
3. Don’t forget to pack your immune system boosters.
Echinacea is also another immune system booster – and it can nip an infection in the bud if you use it in the beginning phases of an illness. This herb acts as if the body is poisoned and purges the bug out of you.
4. Make it a priority to eat healthy meals for at least three days before you leave for your vacation.
It’s easy to get so busy preparing for a vacation that you don’t take the time to eat healthy. Don’t make this mistake. You want to get on the plane with an optimal functioning immune system, not a weak one. The airplane is full of stagnant air and a den of germs.
5. Start increasing your water intake four days prior to your departure date.
What this will do is rehydrate your body. Flights are dehydrating to the body and dehydration makes bacterial or viral infections more potent so avoid dehydration at any cost.