Have you ever walked into a pharmacy in a foreign country and wondered what exactly you were buying? While common pharmaceuticals are available in most countries, sometimes you’re better off trying an at-home remedy before you experiment with an unknown medicine. There are ways to try to relieve illness while traveling that often work.
Here are 11 everyday foods and the common traveler’s illness they are known to help cure. I’ve posted this two ways, first by food and what it treats, and secondly by the illness and what will alleviate it. (Lastly, note that I am not a doctor. If you have a medical problem, especially while traveling, you should seek professional medical advice.)
When traveling, it is important to take extra care with foods and beverages to make sure they are safe. Remember to learn about securing healthy water while traveling and to always stay hydrated.
Relieve Illness while Traveling Foods and What they Treat
Relieve Illness while Traveling with Honey
Honey is one my favorite natural remedies. It can be used to treat sore throats, aid digestion, quench thirst, and treat minor burns. (Little known fact: desert travelers used to carry honey to help quench their thirst on long trips.)
photo credit: BotheredbyBees
Most people know that a little spicy food can help ease congestion, but did you know that chili peppers also act as a mild pain reliever?
photo credit: jslander
Rice is easy and very soothing on the stomach. It’s a good choice for traveler’s diarrhea or constipation.
photo credit: striker photo
Onions (and related plants likes chives and shallots)
Onions have anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as an antibiotic and anti-viral. Try it to help with inflammation from bronchitis and lung disorders.
photo credit: darwinbell
Many people claim that lemons are great for treating headaches. Some recommend using the juice in a cup of tea, while others advocate using the lemon peel and placing it white side down (yellow rind out) directly on your forehead. Lemon juice can also be used as an antiseptic by placing it on minor scraps and cuts.
photo credit: comingtobrazil
Mustard acts as a decongestant and expectorant. Also, it’s said to help with sore throats.
photo credit: savoryspiceshop
Cloves are good for toothaches by reducing the pain and swelling. They naturally alleviate pain and act as an anti-inflammatory.
I frequently drink peppermint tea to help with stomachaches. But peppermint also reduces tension and helps promote restful sleep.
photo credit: klynslis
Horseradish is good for digestive issues and treats constipation. It also boosts your immune system by helping the liver filter harmful substances.
photo credit: sarahmeyerwalsh
Ginger treats indigestion and acts as a mild pain reliever. Try some real ginger ale or take as powdered for pain.
photo credit: mfdudu
Turmeric acts as an anti-inflammatory and eases congestion.
photo credit: soniyaskitchen
Illnesses and What to Take
This is the reverse order of what’s above. If you’re looking for a natural remedy for any of these ailments, try one of the foods that follows:
Turmeric, Mustard, Chilli Peppers
Inflammation (including mild burns):
Turmeric, Cloves, Onion, Honey
Ginger, Peppermint, Rice
Aches and Pains:
Ginger, Cloves, Lemon, Chili Peppers
Lemon (for minor scratches)
Learn about common travel illnesses and remember that it is crucial to get health care abroad when necessary. These are some simple ways to relieve illness while traveling for less serious situations.