The 7 Top Travel Illnesses

A smiling couple in an airport with their luggageYou’re packed and ready to go! But…do you know how to stay healthy while traveling, so you can make the very most of your trip?

From motion sickness to stress, the body sometimes has to endure quite a lot while far away from home. Here are the best tips about staying healthy naturally on vacation.

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1. Jet Lag

Jet lag, which occurs when your sleep-wake cycle is disrupted by a flight across multiple time zones, can ruin you for the first few days of your vacation.

What to do: Try using Miers Laboratory No-Jet-Lag, a blend of five homeopathic remedies, which doctors say are safe and easy to take.  Or, you can also try melatonin, which is the hormone that our bodies naturally make to help regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Taking extra via a supplement may help to reset the cycle disrupted by jet lag.

2. Motion Sickness

Whether you’re in a car, on a boat or on a plane, motion sickness can quickly ruin your trip. Motion sickness is a very common disturbance of the inner ear that is caused by repeated motion, such as from the swell of the sea, the movement of a car, the motion of a plane in turbulent air, etc. In the inner ear (which is also called the labyrinth), motion sickness affects the organs of balance and equilibrium. When off balance, the body responds with feelings of nausea and pain.

What to do:  Try traveling with a concentrated-peppermint product, such as Pharmaca Peppermint Spirits or Herb Pharm Breath Tonic, and taking vitamin B6. In addition, ginger chews or ginger tea can also be helpful.

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3. Sleep Issues

Sleep problems can turn a good vacation bad overnight. Luckily, there are a number of natural options for improving sleep.

What to do: An eye mask and earplugs may help soothe the senses. Doctors also recommend taking a magnesium supplement before bed to help promote relaxation and calmness. For more serious issues, take Herb Pharm Relaxing Sleep Tonic, which is an herbal blend with valerian.

4. Digestive Issues

New foods and unfamiliar water can irritate the digestive tract.

What to do: When mild discomfort does strike, digestive enzyme supplements can promote healthy digestion by breaking down carbohydrates and proteins. If you get food poisoning, Peaceful Mountain Stomach Rescue is an all-natural, simple formula of elemental silver and peppermint to kill bad bacteria and soothe an upset stomach. Also, while traveling, since the microbial balance in the digestive tract can be easily disturbed, taking probiotics a few weeks before your trip can help support the immune and digestive tract.

5. Bug Bites

Bugs love beaches, nature and even big cities.

What to do: Pack WishGarden Catnip-Oil Bug Spray as an alternative to DEET-based toxic bug sprays. Recent research from Iowa State University shows that catnip oil has produced the best results over other essential oils for bug protection.

Also, take vitamin B1 (thiamine) two weeks before your departure to help repel bugs by creating an odor that’s undetected by humans – but very unpleasant to bugs.

6. Sore Muscles

Interestingly, many travel seats and spaces were not exactly designed with comfort in mind.

What to do: A warm bath full of Epsom salts will help relax your muscles. Another effective treatment is arnica, which has minimal side effects, and is safe to use with other medications. Interestingly, arnica is also a natural first-aid antiseptic alternative for scrapes and cuts.

7. Stress

Travel is one of life’s greatest thrills, but for most people it also comes with its share of stresses.

What to do: L-Theanine, an amino acid found in green tea can help calm and relax your mind. Also, kava kava encourages a sense of well-being, and promotes relaxation while helping you stay focused as well.

 

Visit the BlackDoctor.org Travel and Spa center for more articles and tips. 

Airplane Drinking Water: (Much) Dirtier Than You Think?

A cup of water sitting on airplane tray tableBefore you order a glass of water, coffee or tea on your flight…you may want think again.

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), tap water aboard more than 1 in 10 commercial airplanes regularly tests positive for coliform bacteria, which is the name given to a wide group of organisms, including fecal bacteria and E. coli, that indicate outside contamination.

After NBC 5 in Texas  filed a Freedom of Information Act request, it reported on data which showed that tap water in 12 percent of U.S. airlines tested positive for coliform bacteria at least once.

In 2009, the EPA issued new safety rules for aircraft drinking water after tests conducted in 2004 found coliform contamination rates aboard U.S. airlines that were as high as 15 percent. Among other things, the new rules mandated routine disinfection, flushing the water system, and  notification of passengers and crew members in the event of violations.

Despite the new regulations, it appears contamination still regularly occurs, though the rates of contamination vary from airline to airline. According to NBC 5, American Airlines, for instance, had coliform in 13 percent of their aircraft, while Southwest Airlines had coliform contamination rates of only 3 percent, none of which was positive for E. coli.

Most strains of E. coli are harmless, reports the EPA, though they originate from animal and human intestines. Nevertheless, the presence of the bacteria in drinking water will always raise red flags.

Put another way: “There’s poop in the water if there’s E. coli in the water, and that’s not a good thing,” Brenda Wiles, a lab manager certified to test drinking water aboard aircraft, told NBC 5.

READ: The 7 Top Travel Illnesses

What You Can Do On The Plane

Your best beverage bet? Don’t ask for coffee, tea or water on a plane. Instead, stick to enjoying a glass of vitamin-rich juice on the plane. Also, be sure to carry an empty water bottle with you that you can fill up at a water fountain before boarding your flight. Or, buy a bottle of water after you clear security.