Liz Earle's holiday herbals
We wanted to share these suggestions from our friend Liz: just the best for your travel bag, helping you stay well in botanical style this summer. As you may know, Liz has gone back to her writing and editing roots and combined her interests in natural food, health and beauty to create a new digital and print magazine titled Liz Earle Wellbeing. More top tips, hints and tips for alfresco dining, and seasonal recipes can be found in the summer issue (which is out now - details below). GINGER
Ginger is a powerful antioxidant and helps improve the circulation. Even a small amount of ginger may help prevent blood clots by stopping blood platelets clumping together, so could be a useful pre-flight DVT (deep vein thrombosis) preventative. Ginger is also a highly effective remedy for nausea and morning sickness and is a natural comfort for travellers whether by sea, road, rail or air.
Make a natural ginger tea by infusing a slice of the root in a mug of hot water and take with you in a flask, or try powdered ginger capsules an hour before departure. If nothing else is available, even nibbling on a ginger biscuit or piece of crystallised ginger root while travelling can help (a useful tip when travelling with children).
Liz never travels without a tiny bottle of multipurpose pure lavender essential oil and you’ll always find one tucked into her overnight bag. The name lavender is derived from the Latin ‘lavare’ meaning ‘to wash’ and it was the favourite addition to bath water for te Greeks and Romans. Even now, adding a few drops to a warm bath is one of the fastest ways to revive a jet-lagged brain and body. The pure essential oil is steam-distilled from lavender’s fragrant purple flower heads and has been shown to have relaxant properties helpful for treating nerves, tension and stress.
Clinical studies using the essential oil also show it to have sedating and sleep-inducing properties. Try sprinkling a few drops onto a tissue and tucking into your hotel or airline pillow to encourage more restful sleep. Lavender oil is one of the most popular oils in aromatherapy and can be applied neat in small doses to burns, insect bites and minor wounds dramatically helping speed the healing process.
The gooey sap of the large, juicy fronds of this succulent evergreen plant has been used since at least the fourth century BC. It was hailed by American Indians as the ‘wand of heaven’ and by Christopher Columbus as ‘the potted physician’ because of its medicinal properties. Aloe vera juice or sap contains tannins, steroids, antibiotic substances, enzymes, vitamins, minerals and more.
The pure juice can be useful for settling gastro-intestinal complaints, so pack a small bottle if you’re sensitive to a change in diet. Aloe vera gel is good for all kinds of burns, including sunburn, heat burns and even radiation burns. Choose a pure form of the gel (or snap off a local leaf if you’re in the tropics) to help heal sunburn, and mix with a few drops of neat lavender essential oil for best results.
This small herbaceous perennial produces bright yellow daisy-like flowers and is found in mountain pastures throughout central Europe. The flower heads contain essential oils which possess a strong smell and taste, and are naturally antiseptic.
Best used externally to treat bruises and swellings, packing a tube of arnica cream for bumps and sprains can come in very handy, especially if travelling with active children. Many swear by taking homeopathic arnica tablets as a remedy for nerves (including fear of flying), shock and trauma following emotional or physical injury.
The Summer 2015 edition of the Liz Earle Wellbeing magazine is available now to download on all devices via www.lizearlewellbeing.com for £2.99, or subscribe to 4 issues per year for £10.00.