You have booked your flight, arranged the tours, got your shots and confirmed your insurance. Now, to pack your Natural First Aid Kit.
I always take the following in a small clear zippered bag for First Aid when travelling, and pack it into a side pocket or easily accessible area or your suitcase or backpack. Clean bandana or cotton scarf – multiple use – sling, snuff- kerchief, clean bandage, face mask, dressing for wounds, wet and wear around the neck in hot climates to cool the body. Secondary use as a fashion item.
Indispensable Alternative First Aid items
- Aloe Vera pure gel – great for bites, stings, rashes, itching, chaffing, haemorrhoids, sunburn. Apply to appropriate area frequently until soothed and healed.
- Lavender oil – multi-purpose 10=20 mls is enough for travelling. Make sure it is in a dropper bottle as you only need a few drops for – sunburn, mix with the Aloe Vera gel for soothing and healing. A couple of drops on a handkerchief inhaled for sinus pain or headache, fatigue, jet lag can be great for the spirit. It can be used for bites & stings, a few drops mixed with some hand cream or Sorbelene is great to rub aching muscles, and a few drops on the pillow at night may help you sleep a little better. If you have a headache, rub a little on your temples and massage a little into your shoulders.
- Tea Tree oil – another multi purpose favourite. Again, a small amount can deal with cuts bites and stings, tinea and can be used as a mouthwash or garlgle for sore throats or as a disinfectant.
- Rescue Remedy – A few drops under the tongue can alleviate jetlag, help with shock or weariness, general travel stress.
- Chamomile Tea bags – can be drunk to enjoy, or can be used for upset tummies and indigestion, to aid sleep, or can be used as a wash for eyes, or a poultice for weary itchy tired eyes.
- Peppermint tea bags – for enjoyment, or indigestion, stomach cramps, wind pain or fever.
- Echinacea Tea bags – immune system booster, great for staving off a sore throat or cold.
- Tea Tree gargle.
- Arnica cream or infused St Johns Wort oil – great for bruising and strained sore muscles to use as a massage balm.
- Paracetamol / Panadol – 6-8 tabs will do for travel purposes- headache, fever, pain.
- Needle or small sewing kit, safety pins.
- Small pair of tweezers and scissors. Book of matches or lighter, to sterilise these items if needed.
- Vial of sterile normal saline – for flushing eyes or wounds. You might also like to take some eye drops if you suffer with sensitive eyes.
- Assortment of bandaids, gauze swabs or make- up pads for dressing material, few cotton buds and if you have them.
- Plastic Gloves - Throw in a couple of disposable plastic gloves – you never know when you might come in contact with blood – so use these to prevent cross infection and protect yourself too.
- Lip balm or salve is helpful too, but you might like to keep that in your purse or pocket.
So, if you gather all these things together in a small pouch or bag you have a small first aid kit that will deal with almost all little travel emergencies or health inconveniences that might arise during your trip.
Jill Meredith is a NSW Central Coast Naturopath and Registered Nurse who has travelled under different circumstances in different cultures. Jill is a trained First Aid Instructor and knows the value of being prepared for medical emergencies no matter where you are travelling.