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Holiday wellness: natural remedies for common holiday complaints

Holidays are all about relaxing and getting away from the stresses of your daily routine. But all too often little niggles such as an upset tummy, too much sangria, a bloated tummy, hot flushes not to mention the children running riot can put paid to your enjoyment of your longed-for break. Before you know it you are more stressed than you were at the start of your holiday!

The secret is to address problems as soon as they arise and knock them on the head fast.

Editor Jane Garton looks at some common holiday hitches and the natural remedies that might help.

NIGHT SWEATS ARE TIRING YOU OUT

Hot weather can exacerbate menopausal symptoms such as night sweats and hot flushes.

TRY: BLACK COHOSH AND SAGE

Studies show that the traditional Native American herb Black Cohosh can help reduce typical menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes, night sweats and disturbed sleep. It combines well with relaxing herbs such as St John’s wort and valerian.

Well known as a culinary herb, the lovely garden favourite sage can also help reduce hot moments. If you would rather not take a supplement just pour boiling water over two to four tablespoons of fresh, chopped sage leaves and drink as a tea.

YOU FEEL BLOATED

Foreign foods, missing meals, eating on the run or overdoing the sightseeing can trigger indigestion, bloating and heartburn, which can make life uncomfortable.

TRY: ARTICHOKE EXTRACT

Artichoke helps the digestive process by stimulating the production of bile and the breaking down and eliminating of fatty foods and alcohol from the body. Artichoke extract can be taken daily as a protective measure throughout your holiday or you can increase the dose for fast relief from immediate symptoms if you overdo it

YOU ARE ON HIGH STRESS ALERT

The journey to and from your holiday destination as well as being with friends and family round the clock for a week or more can result in high stress moments.

TRY: RHODIOLA

When it comes to building up stress resistance, rhodiola wins hands down. It is what is known as an adaptogen herb or’ tonic’ making it the perfect remedy for reducing fatigue and building up strength and energy – in short just what you need when the sun is burning down and the kids won’t stop bickering.

The active ingredients of rhodiola are thought to affect the function of neurotransmitter – the brain chemicals that transport messages between nerves and help to regulate mood and other brain functions. Another plus point of rhodiola is that it works fast and is non-addictive.

YOU WAKE UP WITH HOLIDAY TUMMY

One in ten of us are thought to spend more time in the bathroom than on the beach while on holiday. Infected tap water or bacteria-ridden foods are the usual triggers so pay attention to what you eat. If food can’t be peeled or cooked be wary, say the experts.

TRY: TURMERIC

If you do start to suffer from a dodgy tummy, a dose of turmeric, which is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, can help to put things right. It helps to increase bile flow, thus preventing the fermentation of undigested fats in the intestine, which can lead to flatulence, bloating and cramps.

YOU START TO BURN IN THE SUN

As we know only too well, too much UV light from the sun can damage skin causing redness, blistering, premature ageing and in some cases cancer. Your best defence is to wear a high SPF sun cream and to escape to the shade during the hottest time of the day – between 11am and 4pm.

TRY: ALOE VERA

If you do get burnt, aloe vera gel is a wonderfully cooling, soothing, healing remedy. Apply after you have washed off all traces of sun cream. Calendula cream has a similar healing effect. Alternatively, try six to eight drops of camomile or peppermint essential oil in a cool bath.

TOP HOLIDAY WELLNESS TIPS:

  • If you start to feel stressed, stop what you are doing, take a few deep breaths and say ‘Calm’ to yourself.
  • Stand up and have a good stretch. Shake your hands and arms briskly and shrug your shoulders to help reduce muscle tension.
  • Drink plenty of water, especially if you feel hot. Dehydration can exacerbate stress-related symptoms such as a headache or fatigue.
  • Go for a brisk walk along the beach. Exercise can help neutralise the negative effects of stress hormones.
  • Watch those exotic cocktails. Too much alcohol will just make things worse.

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