As we head closer to the holiday season, it may be timely to talk about the many and varied things that can befall the traveller and the means by which these things may be managed. Homeopathic medicines have the capacity to deal with most of these issues quickly and effectively. They take up a minimum of luggage space, are relatively simple to use and as such they’re ideally suited for use when you’re away from home.
The following list of maladies and medicines cover most of the acute and self-limiting issues that one may encounter while travelling. For more chronic situations, or conditions that fail to respond to the appropriate remedy in a reasonable period of time, the services of a competent professional, preferably a homeopath, should be sought.
Altitude sickness Coca (where this remedy is legally available)
Arsenicum album or Cactus grandiflorus may be suitable alternatives.
Anxiety Gelsemium – with weakness
Bruising Arnica – worse for damp cold
Ledum– better for cold
Chilblains Calc carb– worse for cold
Pulsatilla– worse for warmth
Cough Ipecac – productive cough
Bryonia – dry cough
Cuts and grazes Calendula and Hypericum tincture
Diarrhoea Arsenicum album – from food poisoning
Nux vomica – from overeating, also infant diarrhoea .
Veratrum alb – profuse diarrhoea with exhaustion.
Exhaustion Arnica– from physical effort
Lachesis – from heat
Fear and apprehension Argentum nitricum
Flying – problems with Pulsatilla – acute ear pain on descent
Food poisoning Arsenicum album
Headache Belladonna – throbbing, worse from light and noise
Nat mur- throbbing, from eye strain, stress or travel
Heat/sun stroke Glonoine
Indigestion and overindulgence Nux vomica
Influenza Anas barb (200C – 1 dose every 4 hours)
Jet lag Arnica- physical tiredness with aching limbs
Gelsemium- physical tiredness with heaviness of limbs
Menstrual cramping Colocynthis- better for bending the knees up to the chest
Muscle cramping Mag phos – better for warmth
Cuprum metallicum – calves and soles
Muscle sprains and strains Arnica
Shellfish poisoning Urtica urens
Stings and bites Ledum – mosquitoes, animal bites
Rhus tox – plant stings (nettles, etc.)
Travel sickness Cocculus – with dizziness
Tabacum – better for cool air
Vomiting- cause unknown Ipecac
Adults: 10 drops, 4 pillules or 2 tablets of 6C potency every half-hour for up to 6 doses. Children (2-12 years) : Half the adult dose.
Frequently, suggestions will be made to travellers that they should be immunised against certain diseases that may be endemic to the holiday destination. There’s a considerable history of use of homeopathic medicines as alternatives to orthodox immunisation. The expert on this issue in Australia is Dr Isaac Golden. In his book, Vaccination, A Review of Risks and Alternatives, he outlines the following to be used while in areas where there is potential risk of contracting these diseases:
Cholera Cuprum metallicum 200C – one dose every 2 weeks
Dysentery Arsenicum album 30C – one dose weekly
Malaria Nat mur 200C – one dose every 2 weeks beginning 2 weeks before departure, and a further 2 doses on returning home.
Typhoid Baptisia 200C one dose every 2 weeks
Yellow Fever Arsenicum album 30C – one dose weekly
Some practitioners have noted that the use of Eupatorium perfoliatum 30C every two weeks while travelling in areas where there is an increased incidence of Dengue Fever can be helpful in reducing the potential risk of contracting this condition.
On a final note, concerns are raised from time to time regarding the effects of X-rays used in airport luggage examination, and their effects on homoeopathic remedies. The evidence to date tends to indicate that the X-ray machines used in most airports do not have the capacity to affect the activity of remedies, but if this does cause concern, wrapping aluminium foil around the containers in which the remedies are kept, or simply passing them around the scanner and submitting them for visual examination by airport staff, should provide protection.