People usually don’t want to discuss this very sensitive yet excellent topic. Even though during Covid19, people didn’t travel that often, health question was more important than ever. That’s why “we,” and by that, I mean myself and our guest Tatjana Mitina.
A nutritionist who can enlighten us about alternatives to the popular over-the-counter medicine used to deal with various health problems can suggest good and less damaging things.
Ajan.Rena: I’m hoping we will get suggestions with the links, and don’t laugh at me; I’m a lazy person with a short memory span. So if I don’t have it in my cart or bookmarks, IT’S GONE!
Sudrabfox: I can relate to that, but bookmarking doesn’t work for me. Plus, we are talking about health, and prevention is a better action plan than afterward trying to extinguish that fire.
But let us start; Tatjana, could you please introduce yourself so that readers can know more about you :
Tatjana.Mitina: My name is Tatjana, and I am old enough to say that I have X number of years of experience in the pharmaceutical and especially food supplement fields. My parents devoted 21 years of their lives to the job in that sphere. Since childhood, I had no other option than to listen to all the talks about different pills, new inventions, documents from the border crossing points, and all possible and impossible side effects. I was truly trying to avoid these theme for many years, but once I understood that without being healthy, you’ll never become wealthy. And like that started my journey back to the food supplement world. I’ve finished nutriciology courses and got a modern profession called “suplementolog” – in easy words, the person who knows which food supplement to take not to die yesterday.
Ajan.Rena: wow… Fox, we have a real gem here; we should ask as many questions as possible.
Sudrabfox: contain yourself; let’s start. Sometimes even when you try to pre-empt a situation, you can’t avoid every possible scenario. People love to travel, and one common fear is getting sick during travel. And when that worst-case scenario hits in a foreign country, you are double as scared and confused.
Being someone who travels the world despite problems with my health. I’ve got a good idea of the essentials for a travel pharmacy. Given that I have been doing this for quite some time. I learned to differentiate the essential things to pack from the ones you could quickly leave at home.
You can buy that stuff when needed at some point during your journey. For example, I used to think I needed to pack around three boxes of general painkillers (paracetamol). Because they are just good for everything. But the truth is, I have yet to travel to any destination where that kind of medication was impossible to find.
Ajan.Rena: Truth, but it’s always good to have something that will help you. Without trying to find a pharmacy in unknown cities. If I remember correctly, you had that interesting Quest during your stay in South Korea. And it wasn’t a small city.
Sudrabfox: yeah, I had that “quest” in Seoul while having a cold and not feeling well. That’s why prevention is the key; let us start with general advice.
Table of Content:
Packing a travel pharmacy implies knowing what destinations you will visit. Even if you still need to get a fixed plan. You should have a general idea if you are heading towards moist wetlands with lots of (Malaria-infested) mosquitoes, areas where Zika is predominant, or countries where a vaccination to prevent typhoid fever, is crucial.
Consulting a travel medicine specialist and getting all the vaccination shots and meds you need for each destination is a must. Specialists know what they’re doing, they will also learn about your health history, and they are the only source you should use for that kind of travel preparation.
We are putting together general guidelines, mostly prescription-free medication you might even find in every corner of the world.
When listing medication below, I will always give some major brand names and the active component. When looking for a specific medication, at least you can ask for the ingredient to be sure to get approximately the same thing. Plus, we will have suggestions from Tatjana that are less aggressive for the body.
Travel pharmacy essentials: the ‘musts’ for the most frequent issues
Diarrhea & food-related issues
Ajan.Rena: This is the most common problem travelers face during their journeys. And it’s totally normal. You will most certainly visit places (sometimes out of your comfort zone) serving food your body isn’t used to.
Now, some people are more sensitive than others. But even the hard-stomached ones WILL experience traveler’s diarrhea at least once at some point in their lives.
Sudrabfox: Of course, this is a whole other level for me. My relationship with food can’t be compared to that of a person with a well-functioning bowel. Still, there are some things that we all have in common: new food = adjustment = it goes well, or it doesn’t.
Tatjana.Mitina: LOL… I am literally lying on the ground, people. Main and the first thing you must have with you is so-called water “filter” Coral-Mine. In any country in the world, it is possible to find bottled water (which, despite of what is stated on the label, is dead – if you’re lucky; or filled with additional “healthy” whatever) – 1 sachet of that “filter” will enrich at least 1,5l of water with 70 micro and macro elements, important for life processes, including calcium form which is completely assimilated by the body, will adjust pH level to optimal, make it structurized so that your body will not have to fight for it, cause it will become bioavailable and biologically active. Here, check it out
Next on the list, I would pack Assimilator – plant enzymes that break down Carbohydrates and Proteins and Fats, plus A and D vitamins that help regulate gastrointestinal inflammation, protecting the GI tract. When you’re overloaded with something, take two vegetable capsules, and in 10 minutes, you’ll breathe again.
