Travel Protection© 2011 Peter Smith [Updated Jan 2013]
In today's world I feel obliged to make the following disclaimer:
These notes are a synthesis of the best understanding -from a homeopathic and herbal perspective- of what you could do to protect your-self from diseases when travelling abroad if you were not going to use the conventional drug and vaccine approaches, or in combination with the conventional treatments as a second line of defence.
No claims or guarantees of effectiveness are being made.
Weighing up the risks:
The idea that you can vaccinate yourself with homeopathy is not scientifically proven. I personally would not rely solely on homeopathy for protection from high risk diseases like malaria. Homeopathy is cheap, side effect free and may provide some extra level of risk reduction. Nothing is 100% effective, even the conventional anti-malarial drugs are not 100% protective, and the drugs do have side effects. On the other hand malaria can be a terrible illness. I personally took ant-malarial drugs and still got infected. I now rely on reducing being bitten which is a proven risk reduction technique. Use B complex, long clothes and repellent after dark, clear your hotel room, plug in an ultrasonic repeller and sleep under a net if necessary.
In a rainforest or jungle environment avoiding bites may not be possible, if you are traveling to a high risk area for cerebral malaria the drug side affects are highly likely to be less damaging to your health than the disease. A concentrated version of the herb artimisian is the pharmaceutical standard treatment for malaria you can buy this oversees. It is well worth having a dose ready with you in high risk areas.
No responsibility is taken for the consequences of you taking these remedies and not taking conventional protection in the event of you contracting any disease.
I am not encouraging anyone not to take the conventional protection and to use these remedies instead. The decision to do so is entirely your choice and responsibility.
What I can say is that when I travel this is what I do.
A new (2011) development is a malaria vaccine. It is only 50% effective but for a long stay in a high risk area you may consider it.
1) Herbal:The Chinese herbal Qing Hao (Artemesia annua) has powerful anti-malarial properties.
If you’re going for a short trip you could choose to take this herb continuously as a prevention against malaria. Artemisia is also effective against Giardia parasites making it an excellent travel protection herb.
You can take Chinese herbs available from me, this would be a combination formula of several herbs working synergistically together.
Or use Paraclens by Higher Nature available from the Nutri Centre 1 capsule a.m. and 1 p.m. with meals.
Or use Clarkia 100, 15 drops 2 times per day with meals. This is an excellent quality broad-spectrum anti-parasite remedy containing Artemisia annua (also known as wormwood) making it effective against malaria.
Start on the day you travel and continuing for six weeks after you return. Take double this dose if you are in a very high-risk environment e.g. sleeping next to a swamp and getting bitten a lot. The Chinese herbs principally contain Qing hao (Artimesia), they come as a powder and you make them up into capsules your-self. The empty capsule shells are available from the Nutri Centre, put the powder in a bowl and push the empty capsules through the powder to fill them. Pack in as much as you can.
2) Homoeopathic:Start 2 weeks before and continue for 6 weeks after travel.
Take homoeopathic malaria mix (30 potency) 1 day per week one pill a.m. one p.m. i.e. one out of seven days or 1/7.
Take homoeopathic cinchona officinalis on the remaining six days i.e. 6/7 days one pill a.m. and one p.m.
Don't get bitten! Mosquitoes mainly bite in the evening, they avoid moving around in hot direct sunlight and they are not effective in strong breezes. So in the day unless you are in a shaded area e.g. a forest, the mosquitoes will not bite so it is acceptable to wear shorts and short sleeves. In the evening and in more shaded areas with still air wear long clothing and cover your wrist ankles and neck with insect repellent. Personally I spray the repellents directly onto my clothes and not onto my skin even though the manufacturers say not to apply to clothing. You might not want to do this on fine quality silk but I’ve never seen it damage cotton.
Mosquitoes detest the smell of B vitamins (specifically B1) so take a multi B complex several times per day or at least one before dusk. I have used True Food B Complex by Higher Nature with great results.
Also effective are the ultrasonic electrical devises that repel mosquitoes by making sounds that mimic the sound of dragonfly wings! You can buy these from travel shops or on line, they are also available as apps for the iphone/pad search for anti mosquito on itunes and on line.
A good strategy when you check into a new hotel room is to close all windows and doors and then clear the room of mosquitoes slapping them with a magazine. They can be quite difficult to see when you stand away from the wall and look, if you put your head against the wall and look along the wall the mosquitoes are easily visible sitting on the wall. To dislodge any hidden mosquitoes and force them to settle on the walls where you can see them you should shake the window and shower curtains and tap around beneath the sink and behind the toilet. Once you’ve cleared the room plug-in one or two ultrasonic electrical mosquito repellers as close to the window as you can. The electrical repellers will scare away any new mosquitoes enabling you to leave the windows open.
The other highly effective and simple protection against malaria is to carry your own travel mosquito net. Make sure you impregnate the net with permethrin available from travel shops. This is a safe (-ish) insecticide that will kill any mosquitoes that sit on the net or have gotten inside your net.
