Monday, July 26, 2010

Naturally Fighting Sickness While Traveling (or not)

While we were travelling around western PA for my husband's work this month, I started feeling like I was coming down with a cold. Now, when we travel in the WINTER, I bring along at least a small selection of my favorite cold & flu fighters, but it's summer, so I didn't bother . . . sigh . . . (now I know better!). Thankfully, while I wasn't able to track down a full-fledged health food store close by, I did have access to a large grocery store with a small selection of essential oils & other natural remedies.

So, here was my multi-faceted plan of attack, that pretty much killed the cold in a matter of hours (though I continued with the remedies for awhile longer to be sure):

The thing that I think did the MOST was my homemade "thieves blend". It's something I've heard about various places for several years. Legend has it that during the Bubonic plague in England way back when, there was a group of thieves who robbed the graves of those who'd been sick, and yet they never got sick themselves. Their secret was a blend (some sources say they drank an herbal vinegar, others say they carried the ingredients in their pockets . . . it's a legend, details are sketchy . . . ) of ingredients with strong antibacterial properties. Those ingredients were Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Lemon. There's a brand of essential oils that sells a "Thieves blend", but I make my own. And generally carry a small bottle of it with me. However, somewhere along the line, at one of the museums where I knew I'd be carrying baby & backpack all day and wanted least possible weight, I must have removed it and packed it . . . somewhere, that I couldn't find, sigh. So . . . I was able to buy all but the Lemon EO from the grocery store I was at (well, actually I carry eucalyptus EO in my small travel bag of EOs that come with me on all trips, so I didn't have to buy it, but it was available if I'd needed it), and mixed a new bottle of thieves oil minus the lemon. I mix this straight, no carrier oil. I apply it "neat" (w/o diluting) to the soles of my feet and also put it in an aromatherapy necklace that I keep in my travel bag of EOs. My aromatherapy necklace is a different brand and "picture" but the same basic concept as these. I also added some of the EO blend to a small spray bottle of water & sprayed it around our hotel room every so often (much to my husband's disgust, but I figured that would help keep everyone else well in addition to helping me).

Besides that I did the following.
  • Take Vitamin D (had it with me) on any day that I wasn't outside sufficiently (I've been lax about this since it's summer and MOST days we're outside and can absorb our Vit. D naturally, but it IS necessary to get it EVERY day . . .and more so when fighting illness.
  • Take Vit C. I got chewable Vit. C and used them kind of like cough drops, if my throat was feeling scratchy, I'd pop another Vit. C.
  • Take Echinacea. If I wasn't nursing (or had thought to research before I went to the store, to see if it was truly ok while nursing) I'd have gotten my favorite Echinacea Elder Tea from Traditional Medicinals. BUT I know when I was pregnant with Little Bit and was feeling like I was getting sick, I went hunting through the ingredients and determined that while Echinacea itself is acceptable for pregnancy, something else in that tea isn't (yarrow, if I remember right), so, since I wasn't sure about it for nursing, I just got straight echinacea capsules.
  • The store I was at had a few homeopathics, including a "cold and flu" blend, so I got that and took it a time or 2.
  • I also got apple cider vinegar and organic grape juice, HOWEVER, I didn't take it right away because I wanted the juice to be cold first (we had a fridge in the room), and by the time it was cold, I was feeling enough better that I didn't bother with the vinegar.
So, in the interest of learning from my mistakes, I will make sure my travel bag includes the following, going forward:
  • My homemade thieves oil blend
  • Echinacea tea bags (and I need to double check if my normal favorite is ok for nursing)
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D (which should be included in our "daily vitamins" anyway
  • A small bottle of apple cider vinegar and a couple organic grape juice juice boxes.

1 comment:

La Tea Dah said...

Excellent post! Thanks for the reminder, LaRee, about being prepared when traveling. Like you, I often lighten my purse and whenever I do that --- I need something I took out. I used to use a lot of golden seal to prevent/shorten illness. I forgot that it was used to dry up a lactating mommy though, and used it when one of our babies was small. When his milk supply dried up I realized what I'd done --- and stopped --- and was able to turn things around quickly by eating a lot of nutritional yeast. There's always something to think about! Sigh!

I hope everyone is better now. Thanks for the 'thieves tea' reminder! It sure is potent stuff!