Don’t you wish you traveled like Dr. Who? While we might want to travel across space and time in a jiffy, air travel is often fraught with delayed flights, uncertain environments and jet lag which can throw off our internal rhythms and routine.
Ayurveda and Travel
Ayurvedically speaking, travel is associated with Vata – the energy type that is associated with Air and Space. Air travel, in particular, is all Vata because of the fast movement of the plane which combines with the high altitude.
When we thirst for travel, we are actually seeking the refreshing aspects of Vata which are inspiration and a sense of wonder. The depleting effects of Vata are what we experience as symptoms: gas, constipation, dryness, anxiety, sleeplessness and low immunity to name a few.
Ayurvedic Travel Tips
Before Vata gets the better of you and you want to escape it all, let’s see some travel tips that will boost your immune health and helps you feel great even after an arduous journey.
Water It Down
The Air and Space elements tend to be intensely drying and the best way to bring in moisture would be with a lot of water, preferably warm. Drink up on lots of herbal tea before you fly to keep your body hydrated and to detox which will boost your immune system health. Avoid ice water and fizzy cold drinks as they can be dehydrating for your system.
Soft + Moist vs. Crunchy + Dry
Sticking to foods that are soft, warm and moist is how to boost your immune system before travel as these will help balance Vata. Dry and crunchy chips are the perfect example of snacks that aggravate Vata. If you have to eat while on the go, head to the kiosk that serves eggs and oatmeal instead. Before you go to the airport, fill up on steamed seasonal vegetables topped with warm ghee and spices.
Emergency First Aid Herbs
- The anxiety of travel can often disrupt your immune health and cause excessive bowel movements. If you have signs of diarrhea, bring along some dry ginger powder and take a quarter teaspoon dissolved in warm water at regular intervals to settle your stomach. Another great thing about this super spice is that it has grounding effects on those who suffer from nausea. Grab a cup of ginger tea with some freshly grated ginger if you can.
- Lavender oil when dabbed onto the wrists, temples and sternum can soothe stressed out nerves and support sound sleep. Carry a lavender eye pillow to get ample zzzs on the flight.
- Chew on a cardamom pod to relieve bloating and gas, while the aroma of this pleasant spice will keep you calm.
- Nutmeg is another spice that is great for your immune system health and works as a digestive aid. A light sprinkling of nutmeg on steamed milk can be an excellent Vata vanquisher.
Love the Layers
If you are traveling during winter or at ‘tween times when seasons change, carry a light blanket or wrap with you to stay cozy and protect yourself against any drafts. Staying warm is key to healthy travelling as it can keep your energies grounded and help you feel secure. If you are travelling to a place with different climate, dress in layers to be able to keep your body temperature optimal across temperature zones.
Now, take a deep breath and say “I TRAVEL WELL”