Typhoid, Hepatitis A/B, Polio, Cholera and TetanusYou can look up which vaccinations are recommended for the area you are travelling to. If you decide not to take the vaccinations you could take them in homeopathic 30c form once per week. Please not there is little scientific evidence supporting homeopathic vaccinations. For convenience these are added to same bottle as the once per week malaria remedy. A homeopathic pharmacy such as Ainsworth (020 7935 5330) can combine all the remedies you need into a single convenient bottle of pills. If you do decide to use the vaccinations or have to you can offset the potential side effects with the homeopathic remedy Thuja. Take a 3 doses of 200c strength 12 hours apart starting straight after the injections.
There is no special reason why tetanus is more of a risk oversees. If you get any deep puncture wound or any wound gets dirty especially with soil or manure you should irrigate (clean/wash) it with lots of clean water for a long time and get a medical examination as soon as possible. The classic tetanus risk is stemming on a dirty nail or barbed wire in the country.
How to Take Homoeopathics:Homoeopathics are sensitive medicines please take carefully as follows: -
- Have nothing else in your mouth for 10 minutes before, and 10 minutes after taking the remedies, leave longer if you have any tastes in your mouth.
- Place the pill under the tongue and hold until dissolved.
- Do not drink coffee when you are taking homoeopathics, and ideally avoid mint flavoured toothpaste.
- These remedies are damaged by magnets and strong smells, so do not stand them on a T.V., computer or speaker, and keep them away from perfumes etc.
Travellers Diarrhoea, Dysentery, Food Poisoning, Giardia etc.
Take 10 drops of Aerobic Oxygen Liquid available from the Nutri Centre about 30 minutes before meals in a water (not juice, water only) or 90 minutes after eating.
This breaks down to water and ozone in the stomach the ozone sterilises food as it enters the intestines. It is easy to travel with and although it has a high initial price it lasts well and keeps for years so it can provide protection for several trips.
Aerobic Oxygen Liquid is effective against a wide range of organisms causing dysentery and diarrhoea but does not touch giardia so for all round protection from multiple food poisoning risks add Artemisia (wormwood) which kills giardia.
This is the same herb that provides protection against malaria so you kill two birds with one stone.
Clarkia 100 (15 drops 3 times per day after meals) or Paraclense (2 capsules after each meal) both of which contains Artemisia.
Anyone with low stomach acid is more vulnerable to picking up food and water borne diseases. Low stomach acid is more common in people with blood group A. You can buy capsules that supplement your gastric acid called Betane HCL, they are a highly effective way of boosting your first line of defence against intestinal infections from food.
If you do suffer from diarrhoea do not underestimate how seriously dehydrating this can be. You can buy sachets of oral rehydration salts from any pharmacy specially designed to rehydrate the body after a bout of diarrhoea, I always take some to hot countries and just use it up as an isotonic drink if I don’t need for diarrhoea.
Bowel Flora.It’s a good idea to take a quality bowel Flora before you travel to build up a protective colony of intestinal bacteria. Biocare Bio-acidophilus is a good choice for this purpose. Biocare probiotics need refrigeration and are therefore not suitable for travelling. You can buy stabilised probiotics that do not need refrigeration and take them with you on your travels. A general purpose stabilised probiotic I recommend is Now Foods Gr8-Dophilus.
Specifically designed for traveling to places where intestinal infection is a high risk is Optibac Probiotics Travla. This is a stabilised probiotic that contains Saccharomyces, a friendly yeast that is helpful against travellers diarrhoea. You can buy these products from the Nutri centre.
If you do get diarrhoea for any reason immediately take Oral Rehydration Salts. I cannot emphasise strongly enough that even a little bit of diarrhoea dramatically depletes the body of mineral salts. You can buy sachets of rehydration salts from any pharmacy. You can also use these at a slightly reduced dose to treat exhaustion from over sweating and heatstroke.
Pharmaceuticals to Take.Taking anti-septic’s to a tropical climate makes good sense. Personally I take a bottle of the iodine you used to sterilise water which doubles up as a great anti-septic. You can buy this from travel/outdoor shops. The anti-diarrhoea drug Imodium is well worth carrying just in case everything else fails. Also carry a packet of antihistamines if you are going well off the beaten track. For severe allergic reactions to things like insect bites, in an emergency antihistamines may save your life by preventing your throat from swelling and blocking your airways.
Deep Vein Thrombosis.The risk of this is low but it is potentially fatal and there seems to be no way of predicting who is at risk. A high doses of vitamin E, say 800 IU is a day thins the blood and reduces the risk of clotting. To take effect however one would have to start the prescription 7 or ideally 10 days before the flight and continue five days after. Vitamin E is a healthy supplement to take anyway. An alternative substance that reduces the risk of a blood clot is aspirin. The significant downside to aspirin is that it can eat through the stomach lining and cause gastric bleeding. This side-effect can be significantly reduced by taking enteric coated low-dose aspirin. The dose for flying would be 2 or 3 enteric-coated aspirins divided between meals starting 5 days before and continuing to 3 days after your flight.
