Although we usually associate travel with pleasure, it can also be tiring, trying and make one more susceptible to getting sick – which spoils the fun. The most common concern amongst travelers is digestive complaints, such as traveller’s diarrhea.
The following is a list of homeopathic medicines that are also commonly used in case of actual symptoms:
Arsenicum album is a great remedy to bring while traveling or to use at the first sign of food poisoning. Symptoms include severe cramps and burning pains, vomiting, and diarrhea that is worse at midnight and after eating and drinking. The stools are acrid, watery, and putrid smelling. Arsenicum is also indicated for bloody, mucousy stool. The child is typically thirsty for sips, anxious, and prefers company. There can be sweats and chilliness, made better with warmth.
Chamomilla is useful for diarrhea while teething. Consider Chamomilla when a baby has green stools that look like spinach and smell like rotten egg. This remedy is strongly indicated for colic, teething, and other conditions where baby is extremely fussy, irritable, and better being carried. Also useful for adults too.
Podophyllum is recommended for copious, gushing diarrhea which explodes into the entire toilet bowl. There is a sense of urgency and it is worse at four in the morning and in the evening. The stool is watery, and may be yellow, mucousy, and bloody with a bad odor. The diarrhea is also aggravated from eating or drinking. Podophyllum can be for diarrhea that is painless or associated with cramps in legs and belly. The child is exhausted and thirsty for cold water. In addition to being used for diarrhea from infection, it can also treat teething-related diarrhea.
Sulphur is useful for painless diarrhea that drives the child up urgently out of bed in the wee hours of the morning. Stool and gas have the odor of rotten eggs. As a strong skin remedy, it is often associated with skin conditions, including redness, itching, and burning around the anus.
Veratrum album, one of the main remedies for cholera, is useful when there is simultaneous vomiting with diarrhea (Arsenicum album). The stool has a consistency of rice water and no odor. The child or adult is debilitated, cold feeling in the belly, and complains of stomach pains.
Better yet, watch what you eat so you don’t get sick in the first place!
The general rule of thumb when traveling to another country is this: Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it. Studies show, however, that you can still get sick even if you follow these rules. Remember these tips to decrease your risk of getting sick:
- Don’t consume food from street vendors.
- Avoid unpasteurized milk and dairy products, including ice cream.
- Avoid raw or undercooked meat, fish and shellfish.
- Steer clear of moist food at room temperature, such as sauces and buffet offerings.
- Eat foods that are well cooked and served hot.
- Stick to fruits and vegetables that you can peel yourself, such as bananas, oranges and avocados. Stay away from salads and unpeelable fruits, such as grapes and berries.
- Be aware that alcohol in a drink won’t keep you safe from contaminated water or ice.
- Don’t drink the water
When visiting high-risk countries, keep the following tips in mind:
- Avoid unsterilized water — from tap, well or stream. If you need to consume local water, boil it for three minutes.
- Avoid locally made ice cubes or mixed fruit juices made with tap water.
- Beware of sliced fruit that may have been washed in contaminated water.
- Don’t swim in water that may be contaminated.
- Keep your mouth closed while showering.
- Feel free to drink canned or bottled drinks in their original containers — including water, carbonated beverages, beer or wine — as long as you break the seals on the containers yourself. Wipe off any can or bottle before drinking or pouring.
- Use bottled water to brush your teeth.
- Use bottled or boiled water to mix baby formula.
- Order hot beverages, such as coffee or tea, and make sure they’re steaming hot.
If it’s not possible to buy bottled water or boil your water, bring some means to purify water. Consider a water-filter pump with a microstrainer filter that can filter out small microorganisms. Look in camping stores for a filter that’s certified by the National Science Foundation.
You can also chemically disinfect water with iodine or chlorine. Iodine tends to be more effective, but is best reserved for short trips, as too much iodine can be harmful to your system. You can purchase iodine tablets or crystals at camping stores and pharmacies. Be sure to follow the directions on the package.
Here are other ways to reduce your risk of traveler’s diarrhea:
- Make sure dishes and utensils are clean and dry before using them.
- Wash your hands often and always before eating. If washing isn’t possible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol to clean your hands before eating.
- Seek out food items that require little handling in preparation.
- Keep children from putting things — including their dirty hands — in their mouths. If possible, keep infants from crawling on dirty floors.
- Tie a colored ribbon around the bathroom faucet to remind you not to drink — or brush your teeth with — tap water.
In addition, to avoiding raw foods, salads, and ice, the following routine should be used as a prevention: Colloidal Silver, probiotics, and Arsenicum album(all taken once a day) help in strengthening the immune system and gastrointestinal tract. If it is during the colder months or we are feeling more rundown than usual we add Briar Rose (children) and Black Currant (for adults).
It is important to keep rehydrating the body and getting nutrition levels back to normal and to wash your hands thoroughly.
I hope that you found these hints helpful and wish you a safe, fun, and healthy holiday. If you have any questions or comments about this article, homeopathy, or any other of our offered services and products, please contact us at (519) 603-0505 and we will be happy to talk to you. Or, to book an appointment, please call us or go online to www.kwhomeopathicmedicine.com
Irene Schwens, C.Tran., DHMHS