Recently I traveled with some of the LUNA Chix to San Francisco for a weekend summit. One of the girls was suffering so badly from a head cold that she could hardly breathe. I pulled out a couple bottles of oils and asked her if she wanted to try a home remedy for sinus congestion. She was willing to try anything.
I heated water and poured it into a bowl, got a towel, and told her to put the towel over hear head and put her face about 6 inches from the bowl after I dropped the oil in. I dropped a few drops of Eucalyptus oil and a few drops of Whiteflower oil in the bowl of hot water, and Denise leaned over the bowl to breathe the steam. I had told her she would come up choking after a couple breaths, but that she should continue to breathe the steam as much as she could.
To her surprise and delight, breathing the eucalyptus and menthol steam did the trick. Her nose started to clear and she could breathe again.
People have asked me about these home remedies and the things I carry when traveling. Here's my quick things I almost always have with me or that I have quick access to. Most of these oils are available at a good health food store. The sports supplements can be found at a good bike shop or online. Always check with your physician before taking any supplements or medications.
Home remedies for common ailments
Arnica oil for bruising
Apply arnica oil directly to a bruise (but not to broken skin) immediately after an injury to minimize bruising. Arnica sublingual tablets work well too.
Tea tree oil - Antisceptic for almost all skin conditions; gargle for sore throat
Apply Tea tree oil directly to a cut, scrape, fungus, insect or spider bite.
To relieve a sore throat, drop a few drops of Tea tree oil in warm water and gargle with it (but do not swallow it).
Eucalyptus oil and *Whiteflower oil (or menthol) for stuffy nose / nasal drip
To clear a stuffy nose, pour boiling or very hot water into a bowl. Drop a few drops each of Eucalyptus oil and Witeflower oil in the bowl, cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl with your nose about 6 inches from the water, breathing the steam that rises from the bowl.
*Whiteflower oil is a mixture of Wintergreen, Menthol, Camphor, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Lavender.
Sportlegs and Eletewater for cramping
Cramping is often caused by electrolyte imbalance. Prevent and relieve muscle cramps by taking calcium, magnesium and potassium, the electrolytes found in Sportlegs capsules and Eletewater liquid supplement. Follow the directions on the bottle. For immediate relief of muscle cramps, break open two Sportlegs capsules and down the contents with 6-8 oz of water.
To prevent monthy cramps, drink 8-10 glasses of water with Eletewater the day before your period starts, or drink 16 oz of water with Eletewater at the first sign of cramping or menstruation. Keep drinking 8-10 glasses of water with Eletewater daily to keep cramps at bay. I used to get debilitating cramps before I discovered this, and I promise you it works. Eletewater also is available in capsule form (Tablytes).
Hot pack/cold pack
Apply a cold pack to new injuries to reduce swelling and slow blood-flow. Often the post-trauma swelling causes additional injury. Use a cold pack for the first 48-92 hours after an injury.
Reusable cold pack: two parts water or ice and one part rubbing alcohol in a zipper freezer bag. Refreeze as needed. You can also use a bag of frozen peas. Reuse the bag of peas, but mark it so you don't eat it.
Add heat to get blood flowing. Use heat after the third day or more following an injury.
Reusable hot pack: put a damp wash cloth in a zipper freezer bag. Microwave for 30 seconds. Instant hot pack.
For additional information on pharmaceutical-free treatments and sports injuries, I recommend the book Prescription for Nutritional Healing, by Phyllis Balch, and The Best Natural Sports Medicine Book Ever by Dr. William Wong.
If you have any of your own home remedies that you would like to share, please tell me about them in the comments section. I'd love to hear them.