Health & Wellness: Essential packing — Oils to soothe vacation stressors

PHOTO CREDIT: Metro Creative

Julie Haufe PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Metro Creative

Julie Haufe PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Metro Creative

Julie Haufe PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Excited about traveling again this summer?

Many of us are looking forward to life getting back to normal after social distancing and staying close to home for so long due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While it always is exciting to explore a new vacation spot, there can be added worry and stress on your adventure. The amazing memories made are well worth a little worry, but it never hurts to prepare in advance for what you might encounter.

You might have never considered taking essential oils with you on vacation, but these oils and suggestions for use might make your trip more enjoyable.

For car sickness: Nothing can ruin a beautiful vacation faster than a bout of car sickness. Whatever your mode of transportation, you can get a feeling of nausea. Fennel and ginger can settle your stomach by sipping a cup of warm water with a drop of these oils.

For head and neck tension: A mixture of one drop peppermint and lavender, with a little carrier oil or lotion applied to the back of your neck, can help to ease head tension and keep you alert while traveling. Peppermint also can aid in keeping the body cool when overheated.

For quality sleep: Travel can mean a change in your sleep schedule. Lavender has been studied for its benefits to aid in sleep by relaxing the nervous system. Bring along a travel size diffuser, and add a few drops of lavender to help prepare you for a good night’s sleep.

For insect bites: Lavender is great for insect bites. Dab directly on the bite, and the itching will stop.

For bed bugs: Let’s hope we never encounter these on our travels, but a Purdue University study recommends thyme, lemongrass, clove and basil as effective deterrents. To deter bed bugs, try filling a small spray bottle with distilled water, one tablespoon 90% rubbing alcohol, five drops of each of these oils and pack in your suitcase safely in a Ziplock bag. When you arrive at your hotel, shake the mixture and spray the bed frame, corners and crevices. If you see the bugs, it probably is best to find a different hotel.

For sore muscles: Active vacations can lead us to do physical activities out of the ordinary, such as hiking, rock climbing or water skiing. And now your body hurts. As a massage therapist for more than 15 years, I recommend using a topical ointment with essential oils for pain as the best therapeutic treatment for sore muscles and inflammation. (Check company essential oil label for proper instructions for internal and topical use.)

Planning ahead and packing key essential oils can take the worries out of travel and help you enjoy your summer vacation.

Julie Haufe is an essential oils certified specialist at Statera Integrated Health & Wellness Solutions in Dubuque.

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