If the weather in your country is as disappointing as it is here in the UK right now, you may well be thinking about jetting away to a sunnier, more stable climate for your holidays. What might put you off though is the thought of all the hassle and stress of reaching your destination – especially when flying! The ritual of queuing at the check-in and getting through airport security is enough to raise anybody’s blood pressure!
But it need not be that way this time. If you take the right essential oils with you on your holiday you’ll be able to relax and take everything in your stride during the journey there and back. And believe it or not, a careful selection of essential oils can replace a whole arsenal of traditional medicines which saves space in your suitcase and possibly a fortune in excess luggage charges too.
Essential oils for travel-sickness
First, you have to get to the airport, so whether you are driving, taking a bus or cab, remember to carry your trusty essential oils in your hand baggage for quick availability. Anyone who is prone to travel sickness should put 2 drops each of peppermint and lavender essential oils on a tissue and gently inhale before heading out on the journey.
If you do begin to suffer from travel sickness or nausea once you are on the road, place 3 drops of ginger and 1 drop of peppermint essential oil on a tissue and inhale to help clear your head and settle your tummy. Ginger is without doubt the best essential oil for travel sickness, and together with peppermint it makes a really effective remedy for this awful condition.
Ginger essential oil has recently been proven to effectively relieve post-operative nausea in research, which confirms exactly what aromatherapists have believed for years. Ginger root was used by the ancient Chinese as a very effective cure for upset stomachs, nausea, sea sickness, and due to its efficacy it has been included in almost every herbal pharmacopoeia since records began.
Peppermint essential oil is also ideal to keep you sharp whilst driving, and blended together with eucalyptus, cardamon, cinnamon or lavender oil will help you to concentrate better when driving on long journeys. A few drops of each essential oil on a tissue or cotton-wool ball placed somewhere safe in the car really revives the senses. Rose, neroli, rosemary and peppermint hydrosols also make fantastic instant refreshers, and a bottle will fit neatly into your glove compartment or handbag.
For those of you who are aeronautically challenged, essential oils of lavender, geranium and Roman chamomile all help to relax, soothe and calm any pre-flight nerves. An effective blend can be made using 1 drop of Roman chamomile, 1 drop of geranium and 2 drops of lavender on a tissue which you can inhale for a few minutes before take-off, and again periodically during the flight.
This blend smells great and is a formula that has proven to work extremely well for many of my clients who get the jitters before flying. If you hit a patch of bumpy turbulence once you are up in the air and you start to feel dizzy or queasy, try inhaling the ginger and peppermint oil blend that I mentioned for travel sickness.
In for the long-haul
Although flying is considered one of the safest methods of travelling in terms of accidents, it still presents health hazards that can ruin your holiday. Recycled air on a plane can cause a wide range of conditions such as irritation of the eyes and airways, headaches, fatigue and even diarrhoea. To protect against any airborne bacteria be sure to take some tea tree, ravensara or grapefruit essential oil on-board your flight and inhale it from a tissue. Remember that a sneeze can travel up to 30 feet, so you can’t be too careful in confined spaces.
The latest concern for air travellers has been dubbed ‘economy class syndrome’ and was highlighted a few years back after the death of a 28 year old British woman following a return flight from Australia. This condition is called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and is caused by blood clots forming in the legs due to the lack of movement.
To combat long periods of inactivity, a stimulating blend of eucalyptus and cypress essential oil in a carrier oil can be massaged on the legs (discreetly in the toilet) to keep your circulation active during long flights. Since dehydration appears to be a contributing factor with DVT you should also drink plenty of fluids – but unfortunately not in the form of coffee or alcohol. Typical!
Travelling on a long-haul flight means crossing into a different time-zone and you may suffer from the effects of jet lag. Jet lag is caused by the disturbance of normal body rhythms as a result of flying across different time zones, and Melatonin is the hormone in the body that plays a part in controlling daily body rhythms.
To minimize the effects of jet lag, adjust your watch to local time and avoid the temptation to take naps, this way your body will adjust more quickly to the new time zone. The balancing properties of geranium essential oil help to restore the body’s natural sleep pattern, and blended together with ginger, ylang or grapefruit in a relaxing bath makes a very effective synergy for this condition. If your room doesn’t have a bath simply use your essential oils in the shower, make a footbath, or vaporize them instead.
Speaking of vaporizers – why not take your electric vaporiser with you so you can use your relaxing oils to help you get to sleep when you are in ‘wide-awake’ mode! For those of you who prefer your products ready-mixed, Quinessence After-Flight Synergy contains an expertly formulated blend of essential oils for jet lag that can be used in massage, baths or vaporizers. As well as being versatile, this powerful synergy smells gorgeous too!
Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2007. Written by Sue Charles
Head for the sun
Did you know?
Travel sickness of any type is caused by confusing messages received by the brain.
Even though our eyes see very little motion, the inner ear detects the vehicle's movement. The brain receives two types of conflicting messages from the eyes and inner ear which regulates your balance.
This confuses the brain and it sends conflicting messages to other organs, which in turn cause you to feel uncontrollably ill.
Here are some simple tips that you can use to minimise the effects of air travel:
• Drink plenty of water.
• Avoid excessive coffee and alcohol.
• Avoid crossing legs when seated.
• Walk around the cabin whenever you can, or at least every 2 hours.
• Stand up in your seat area and stretch your arms and legs or carry out some foot and leg exercises.
• Wear loose fitting comfortable clothes when travelling.
• Seek medical advice before travelling if any previous history of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) or risk factors are known.
Here are some of the best and most versatile 'essential' travelling oils that you can choose from, according to your needs;-
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Flying High With Aromatherapy
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