"My daughter is heading off for 6 months of volunteer work and travel in Nepal and India. I have two questions: Is there any particular way she can “recover” from any ill effects of the required vaccinations for travel? And secondly: what are important items she should carry with her so that she can stay healthy while traveling?"
Congratulations on your daughter’s upcoming adventure, what a way to broaden her horizons!
Individual reactions to numerous vaccines vary widely, but can sometimes be unpredictable, particularly for individuals who have not had many vaccines in their life prior to multiple vaccines at one time for travel. Very simply: if someone has a persistent pain at the site of injection, I recommend the remedy Ledum 30C, taking a few pellets once or twice a day until the pain (and even redness and swelling if present) is fully resolved. If the patient complains of something “just not right” ever since a vaccine (or multiple vaccines), I would recommend Thuja 30C, a few pellets for one to five days. For particular symptoms arising since a vaccine, I treat the symptoms as if they were an acute illness and recommend nutritional or homeopathic treatment accordingly.
Now – for the travel kit! I have a two-part travel kit recommendation. The first part is nutritional, and it has 3 components:
- A water purification system, not just a water filter. REI (Recreational Equipment Incorporated) has a good description of the differences. Traveling where there might be exposure to viruses, requires an effective purification system, and there are several different sizes and prices to choose from.
- Immune support can come in one or two forms, either anti-oxidants, such as Thorne Research OPC-100 or Innate Response Resveratrol , or mushroom-derived blends such as Host Defense My Community. I would recommend taking double daily doses during times of stress, either physical or mental/emotional, to boost the body’s immune capabilities.
- Finally, in addition to an antibiotic prescription for severe gastrointestinal illness, I would recommend finding an easy-to-pack-and-carry probiotic such as Integrative Therapeutics Probiotic Pearls (link to store). They could be taken 1 a day, or saved for the first sign of any problems with digestion, and taken as many as possible until stools normalize. Probiotics work great in conjunction with a homeopathic travel kit and sheet of instructions, see below.
The second part is a homeopathic travel kit, with an easy to follow set of instructions and remedies sufficient to handle most kinds of travelers’ diarrhea and many other first aid problems that can arise while traveling. I’ll include here what I have been handing out in my office for the last 20 years! The remedies can be purchased by contacting my office as described here.
On Your Way: First Aid Remedies for Travel
Remedy, to be used for:
Aconite 1M SHOCK with fear, or for injury to the eye, especially corneal abrasion
Arnica 1M Bruise, strains, exhaustion, shock, head injury. Any type of injury not covered by another remedy.
Apis 30C Severe local allergic reaction to bee sting: hot, red, stinging. You may repeat this one every 5 minutes if needed.
Canth 30C Burns: 2nd or 3rd degree. Remedy will help with the pain while you apply topical dressing. Also for Acute UTI’s with lots of burning pain.
Hyper 30C Very painful nerve injuries to delicate tissues or the spine.
Ledum 30C Puncture wounds, splinters, stings. Also for blunt eye trauma.
DIARRHEA And, more specifically:
Ars 30C Sudden collapse with chill and anxiety. Or simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea where there is some relief after vomiting. Or burning pains, internally or with the diarrhea.
Podo 30C Simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea where gas sputters with the stool. Yellow stool and waking early, 4-5 a.m., with urgency.
Coloc 30C Bad cramps, before the diarrhea starts, better from bending, heat, or passing gas.
Bell 30C Sudden cramps, before or without diarrhea, with flushing &/or fever.
Nux-v 30C Nausea after eating, like a stone in stomach. Can’t belch, want to. Heartburn. Cramps, Persistent urge, even after stool. (Also helpful for hangovers!)
Verat 30C Simultaneous vomiting and diarrhea with cold clammy sweat & weakness
Ipecac 30C Severe nausea, vomiting doesn’t relieve. Irritable. Stools foamy, w/slimy mucous. Straining at stool.
Carb-v 30C Extreme bloating after or during meals, so bad as to make breathing difficult or cause fainting. Belching helps.
30C remedies can be taken 2-3 pellets every 1-2 hours until better. Taper off as you improve. 1M remedies can be taken: 1 capful just once.