Holiday Travel Tips & Holistic Travel Medicine Kit



‘Tis the season of travel and everyone seems to be in a hurry to get somewhere. Whether it’s flying, driving or taking a train, travel can be disruptive to our natural rhythms and negatively affect our body and mind. So much so that we can’t sleep, we become constipated or catch a cold.

Ayurveda explains that when we move at a high velocity, the “speed” gets trapped in the nervous system which can throw off our agni or digestive fire. When agni becomes impaired, it can disrupt how food is metabolized and eliminated. This can result in constipation, ama (toxins) and stress which can weaken the immune system.

In addition, when we travel through time zones, we often experience “jet lag” and a disruption to our sleep pattern. This is because our internal circadian cycle needs time to adjust to the new locale.

From an Ayurvedic standpoint, travelling has similar characteristics to “vata” dosha (i.e., the ether and air elements in our body). So travelling increases vata in our body. The qualities of vata are dry, light, rough and mobile and when these qualities are increased, it can lead to constipation, anxiety, gas, bloating and insomnia.

To balance vata and minimize the effects of travel, Ayurveda recommends introducing “opposite qualities” (i.e., slow, heavy, moist, oily). Here are some tips for airplane travel, but they apply to train and automobile travel also.



Get hydrated – Drink one quart of room-temperature water two hours before the flight. This will counter some of the drying effects of being on a plane.

Go Ginger – Take two ginger capsules one hour before the flight. Ginger aids digestion, relieves jet lag and boosts the immune system.

Oil Up:

Body massage – The morning of the flight, do self-massage using vata-balancing oil, followed with a warm shower.

An hour before the flight:

Ear Oil (karna oil) – To strengthen the immune system and keep the lymphs and sinuses moist and nourished. (5% discount on any Chandika Herbal products using code JP91311)

Nose Oil (tri-doshic nasaya oil) – To keep lubricated and soothe the mind. The nasal passageway leads to the brain so the nose oil can be very calming.  (5% discount on any Chandika Herbal products using code JP91311)

(Never put oil in the ears or nose immediately before or after showering. Consult with your Ayurvedic practitioner prior to using for specific instructions.)

Do Diet – If you eat before your flight, keep it light. Something warm and grounding (porridge, soup, stew, beet soup, okra). Avoid alcohol, dry foods (crackers, chips), salads and cheese. Continue to drink room temperature water and/or herbal tea. This diet applies in-flight too.


Get Sun – To quickly reset to your normal sleep and wake cycle, get into the sun. Circadian rhythms are largely affected by light, so sunlight can help your body naturally adjust to the new time zone. Avoid hotel rooms with no windows.

Ignite Agni – Don’t eat until you feel hungry. If you are not hungry, it means your agni (digestive fire) is “low”.  Fast on warm liquids or juicy fruits until your appetite resumes.


Here are the essential holistic remedies I always pack when I travel. They don’t take up much space and you will be glad to have them handy should a need arise. I’ve included links to the brands I use in white font.

       Triphala Tablets – To regulate digestion and clear toxins, take before bed with a warm glass of water.

Peppermint Tulsi Tea (or Holy Basil) – Sip any time of day to improve your body’s ability to adapt to stress, calm your nerves, soothe your tummy and restore to a state of balance.

Ginger Lemongrass Tea Bags – Sip throughout the day if you’re feeling congested. Lemongrass clears the lymphatic system and the ginger kindles agni (digestive fire).

Nutmeg – Add a pinch of ground nutmeg to a glass of warm milk (or non-dairy alternative) before bed to aid sleep.

Vata Massage Oil – Daily massage is beneficial to help ground and balance vata especially when out of your normal routine. And don’t forget to prep for the return flight home!


Safe travels to everyone this holiday season. May you be blessed with an abundance of health and happiness.


This article is intended to be educational and not a substitute for the skill, knowledge and experience of a qualified medical professional dealing with the facts, circumstances and symptoms of a particular case. Because each person and situation is unique, the author urges the reader to check with a qualified health-care professional before following any advice in this article. It is the responsibility of the reader to consult a physician or other qualified health-care professional regarding his or her personal care and before trying any home remedies in this article.

Product recommendations and statements have not been evaluated by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and are not intended to be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. As with all herbs, please consult your physician before using.

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