Health – Summer SOS, pre-holiday prep

Siobhán Carroll

By Siobhán Carroll – BA; Dip Nat; Dip Herb; MANP; MGNC

Whether you’re staying put in the Ireland or embracing your new-found travel freedom, you’ll want to put in some pre-holiday prep.

- Advertisement -

Bolster your defences. A strong immune system is important at all times but especially so when we travel. Echinacea purpurea is one of the best immune-supporting herbs there is, so make sure this makes it into your suitcase. A.Vogel Echinacea Lozenges are a great addition for sucking on the airplane to coat your throat with Echinacea and ease any ear pressure! Ideally it is best to prime your immune system two to four weeks before you travel with Echinacea tincture as well.

Anticipating a stressful journey? Breathe. By taking fewer but deeper breaths you will optimise your oxygen intake, helping you to relax and remain calm. Brilliant for when your family makes helpful suggestions.

For a little herbal assistance try Passiflora. Passiflora tablets and drops can be used when a period of stress is anticipated or encountered. A handy spray is also available – perfect for when that car journey becomes unbearable. You know the one!

Support your tummy on your travels with a good probiotic supplement before and when you travel. Molkosan Fruit Drink for example can help establish the right environment within which important infection-fighting bacteria can flourish, revitalising your digestive system.

For nausea associated with travel, try ginger. Motion sickness is caused by a conflict between what your eyes and other senses tell your brain. Your eyes adjust to motion but the inner ear, which contains fluid-filled canals that control balance, does not. The resulting signals to the brain from the eye and the inner ear do not tally and the brain becomes confused, which can leave you with a horrible feeling of nausea, dizziness and an upset stomach.

Fresh ginger tea before and during travel may help with feelings of nausea and sickness.

If you do succumb to ‘holiday tum’, drink plenty of water to help prevent dehydration; experts recommend between two and three litres a day, especially if you’re in a hot climate. Tormentil and Avena sativa can be particularly useful for diarrhoea. Tormentil helps to reduce the frequency and severity of diarrhoea and Avena sativa exerts a mild sedative and restorative effect on the nervous system.

Children with diarrhoea must consult a healthcare professional and medical advice must always be sought if symptoms do not improve within 24 to 36 hours, or if diarrhoea is accompanied by severe pain, vomiting, fever or loss of blood.

Keep biting insects at bay. If mosquitoes and biting insects are a problem, a good insect repellent on exposed skin should help. In some parts of the world, such as Africa and South America, you’ll need more than a spray repellent, but more often than not, mosquitoes and midges are more of a nuisance than a health hazard. Natural insect repellents make for a popular alternative to DEET-containing sprays, and if the critters do still find you, Neem Cream can help to soothe the itch.

Summer sniffles? Hayfever affects approximately 15% of people in Ireland, that’s ¾ of a million people, causing blocked and runny noses as well as a number of other unpleasant symptoms. Pollinosan Luffa Nasal Spray can be used over a prolonged length of time (unlike some chemical nasal sprays) to help clear a blocked or runny nose. It helps to protect against hayfever-inducing pollen and other allergens, and is also suitable for people with asthma and children over the age of six.

Stay hydrated! We lose water through sweat when we exercise and when it’s hot. If you’re sweating more than usual, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Drink at least 2 litres of water a day! There are also plenty of ‘summer foods’ that have a naturally high water content. Watermelon (the clue is in the name), strawberries and cucumber, are all over 90% water and will help you to increase your water intake.

Look after your liver. If your summer holiday entails your liver working a little harder than usual, stash a little Milk thistle in your First Aid kit. Milk thistle is well known for its role in protecting the liver against alcohol-related toxins and is often called upon to help counter the effects of a hangover.

Finally, protect your skin while you have fun in the sun! Always wear a good SPF, preferably a natural one from the health food shop to avoid many of the nasty chemicals in mainstream sun creams. Avoid sitting in the sun when it’s at its strongest – typically this is between 12pm and 2pm. And if you do get caught short, Aloe vera or lavender oil applied topically can help to soothe dry, reddened or sun-damaged skin.

Last but not least, enjoy your holidays and make memories!

For further information on staying well this summer, contact Siobhán Carroll BA at

About Siobhán

Siobhán Carroll is a fully qualified clinical Herbalist and Naturopath based in Ireland. She runs her own clinic in Co. Clare and online via her website She has 10 years of experience in the field of natural health, she also teaches yoga and meditation and is a lecturer at the College of Naturopathic Medicine.

Siobhán is also a cold-water sea swimmer, a loving mum and a massive Harry Potter fan. She has a deep connection with plants and is passionate about empowering people to look after their own health using the healing powers of nature.

Siobhán Carroll BA; Dip Nat; Dip Herb; MANP; MGNC

Follow Siobhán on Facebook.

- Advertisement -

Recent Posts

- Advertisement -