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My obsession with DIY remedies began in London. I was plagued by what seemed like a perpetual outbreak of hives while studying abroad. When I was hit with a dose of culture shock, my various skin ailments flared up in their full glory.
I felt helpless. I bought tubes of steroid creams with no idea of what I was putting on my arms and legs.
Since then, I’ve been motivated to educate myself on staying healthy with natural ingredients and learning from cultures around the globe about various food and plant-based remedies.
In both my travels and my experiments with herbs, remedies, and essential oils, I am amazed at the potential we have for improving our health with the natural remedies at-hand.
Mother nature is smart and, like learning a new language, I completely geek out when I have a moment of understanding about why or how an ingredient works.
Let’s Talk Essentials
The DIY world can be a bit overwhelming.
The bonus of making your own products and remedies is that you know exactly what’s in them. If there’s ever a zombie attack and I’m stranded, I’m a step ahead, since almost all of my products are edible. They’re also an inexpensive way of stocking my medicine cabinet.
For me, the best way to start getting comfortable in this DIY world was to explore essential oils. I began by researching their amazing healing properties and how I could use them during my travels.
My carry-on collection of oils and DIY bath products for my recent trip to Spain. Image by Jill Robinson.
What Makes Essential Oils Great for Traveling?
1. They pack a punch in small amounts.
2. The average bottle size easily passes the liquid limit for carry-on luggage.
3. They are versatile in their healing properties.
Essential oils are easy to find, and you can order them here to make sure you’re getting high-quality and sustainably grown products.
Be aware: Essential oils are potent. I recommend adding a few drops to a carrier oil like olive or jojoba to avoid burning your skin. I pre-mix my travel batches so I don’t have to carry extra ingredients.
Trusty Travel Companions
Peppermint oil is a must if you get motion sickness. I have the amazing ability to get seasick on Lake Michigan during a sunset cruise, but a few drops between my palms and a couple deep inhales of the peppermint can settle my uneasy stomach fairly quickly.
Here are a few additional uses for peppermint oil:
1. Massage it into your temples or scalp to cure a headache.
2. Inhale it in the morning to boost your energy.
3. Put a drop in a glass of water to help freshen your breath.
While peppermint oil was my first purchase when I started building my collection of oils, lavender might be my favorite and most oft-used ingredient.
Lavender oil is well known for its calming effects in tea and aromatherapy. When I struggle getting acclimated to a new time zone or start worrying about flights or travel challenges, rubbing lavender oil on the soles of my feet before bed helps me relax a little easier.
But don’t let the sleepy-time description fool you. Lavender oil is an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, and a boss when it comes to healing various issues.
Here are some additional uses for lavender oil:
1. Dab it on a mosquito bite to alleviate the itching.
2. Apply it to burns for fast healing with minimal scarring.
3. Use it to prevent wounds from becoming infected.
Be aware: With any essential oil, a little goes a long way. Be mindful of any negative symptoms you might have, and do your research on how oils or herbs affect prescription medication.
Peppermint and lavender are just a few simple examples of how to stay healthy while traveling. In the months ahead, I’ll be sharing tips and recipes from around the world. We’ll learn about new remedies and how to make your own concoctions to keep your immune system in top form.
Hopefully, I’ll empower you to explore not just a new destination, but a new way of living.