By Judy Coldicott ADH RCHom
I’ll never forget a long trip back from Nelson, stuck behind the ‘kiwi family’ with their camping gear spilling out of the trailer – the full barbecue, deck chairs, bikes for the family, boogey boards, a bucket and broom, the bundled up tent with a variety of old carpet scraps and the sun umbrella with a tenuous grip on the top of the load. My guess is there was a game of Pictionary in the back somewhere!
It’s often on the list of things to attend to before we set off on any sort of a holiday – the first aid kit. However, in the rush and excitement of packing the essentials it can be left until the last minute. The basics contents are always needed but there are also some great homeopathic items that I would NEVER be without on holiday!
Just the sheer stress of getting packed up to get away on holiday can lead to an Arnica state. The bed feels uncomfortable, you are restless, your legs ache and so do your shoulders and neck, giving you a headache. Your mind is overwhelmed with the organisation and you are physically exhausted from the packing and preparation. Taking Arnica will prompt your body to relax and reduce these signs of overexertion. It is a particularly useful remedy to think of for long haul drives to your destination and for overseas plane travel where you are cramped up for a long period of time and just can’t get comfortable.
Just as a good strong cup of coffee can rev you up a bit, so can the overstimulation from excessive joy; of travelling away, meeting family or anticipating their arrival. This level of excitement can also be accompanied by headaches which leave you sleepless in the middle of the night, your head spinning with excitement and ideas! As previously discussed, homeopathy works on the concept of ‘like cures like’ so in a case like this taking the remedy Coffea can help calm the overactive mind and allow you to relax, sleep and be in a better place for meeting the relatives or friends you are waiting for!
This is a mixture of two tinctures – one made from Hypericum and the other Calendula. Between them, they provide an option, added to water, for bathing wounds. The sorts of holiday skin ailments that you might find these useful for are shell cuts, scratches from sharp bushes when tramping such as flax, gorse or branches, cuts and abrasions such as grazes or burns form the barbecue. Hypericum is particularly helpful in the pain of deeper entry wounds and will help with the cleansing process while calendula will assist in the granulation of the skin after injury. Together, with a squirt in your clean bowl of water, they offer a soothing option for cleansing a wound.
This is an all time favourite remedy for overindulgence in holiday food – roast dinner, cream on the pudding or that extra sausage from the barbecue swilled down with another beer. This can seem all very well at the time but leaves the liver overtaxed and the indulger feeling seedy. If nausea or vomiting, or even the feeling that you wish you could vomit, follow overindulgence in party food or drink, think of this remedy to set you on an even keel again – a holiday must!
If you are camping and have sparse access to cold food storage the chances of a tummy upset are high. If you suspect food poisoning of any sort or have some sort of an upset that causes simultaneous vomiting or diarrhoea, with the gripey pains that accompany, this remedy is your ‘go to’ choice. Continue with all your normal first aid options, boiled water or electrolyte replacements but adding in the use of this can be helpful in calming the violent reaction the digestive system has.
Often prescribed for a bee-sting, this remedy is very useful for redness and tight swelling of any kind – even for the stinging and later the itching of mild sunburn or other mild burns. Continue with your applications of cool water and keep out of the sun but give Apis at the same time to encourage the body to reduce inflammation and heal.
A most useful choice after eating too many sweets and fatty, rich foods or for breastfed babies whose mothers have been overindulging in these! Usually the person will feel listless and thirstless, may have a white coating on the tongue and heavy sensation in the stomach. Their symptoms are usually relieved while out in the open air and worse in stuffy warm rooms, Children generally tend to be clingy, whiny or weepy and it is a good remedy to think of if they have a cold with a green-yellow runny nose and the mood described fits them.
We work all year to enjoy some time off in the holidays. Knowing how to utilise a few of these basic homeopathic remedies can assist in alleviating unwanted symptoms so that you can enjoy your experience. Put some of these remedies together now in preparation with the rest of your first aid kit so that you can maximise your time with relaxation and a good book!