Blocked Ears.If you experience difficulty equalising the air pressure in your ears use a neti pot and wash out your sinuses once or twice a day for several days before you fly. You can see demonstrations of how to use a neti pot on YouTube. You can find neti pots online, for travelling I recommend buying a plastic one. I recommend adding sufficient salt to give you a very slight stinging sensation and use quite warm water. Be careful not to scald yourself, test the water temperature by dipping your nose in the pot first. Neti pots are very effective at clearing sinus infections, head colds and preventing these infections in the first place, so you may want to consider using a neti pot routinely when you fly. For sinus infection add a drop of Comvica propolis tincture to the warm salty water.
Post Flying Infections.
Many people regularly find they get an minor infection after flying, such as a cold sore, stye or sore throat. This can be due to the negative effects of travelling stress, jet lag, poor air quality on the plane, lack of sleep, and poor eating etc. An effective way you can prevent this by taking a few doses of Miatake throughout your journey. I have had very good feedback on this working. Dose: one pipette full 3 times per day on the day of travel and if needed the day after, say 24-48 hours.
Add and Subtract Blue Light to Reset Your Biological Clock:
As a preventative you can take the homoeopathic remedy:
Cocculus Indus 30c two pills every 12 hours from two days before to 3 days afterwards.
Additionally for jet lag symptoms try the following in 30c 2 pills once or twice per day:
Arnica - sleeplessness and restlessness when over-tired
Bellis perennis - waking mid-sleep and sleep interruptions
Chamomilla - emotional and mental stress, sleeplessness, impatience, intolerance and disorientation
Ipecacuanha - intense and constant nausea.
Alternatively you can buy melatonin online from America and take it to help you sleep. Melatonin does not actually reset your biological clock, but it can induce a deep and natural sleep. You simply take it when it is time to sleep at your destination. Melatonin often requires quite a bit of personal experimentation to get the optimum dosage and delivery method. Sustained-release pills help to keep while asleep, while the non-sustained release pills help to send one off to sleep. You can buy mixed pills to give you both effects. The other consideration is the dosage, for some people lower doses are more effective and higher doses can cause nightmares. Experiment from 0.5 mg up to 3 mg to find the dose that works best to you. Simply by 0.5 mg (500 mcg) pills and experiment by taking from 1 to 6.
If you are really serious about reducing your chances of suffering from jetlag there is also the dietary technique called the anti-jetlag diet. It’s slightly complicated and has to be started several days before you travel, but according to one military study this procedure can reduces the chances of jetlag by 7.5 times. You can easily find instructions online, if you own an iPhone or iPad you can buy an app called anti jetlag diet.
Altitude or Mountain SicknessIt takes the body a little time to acclimatise to high altitude, until it does the lack of oxygen can cause anything from mild altitude sickness through to death. Altitude sickness can start anywhere above 2000 m (6500 feet) however most people can ascend to 2400 m (8000 feet) without difficulty; serious altitude sickness generally only occurs above 3000 m. There is a considerable variation between individual responses to high altitude, make sure you are familiar with the early warning signs.
At first signs of altitude sickness stop ascending, hydrate well and if the symptoms persist for more than 8 to 12 hours seek medical advice or descend to a lower altitude by at least 500 meters. If symptoms are severe or persist more than 48 hours always descend and ideally administer oxygen.
The natural remedy offering some protection against altitude sickness is Coca Leaves. In Latin America these are readily available and simply consumed in tea or like chewing tobacco. Although the narcotic cocaine is derived from coca leaves there is apparently no risk of chewing coca leaves leading to addiction. Where they are not available you could take homoeopathic Coca 30 once per day as a preventative and 2 to 4 times per day if you develop symptoms.
You're much more likely to develop altitude sickness if you have pre-existing heart or lung disease, if you smoke or have anaemia from lack of iron. Supplementing iron before you travel to high altitude is recommended. Many people advice preloading aspirin before ascending to reduce the chance of developing headaches. I consider this bad advice and suggest that if your body is becoming stressed by the lack of oxygen you want the warning sign of a headache to tell you to stop ascending and take the time to acclimatise.
The Shopping List:
- Clarkia 100 or Natures Answer Black Walnut & Wormwood Complex. Only available from the US now.
- Air oxy (Stabilised Aerobic Oxygen) or Aerobic Oxygen or equivalent.
- Two homoeopathic remedies:
The other containing cinchona officinalis 30c, take a dose of this every day in high malaria risk areas.
- Homoeopathic Coca 30 for high altitude travel.
- Some bowel Flora. Optional but highly recommended: Optibac Probiotics Travla.
- Optional jet lag: Cocculus Indus 30c/melatonin.
- Optional for diarrhoea in high risk areas: a couple of sachets of oral rehydration salts.