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 ISSUE OF JUNE 2002
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Your Travel Companion

Appropriate preventive measures and a handy first aid kit can substantially reduce the risks associated with international travel, reveals Dr Mukesh Batra

Every traveller knows how important it is to be in the best of health while in an alien land. But ill-health, as they say, gives no notice. A change of air, water and food, unhygienic conditions, just about anything is bound to catch you off guard and give you an infection. The risks associated with international travel are influenced by characteristics of the traveller (including age, sex and health status) and by characteristics of the travel (including destination, purpose and duration). Forward planning, appropriate preventive measures and careful precautions can substantially reduce the risks of adverse health consequences. Anyone who has experienced an illness abroad will know how expensive it is to get medical treatment. And even if treatment is readily available, what must one do till the time the doctor arrives? Here is a list of homeopathic medication, which you should carry in your first aid kit when travelling:

  • For wounds or cuts: Locally apply tincture of CALENDULA. It can also be used once or twice a day in dressings.
  • For bruises and sore aches: Have Arnica 200C (5 pills per dose) every three hours for a few days.
  • For burns and scalds: Locally apply tincture of Cantharis immediately after burns. This medication will prevent blister formation. Cantharis 200C if taken internally after every 15 minutes, 4 to 5 times reduces burning sensation and aids in rapid healing.
  • For haemorrhages after injury: Hamamelis 30C (5 pills per dose) taken every half an hour will help to arrest bleeding.
  • Injuries from pointed instruments: 2 doses of Ledum Pal 200C (4 pills each) can be taken three hours apart. It is also effective in case of insect bites.
  • For mosquito bites: Staphisagria 30C (5 pills) should be taken every three hours.
  • For food poisoning and diarrhoea: Arsenic Alb 30C (4 pills) should be taken every half hour till symptoms subside and thereafter 3 to 4 times a day. This is effective in cases of vomiting in restless patients who are constantly thirsty.
  • For stomach upsets: Two doses of Pulsatilla 30C (5 pills) taken at three hourly intervals proves to be effective in case of stomach upsets caused by eating fried and heavy foods.
  • For acidity and liver problems: Natrum Phos 6x taken at three hourly intervals till symptoms subside will prove to be effective.
  • For a gas problem: Natrum Sulph 6x taken after every three hours, will prove to be effective. Take the medication till symptoms subside.
  • For jet lag: Nux Vomica 200 (5 pills taken before and another 5 after your flight) is a homeopathic medicine, which will help you overcome the effects of jet lag.
  • For cold and sore throat: Take Aconite 30C (4 pills) 3 times a day if you experience any inflammatory condition such as cold, sore throat, fever particularly arising from exposure to cold dry winds. This medicine will arrest infection if taken as soon as the first symptoms are noticed.

Your homeopathic first aid should also contain: Adhesive tapes, cotton wool bandages and a small pair of scissors to cut the bandages and tapes.

Sufficient medical supplies should be carried to meet all foreseeable needs for the duration of the trip. A first aid kit should be carried to all destinations where there may be significant health risks, particularly those in developing countries. This kit should include basic medicines to treat common ailments, first-aid articles, and any special medical items that may be needed by the individual traveller.

(The author is chairman and managing director, Positive Health Clinic, and can be contacted at help@positivehealthclinic.com)

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