Whether you're traveling by car or by plane you have a lot to pack and prioritize when you travel as a family over the holidays. There are lots of considerations that you need to keep track of and keeping your children healthy on the trip is a top priority. It really takes the fun out of things if you are taking care of a sick child at a hotel or in the guest room of someone else's house, especially when you don't have your herbal remedies with you.
Let's talk about what herbal remedies to bring with you on your trip and highlight some of the many ways you and your child's immune system can be weakened and strengthened as you travel. After reading this, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to want to go without your herbs from Birth Song Botanicals!
Why Do We Get Sick Around The Holidays?
The weather can be unpredictable this time of year. You might have a few sunny afternoons followed by a 40 degree temperature drop and the next day it's icy and cold. If you live in Arkansas, like I do, that can happen the same day! When children are exposed to sudden cold and wind especially if they don't have their ears, neck and kidneys covered they are prone to getting coughs, colds and ear infections.
When we travel we get exposed to new bacterias and viruses especially when we travel during the cold and flu season, in some ways that is good because it builds immunity and makes us stronger in the long run. In the short term, it usually means getting pretty sick. Seeing family with cute kids means lots of hugs and kisses from grand parents, cousins, friends and neighbors. Traveling on the plane is like touching the entire world. Millions of people from every corner of the globe pass through airports. The planes need to circulate the oxygen in the cabin during the flight. Essentially we are all breathing the same cabin air.
Traveling exposes us to allergens too. We might be sleeping in a clean guest room or hotel, or we might be sleeping on someones couch, or making a pallet on the floor. Either way, there is a potential for dust, pet dander and smoke from the fire place, all of which can irritate the upper respiratory track causing coughs, congestion and sore throats.
Lots of kids have food allergies. Well meaning family members don't know the list of must avoid ingredients like you do. They are not intentionally trying to sabotage your efforts. They just don’t know it like you do. It's easy to accidentally get gluten, dairy, corn, nuts, artificial colors and preservatives mixed into the family meals.
New and interesting foods can be a delight and highlight of your trip. Tasting and smelling all those delicious flavors and aromas are some of my favorite parts of traveling and of the holidays. The rest of the year we work so diligently on our nutrition and make sure our kids get the best fruits and veggies. When the holidays roll around, we hear our selves say,"sure you can have another ...cookie....piece of pie...candy cane...soda" our kids are not used to that much sugar. As adults, it's common for us to have more alcohol, and caffeine than we're accustomed to.
Not to mention the disruption of sleep. Either because of the change of time zones, the exciting atmosphere, or the less than ideal sleeping accommodations. It can be a challenge getting good quality sleep away from home. All of these situations contribute to over taxing our bodies, weakening our immune systems and making us more susceptible to illness.
Never fear, travel smart my adventurous mama friend. Traveling can be so much fun and a great way to bond and experience life to the fullest. Let's keep you and your kids as healthy as possible on the trip and when you get home.
For our family when we leave town for a trip we pack our "herbal travel kit". First and foremost, we bring Children's Immune Boost with us because it is an herbal anti microbial blend that supports the bodies own ability to protect it's self and fight infections like a boss! It is my go to remedy for the entire family especially if someone has a fever or any type of infection. You can give a few drops orally several times a day both as a preventive and during an active illness.
We also bring our Astragalus blend called Children's Daily Immune with us on our trips because Astragalus Root is an adaptogenic herb that supports the bodies immune system and helps keep you from getting sick in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of the cure. There is one thing to note about Astragalus Root though, it is not recommended to take if you are already sick. It will worsen the symptoms during an acute illness. It is a wonderful herb for recovery though.
The next item in our herb kit is Children's Respiratory Support. This is a blend of Elderberry and Thyme. This blend is a great decongestant for coughs, colds, stuffy nose, and sore throats. There have been multiple studies that show Elderberry is effective at shortening the duration of the symptoms of the flu. Symptoms like fever, coughs, infection and body aches. It seems like this one should just be with you where ever you are!
Stomach aches are common when you travel. It's either from motion or car sickness or from the brand new foods we just tried for the first time. Stomach Soother is another must bring herbal remedy. It's a classic blend of ginger, peppermint and fennel that helps relieve gas, nausea, tummy ache, colic, heart burn, acid reflux, constipation and even a nervous stomach from stress.
Speaking of stress, Children's Tranquility is another remedy we always bring with us. It helps the kids settle down during the long hours in the car or on the plane. It helps with the restlessness and whininess that accompanies with boredom and being young. It can also help everyone get a good night sleep and calm the nervous tension and stress that comes with family visits.
We just started to bring Earache Relief Oil with us because recently our son got water trapped in his ears the last time we were visiting family. Granted it was in the summer and he had swimmers ear. Still, I really don't want to be with out this incase his ears hurt and become infected. You will want to bring this with you if your children are prone to earaches or already have a stuffy nose before you leave on your trip. Remember, earaches are worse at night and usually show up a few days after a stuffy nose and a cough.
We also bring Healing Salve with us for first aid. It is great for wind chapped skin, dry lips and burns. Sometimes we mix in essential oils to make a decongestant chest rub with it. Over the holidays there are candles, fire places, busy kitchens all creating opportunities to get burned.
A few other immune supporting items that are not herbal products that we take with us are activated charcoal, and vitamin C powder.
I know it sounds like a lot to pack and take with you. Trust me it's really not that much to bring considering all the benefits. All of the herbal remedies I mentioned come in small easy to carry one ounce dropper bottle. They can be carried on to an air plane. They don't require refrigeration or any special storage, and they are easy to give to your kids. All you have to do is drop a few drops under their tongue (except the ear oil, that goes in the ears lol).
To learn more about each of the product in the kit click here!
Holiday family gatherings require a lot from us. In order to have a bonding and satisfying experience we need to give from a deep well and not from a dried well.
Here are a few ideas to help you feel engaged and supported this season.
- Practice self care now! As we prepare and plan for the holiday our self care practice helps us show up more fully and with more enthusiasm about being with your family and or being solo.
- Cook what you love! Keep it simple. Maybe even get ready made foods from the co-op or whole foods.
- Don’t do it all yourself! Get support, accept help from others with cleaning, cooking and taking care of the kids.
- Set healthy boundaries! An example is setting a time for the meal. Know what everyone is going to bring. That way it’s not too much for any one person. Another example is don’t talk about politics during the meal. That can happen after.
- Remember a lot of the holiday stress is from unrealistic expectations that we put on ourselves or from others. I should have a nice place, I should look better, I should have cooked ...... No Shoulding all over the place.
- Also the stress comes from old family patterns. Give space and have compassion for yourself and your loved ones. Everyone is going through something.
- Take a deep breath, move, practice compassion, get curious, and actively choose kindness.
All in all, I wish you safe travels my friend! Hug your family, eat good food, enjoy some sweet treats -all in moderation. Remember when you travel with your herbal kit you are traveling smart. You’ll be so grateful you had them if you need them.
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