It’s amazing how much we plan for a fun summer, a great destination holiday or simple camping in beautiful BC. What you don’t plan for – is getting sick! So I recommend preparing for those unforeseen illnesses by stocking your at-home medicine cabinet this summer and creating a naturopathic summer first aid kit.
Bacterial & Viral Infections & How to protect yourself on the Plane:
Echinacea Premium or Andrographis Complex, 1 tablet 3-6 X/Day at first sign of infection will often stop an infection in its’ tracks. The catch is dosing high and immediately. If you are travelling on a plane, I advise 1-2 tablets before the plane and every 2 hours while on it. Most everyone has vitamin C, and taking 1 gram every 2 hours up to 4X/Day, during your flight is helpful in prevention of illness from flying. (Only 250mg of Vitamin C at a time for the little ones – they love the chewables!)
Melatonin, 1-3mg at bedtime. Depending on the time change, if you are on more than 4 hours difference, you can even do 5-6mg at bedtime. It is often only needed on the first night of your holiday and perhaps on the first night you return home, to help reset your circadian rhythm, sooner than later.
Topical Magnesium Gel is a gentle way to ease muscle aches and pains that can interfere with sleep too and works well for kids!
A common complaint that accompanies travel. Long periods of sitting, less vegetables and more indulgent foods create a back up in most people’s “plumbing”. My go to is Magnesium CitraMate by Thorne, 1-2 capsules at bedtime. Magnesium is also great for muscle aches and pains and energy support. Alternatively, Smooth Move tea by Traditional Medicinals is something you can drink in the evenings.
CandiBactin BR by Metgenics is what I always keep on hand as an alternative to Antibiotics. It is a combination of western and eastern herbs that encourage the body to purge unwanted compounds as well as support a healthy intestinal environment. CandiBactin BR 1-2 tablets at the first sign of Diarrhea 3X/Day until symptoms subside and then reduce your dose. It’s always important to take a good shelf-stable probiotic on travels to maintain good digestion and keep your immune system strong. We carry 2 different travel probiotics in our office, depending on what you need.
Cuts, Scrapes and Abrasions:
All-Purpose Salve by Wise Woman herbals is an herbal-nutrient salve that we carry in our office. I recommend keeping it in the fridge, so that when it does get applied, if feels cool and provides immediate relief. Calendula & Comfrey are wonderful anti-microbials and along with the Vitamin E and Vitamin A blend, it will help improve skin tissue healing, while reducing scars.
Bee Stings & Large Insect Bites:
Consider include Apis 30ch. And if you are unsure of whether your family has an allergy to bees, I always recommend keeping an Epinephrine pen in your home emergency kit. (These need to be replaced yearly and are only available from your local pharmacy).
Allergies & Stuffy Nose:
Quercetin Sap or Aller-C dosed at 2 caps 3X/Day can help you to avoid using anti-histamine drugs and other OTC medications and keep your allergies at bay. If you have an issue with head congestion and mucous build up, NAC Sap, 1 cap 2X/Day is a mucolytic and can help you to break up that sinus congestion for a clear head. Hey – don’t forget your neti pot!
If you don’t already have this one, you should! Arnica 30-200ch. This homeopathic remedy should be in everyone’s First Aid kit to speed up the healing of any head trauma, bruise or bite. The 30ch is best suited for children up to the age of 12 and can be found in any health food store. Arnica 200ch can be purchased from your Naturopathic Doctor and it is well advised to keep this in your car or purse. (I also use it after any surgery or dental work). Dose 4-5 times per day. Flamyar
Sore Muscles, Muscle Strains & Ligament/Tendon Sprains
Topical Magnesium Gel and Magnesium bath salts are great ways to absorb magnesium directly through the skin and into sore muscles. Now consider that magnesium is a mineral and like salt water, most magnesium topicals will leave an itchy dry residue on the skin that can be very irritating. Our clinic carries a very nice Magnesium Chloride topical gel by Integra Nutrition that is actually soothing to the skin leaving very little residue. It can be applied 2-3x/day to affected areas.
Another great Topical to use for shoulder, knee, ankle joints, etc., is Flamyar Cream, made by Pekana in Germany. It’s safe in children and adults. Use it up to 3X/Day anywhere you feel you’ve pulled something from doing a golf swing to jumping off the swing set!
Boswellia Complex – 2 tablets 2X/Day is my go to for anyone prone to arthritis or rheumatism. It is an herbal anti-inflammatory. You can also keep Homeopathic Rhus Tox 30-200ch in your summer first aid kit. For overused muscles after a long hike (or even in the winters after a long ski day), helps to reduce stiffness and soreness the next day.
Sunscreen may be a little bit inconvenient to apply, but it’s there for a reason!
Take your time picking out a product that’s effective and meets your skin’s needs. That way, you’ll actually use it instead of giving in to the temptation of skipping straight to the fun in the sun.
Sunscreen without any chemicals is always recommended; I like Green Beaver Natural Sunscreen because it works well and it’s Canadian. Plus, it’s easy to get — you can find it in practically all health food stores and even most pharmacies now.
For excellent non-pasty face protection, we have our sheer and tinted AlumierMD SPF 40 sunscreen available at our front desk. It provides your skin with a high degree of protection, but its light texture and composition mean you’ll barely notice that it’s there.
If you’re looking for something that’s kid-friendly in terms of protection and use, Attitude’s sunscreen stick is a fantastic choice. Zinc-based, fun, and super easy to roll on & rub in, it even comes in eco-friendly cardboard packaging.
It’s perfect for your kids to take to summer camps or even to school in September, and you can almost certainly find it at your local Shoppers Drug Mart.
I also love the Canadian-made, toxin-free sunscreens from Rocky Mountain Soap Co., LiveClean, and Boo Bamboo — I’d recommend checking them out along with this list of healthy, Canadian-made sunscreens. They’re a great place to start the search for your next go-to sunscreen.
Start assembling your natural first aid kit!
Most remedies mentioned here are available for purchase in our clinic, the rest can be found at your local health food store.
Be safe this summer and enjoy our amazing Okanagan!