It’s that time of year to think about your summer travel plans. Thankfully, after a two-year hibernation, international travel has picked back up. But if you’re ready to broaden your horizons, flying is more stressful than it’s ever been. Traveling always has its challenges. However, not knowing if your flight is going to take off or keeping abreast of constantly changing entry and exit requirements calls into question if it’s even worth leaving home.
But if the strong pull of international travel beckons you, there are a few traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) formulas you shouldn’t leave home without.
Protect Your Gut Microbiome In Foreign Lands
Even if you have an iron stomach at home, being in a foreign country can make your tummy super sensitive. Not only are you eating foods you’re not used to, you’re also being exposed to unusual microbes.
The gut microbiome is home to trillions of friendly bacteria. A healthy gut microbiome should have about 85% beneficial microbes and 15% unfriendly bacteria. This gives the immune system enough of a workout to stay active without being overwhelmed.
But when you’re in another country, eating just a wedge of iceberg lettuce on a hamburger that’s been washed in unfiltered water is all that it may take to cause harmful bacteria from multiplying out of control.
Or maybe the budget hotel you’re staying in doesn’t have a very good filtration system and when you wet your toothbrush that water has potentially-harmful microbes. And just like at home, there’s always the risk that when you eat at a restaurant, the cook or server fails to wash their hands after going to the bathroom, placing you at risk for developing food poisoning.
Should you succumb to an attack on your gut microbiome, it’s helpful to have a travel insurance policy with you. Consider the TCM formula, Stomacare that insurance. Stomacare also protects your belly from drastic temperature changes such as going from hot, humid weather to frigid air conditioning. The formula works by dispersing the pathogenic evil of TCM theory known as Dampness.
No Worries, Mate! TCM For Staying Calm
Flight delayed? Luggage lost? Taxi driver taking you on a costly detour? Passport misplaced? Hotel not as boutique as advertised? Lost in a rough part of town?
Such are the pitfalls of travel. Although stressful travel experiences can be laughed at after the fact, during the moment they are extremely unpleasant to deal with. In TCM theory, extreme stress can cause stagnant Qi in the Liver channel. Of course, some stressful events are over as fast as they started. If you’ve ever had to run through an airport terminal and had the gate almost close on you, you know the feeling.
But trips that have several stressful episodes have the potential to weaken your immune system if stagnant Qi in the Liver channel is not resolved.
There’s no magic pill that can completely eliminate your stress. However, for thousands of years, TCM herbs have been used to support a more positive mood. The formula, Xiao Yao Pian, or EaseTonic as it’s known by its modern name, is one of the most famous TCM solutions for resolving Liver Qi stagnation.
If you’re running late for your flight, EaseTonic might not make you oblivious to stress but it may help your response and attitude towards it.
Travel: Great Memories, Not So Great For Immunity
Six months from now, when you’re going through your smartphone photos from your family vacation, you probably won’t be thinking about all the stressful events. But you don’t need to be a doctor to understand how very intense situations may weaken your immune system.
But it’s not only stressful events like missing your flight or having your flight canceled at the last minute. Many people don’t sleep well. (Try the combination of EaseTonic and Sleepeace for a more restful night’s sleep.) Sleeping in a strange bed with people slamming doors at all hours of the night every night for a few nights in a row may weaken your immune system.
To support your immune system while you’re traveling, there’s the legendary formula in TCM called JadeDefender. The formula contains just three herbs, including astragalus root. Despite the slim list of ingredients, JadeDefender is one of the more well-regarded formulas in the long history of TCM.
Interestingly, the formula works by keeping the sweat pores closed. In the west, sweating is considered a good thing; a way to detox. But in TCM, open pores invite pathogenic evils like Cold, Damp, Heat and Wind to invade the body.
TCM Formulas for Traveling: Conclusion
When you’re going on vacation, don’t leave home without taking a TCM formula that supports your digestive system in case your tummy feels off; a formula that helps you stay more calm in case of travel mishaps, and a formula that supports your immune system. Stomacare, EaseTonic and JadeDefender are 3 formulas you should keep in your carry on bag. Safe travels!