Number three, for those with a tendency of “burning throat” when the acidity is trying to come up and face the one who ate the “good stuff”, your savior is Zaferan. Promotes liver health and protects the liver like Silymarin (from Milk Thistle). It helps to reduce blood cholesterol. Reduces inflammation. Has a strong antioxidant effect comparable to that of vitamins C and E. Again, If your throat is on fire—take two capsules and give it 10–15 minutes. Turmeric inside the capsule will make magic very fast.
And if you’re a professional traveler who simply 100% knows. That anything can happen, and that anything will probably happen somewhere in the deepest parts of hell’s forgotten place.
So here is the multi-savior of the day Metastick – Active Lactobacillus plantarus metabolites from orange peel and Korean kimchi. Biologically active metabolic products (metabolites) of beneficial lactobacilli. These substances maintain normal intestinal microflora, normalize stools, reduce discomfort in the digestive tract and flatulence. An important advantage of metabiotics is their resistance to antibiotics and thermostability.
In simple words – whatever goes wrong – take one serving stick and save your day immediately.
Here’s what you want to pack if you plan on traveling with all your senses “standard edition”:
Imodium (active component: loperamide).
This is one of the most used drugs during travels, and it decreases bowel movement frequency, which can be very important, especially concerning food poisoning. Diarrhea on itself isn’t dangerous if it happens occasionally, but it can be if you don’t manage to stop it at some point.
In case that happens: find yourself a doctor.
Motilium (active component: domperidone)
This medication for reducing nausea and vomiting was prescription-free in almost all European countries for decades. But then, there were a few cases of heart failure related to the main component domperidone, which got restricted.
In other parts of the world, it is still available over the counter. It should be used in moderation – as with all medication – but, just like with the Imodium for diarrhea, it can help prevent dehydration caused by vomiting, such as minor food poisoning.
Again: if you experience proper food poisoning that lasts longer than a day, consult a professional!
Gaviscon, Alka-Seltzer, Eno, and other anti-acids
Having a few tablets of one anti-acid is always helpful, as heartburn or upset stomach can occur at any time, anywhere. They are available over the counter all over the world, so you might only need to pack them after a while. But because stomach issues are so unpredictable, it is the kind of thing you want to have ready to hand, especially when you are just in the middle of nowhere, for example.
Not a medication but a potential ‘life-savior’ as well: toilet paper
I know it’s not a typical travel pharmacy, but it is essential nonetheless. Yes, toilet paper is available anywhere in the world (except maybe in some Muslim countries where the cleaning is done with water, not paper). But this is especially valuable for road trips as, here again, urgencies can occur at any moment, anywhere. Having a roll of toilet paper is essential. Period.
Pro-tip: If you want to carry only part of the roll, take a few toilet paper sheets and put them inside a sealable plastic bag (like a freezer bag). That way, it’s flat, fits easily into your bag, and doesn’t disintegrate when you visit destinations with high air humidity.
This is a drug sold over the counter worldwide but it comes in so many brands and names. In Belgium/Luxembourg, for example, the most sold one would be Dafalgan. Paracetamol is our go-to painkiller. It’s also fever-reducing, which makes it perfect for colds or minor flu that you might catch. I also use it for simple headaches because it works much better and faster than aspirin.
Ajan.Rena: Nice, but I prefer APAP, which has the same specifications, yet it contains caffeine. What would be Your suggestion Tatjana?
Tatjana.Mitina: Heh, APAP, by the way, is quite a nice liver killer, but, unfortunately, it’s not available in all European countries. In Poland, it’s on shelves near chewing gum, so even children can buy it. I would say that if you have coral-mine and Assimilator in your bag, to prevent any kind of pain in your head will help H-500 so called “fuel of life” which is a powerful antioxidant that increases stamina during any physical exertion, exercise, or labor. It reduces lactic acid levels and helps remove it from the muscles quickly. It helps prevent the ravages of free radicals and boosts energy by stimulating cellular energy output, and PentoKan K+ a source of potassium in a bioavailable form.
So the manual will be the following: make concentrated water with coral-mine (place one sachet in a glass of warm water) after 5 minutes add 1 effervescent tablet of PentoKan K+, pour out Assimilator capsule under the tongue (it has no taste or smell) and take 2-4 H-500 capsules with the magic cocktail you made in the glass.
