Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

Natural Help For Holiday Health

With the best will in the World, holidays can produce a host of minor medical problems. Here I show you how to use herbs, spices and homeopathic remedies to boost family holiday health.

Holidays are fun but can be ruined by minor health problems. As well as plasters, bandages, antiseptics and headache pills, add these remedies to your alternative medicine chest. Even the Queen never travels without homoeopathic pills.

Homoeopathic remedies are safe, effective, without side effects and ideal for children. Use aconite for colds, flu and chills; rhus tox, for sprains and strains; arsenicum, for stomach upsets; belladonna, for fevers and headaches; arnica, for bruises and damages muscles.

Herbs are great holiday healers, so pack some tincture of calendula (marigold) - a few drops in cold water make an ideal compress or lotion for minor burns and scalds. Camomile teabags will soothe sore eyes and the tea helps relieve insomnia and fevers - great for kids - and painful periods. For mild sunburn, put three teabags in a tepid bath.

Use Echinacea ointment for grazes and sore skin. Take garlic tablets to protect against traveller’s tum and pack a bulb of fresh garlic - one clove crushed in warm water is great for athlete’s foot, sweat rash and other fungal infections.

Put arnica ointment on sprains, strains and bruising. Take a packet of dried sage and use a teaspoon in a mug of boiling water, cool then use as a gargle for sore throats. Don’t forget the ginger; grate half an inch into a mug of boiling water, add a teaspoon of honey and sip when cool to treat or prevent travel sickness or morning sickness in pregnancy. Ginger biscuits or Hofel’s ginger capsules help too.

Don’t forget some Slippery Elm powder. A teaspoon in half a cup of hot water relieves heartburn, indigestion and minor stomach upsets.

Two great natural remedies to pack in your holiday suitcase for tummy upsets, over-indulgence and food you may not be used to are DigestHerb & TurmericXtra.

DigestHerb is the only registered traditional herbal medicine with artichoke extract for the relief of bloating, flatulence and indigestion is your first step to self help after a night out on the Costa.

TurmericXtra is a new formulation from one of Europe’s leading herbal companies, Schwabe Pharma and contains standardised extract of turmeric with the added bonus of artichoke leaf extract too. Artichoke is one of the most widely researched herbal remedies, and has been used to aid many digestive problems, especially those linked to liver function.

If you’re prone to cold sores - often triggered by the sun - Liquorice Balm helps reduce regular outbreaks. Natural ingredients mean you can wear the lip balm at all times, so the intensity of the outbreaks is diminished before they really take hold. Find Liquorice Balm at www.skinshop.co.uk

You’re most likely to get stung by a wasp sitting at the beach or pavement café, but the remedy is usually on the table. Mix a teaspoon of salt into a paste with a few drops of vinegar and spread it on the sting for instant relief.

Finally, what about the summer cold? At the first signs, boost your vitamin C with 500mg a day and take the herbal medicine, Kaloba, to relieve sore throats, coughs, blocked or runny noses. Kids over six can take this medicine, the only registered traditional herbal extract of pelargonium in the UK. See www.kaloba.co.uk for info.


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