Aromatherapy for your Summer travels

Aromatherapy for your Summer travelsLooking forward to your holiday this year, but concerned about the journey? Travel sickness, travel anxiety, jet lag, or catching colds and other bugs from fellow travellers can be some of the more unpleasant side-effects of travelling, whether this is by air, rail, road or sea. Fortunately, essential oils can provide a wonderful alternative to over the counter travel medication and are certainly more pleasant to use! Suggestions on how Aromatherapy can help alleviate common travel symptoms are shared below:

Motion sickness

Also known as travel sickness, seasickness, car sickness or air sickness, motion sickness may include vomiting, dizziness and an increase in saliva. The condition is believed to occur when there is a difference between what your eyes see and what your inner ears sense. If suffering from motion sickness, it’s advisable to keep as still as possible and avoid motion e.g. by sitting in the front of a car or the middle of a boat, try to look forwards and focus on a fixed point, avoid reading or playing games, ensure, if possible, that there is plenty of fresh air, avoid having a heavy meal or alcohol and stay hydrated. Although travel sickness can be treated with medication, Ginger essential oil is a simple and cheap alternative; put a couple of drops onto a tissue and inhale as and when required during the journey, or pop a few drops of the oil into an in-car diffuser. Other essential oils that can be used in the same way for travel sickness include: Grapefruit, Peppermint and Spearmint.

Protection against colds and bugs

Did you know that you are more likely to develop cold symptoms whilst flying than going about your everyday business? Studies have shown that more than one in five people who travel on planes suffer from a cold or the flu after the flight.

Unfortunately, germs are rife on airplanes, with the worst offenders being armrests, tray tables, seat belt buckles, in-flight magazines and toilet flush buttons. Microbiologists who have tested planes reckon that germs that cause the common cold can infect people for up to 18 hours after being let loose, and flu viruses for up to 8 hours. Studies have also shown that MRSA and E. coli can live on a plane for up to a week – yuk!

Although modern air-conditioning systems and HEPA filters are reported to circulate ‘germ-free’ air, you are still at risk from directly inhaling particles if someone sneezes or coughs nearby. The risk of being infected is also increased due to low humidity levels of cabin air. This is thought to interfere with the mucous membranes in the nose making it easier for bacteria and viruses to gain access to the lungs.

As ever, prevention is always better than cure, so protect yourself by good hygiene practices such as washing your hands before eating and after using the toilet, or using a hand sanitiser. There are a wide range of essential oils reputed to be anti-bacterial and anti-viral, for example: Eucalyptus globulus, Tea Tree, Lavender, Lemon and Ravensara. Make your own anti-bacterial and anti-viral hand wash and hand cream by putting three drops of Lemon, four drops of Lavender and three drops of Ravensara into 20ml of base soap (our Castile Soap or SLS Free Shower Gel base are ideal) and 20ml of Moisturising Lotion. Use the hand wash before eating food and after visiting the toilet. Protect yourself further by applying the hand cream after drying your hands (don’t forget to use a small plastic bottle so that you can pop the products into your hand luggage). You might also like to consider our Bug Buster pre-blended essential oil with Lavender, Tea Tree, Lemon, Myrrh, Plai and White Camphor. You can mix this into your soap and moisturising lotion and you can also sniff a few drops on a tissue to support your respiratory system and boost immunity against airborne bugs!

Jet lag

Jet lag is a disruption of the internal body clock caused by flying across different time zones and can also affect body temperature. Symptoms include insomnia, fatigue, memory and concentration issues, loss of appetite and digestive problems. Studies have shown that it takes your body a full day to recover for each time zone you pass through. To help minimise the effects get a good night’s sleep before you fly, avoid alcohol, caffeine, energy drinks and sleeping pills during the flight and drink plenty of water. Try to eat and sleep at the right times for the destination time zone and spend as much time in natural day light when you arrive. Essential oils can also help your body recover. Prior to sleeping, enjoy a warm, relaxing bath using a calming blend of 2 drops of Clary Sage, 4 drops of Lavender, and 1 drop of Ylang Ylang in 12ml of SLS Free Shower Gel. You could also try our Sweet Dreams pure essential blend with Lavender, Chamomile, Valerian, Cedarwood and Mandarin. Upon awaking, have an invigorating shower with cool/warm water and use an energising blend of 3 drops of Basil and 5 drops of Lime essential oil in 16ml of SLS Free Shower Gel.

Travel nerves

A lot of people have a fear of travelling, especially when it comes to flying, possibly due to feelings of lack of control, air pressure changes, discomfort and turbulence. Some people may not know why they suffer from travel anxiety but still have feelings of unease when doing so; it can be destructive, so rather than focus on the symptoms, I believe it is worthwhile identifying and working through the root cause. In the meantime, relaxation techniques and the use of essential oils can be of great help. A particularly helpful and beautiful blend comprises of 4 drops of Sweet Orange, 8 drops of Geranium and 2 drops of Frankincense in 28ml of Apricot Kernel oil. Put the blend in a rollerball bottle and apply to the pulse points on the wrists (outside of the wrist, just under the thumb). As pulse points are close to the surface of the skin, it is believed that the absorption of essential oils is enhanced when applied to this place.

Whatever you’re doing this summer, make sure you pack those essential oils to enjoy a healthier, trouble-free, aromatic journey! 


Christine Fisk
Consultant Aromatherapist

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