Disinfectant & antiseptic
You never know when you might have to sterilize a wound. Happens all the time. I always carry a little bottle in our travel pharmacy. Take one or two sterile compresses to apply when there is an emergency, and you can’t get to a doctor or hospital immediately. Cleaning the wound before anything is the most crucial to preventing inflammation.
Warming ointment or diclofenac
If you pulled a muscle, you’d have to treat it. The best way is to always have some warming ointment with camphor or arnica. For even more effect, you could have one containing diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug, mostly sold under Voltaren. But because this is more than just plants, it’s only on prescription in some countries.
A general antibiotic
I can’t stretch this enough: always consult your doctor before any trip. But I always have one general antibiotic in my travel pharmacy. In general, though, every ‘travel doctor’ will probably prescribe you one to take with you because that’s the thing that can potentially save your freakin’ life if you catch some severe disease somewhere in the middle of the African bush. You won’t use it (touching wood), but it’s better to have it and not need it than the other way around.
A little fever thermometer
If you feel unwell but are unsure if you need to seek a hospital or doctor, it’s always good to check if you have a fever. Cause if you do, you will most likely have to get another kind of care. Not essential but also handy when on longer trips.
Ajan.Rena: What would be Your suggestion, Tatjana?
Tatjana.Mitina: Hmm….Let me see…
Cleaning wound: SilverMax Care is a water solution of colloidal silver (“silver water”) for daily facial skin cleansing. When applied as a .lotion the ions of silver in Silver-Max Care solution inhibit the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria on the skin’s surface. This magical water saved my butt not once, especially with children’s issues: cuts, rash, smth rubbed, etc. If your wound is bleeding, apply a little Silver Gel which will help to stop blood and heal the injury, it also is quite well working with herpes issues.
Concerning the antibiotic question, I would offer Pau D’Arco Bark – Pau D’Arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa). That’s a tree that grows in Central and South America. Historically, it has been used by the indigenous population to shed body aches and pain, weight, feelings of despair, promote wound healing, and much more. So, in simple words – antibiotics provided by nature. The maximum daily dosage of up to 21 tablets.
Travel pharmacy essentials: the ‘maybes’—depending on your chosen destination
Mosquito repellant with Deet
Yes, constantly spraying deet (diethyltoluamide) on your skin can cause irritation. You should always remember to wash it off once you’re indoors and don’t need it anymore.
But the truth is, insect repellants containing deet are still the only effective ones. If you are in Japan’s countryside or visiting Malaysia, that’s a must-have. And even with deet, that still can happen.
Having mosquito repellent is still the best way to prevent any mosquito-borne disease, and wearing long sleeves and pants when you are somewhere with that risk.
Water purification tablets
Let’s be honest: we are SO spoiled with our tap water in Europe. Tap water is tastier than bottled water. But that’s not the case in the rest of the world. Many countries warn you against even using tap water to brush your teeth or wash vegetables.
AR: What would be Your Suggestion TM?
TM I am still insisting on coral-mine. Wherever you go, whatever you do – you need bioavailable water, so your body won’t need to fight for mining water from whatever you drink or eat. Alkaline environment inside yourself is the ground floor of your strong health.
Travel pharmacy essentials: the ‘depending on your health.
Of course, we are all individuals. So our body structure, strength, and health issues (minor or bigger) are different.
So here are recommendations for essentials to pack in your travel pharmacy :
Water—purification, mineralization etc. – Coral-Mine
Antibiotic – Pau D’Arco Bark
But always remember – all our “troubles” are hiding in the guts system, even cough, and fever. If your guts will be clean and working like a swiss watch, eventually you’ll forget even about running nose. Following the health, concept is a simple way to avoid pharmacies and make your only temple given to you for a lifetime in a condition that will allow you to enjoy life for up to 125 years. You are washing your face and hands every day, as well as brushing your teeth and visiting the shower – how many times in your whole life have you’ve made general cleaning inside of your body? – That’s your answer for all possible health issues…
Welcome to my health club – I will show you the way to a healthy life and travel without pharmacy limits.
Sudrabfox: that’s a lot of valuable suggestions that hopefully will help readers of this post.
Ajan.Rena: Sure they will; it’s less problematic than the traditional version of meds, where you are considering the consequences of taking them. I definitely will go shopping; better be prepared than sorry!
If you like this and have some suggestions, advice, or questions on this post, let us know by commenting below.