Five Essential Oils Every Traveler Should Know About

The Prophet’s Mosque in Medina

Really and truly, essential oils are useful for both traveler and resident alike but the potency of their punch, in such a small portion makes it a nomad’s ideal travel companion.  There were several trips where we fell ill and the therapeutic taste, touch, or aroma of these five essentials oils were our aid and rescue.

My very first encounter with essential oils began in Medina, Saudi Arabia.  On our departing day from Mecca, I felt some discomfort in my sinuses and within a few hours, it was creeping into my throat and chest.  During the Hajj pilgrimage, you’re exposed to a lot of people in very close quarters, so contracting something is quite common.  Unfortunately, I had no defense for this and my guard was low.  I ate as much garlic laden hummus as possible and carried lemons to infuse my water on the road to Medina.  Despite all of these efforts, my illness took hold in Medina and I was bedbound.  A raw-foodist vegan traveler came to my aid with an artillery of small opaque vials and instructions for use.  After applying, ingesting, and inhaling the recommended oils and oil blends, my condition significantly improved just in time for the start of the Hajj rites.

Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur

On our last trip to Malaysia and Indonesia, all of us were sick, coughing, and feverish prior to our departure.  Thankfully, I remembered a particular oil with potent anti-viral properties that helped us recover and kept us from completely cancelling the awaited trip.  Our host had a stomach bug the day after we arrived and one dose of this same oil cleared him up just in time for our road trip to Bandung.

There are tons of oils with a variety of properties but these five are my absolute favorite to keep in stock, whether at home or abroad.

1.        Lavender

From the time you feel a tickle in your sinuses; you can stop it in its tracks with the extract of this beautiful plant.  A few drops on your pillow at night, or even better, a few drops in a hot bath or in a bowl of steaming water for a facial sauna ensure that the anti-microbial properties of vaporized lavender reach up to your sinuses and start arresting bacteria on contact.  Lavender is also a calming scent and can soothe young children to sleep.

2.       Eucalyptus

When congested, inhaling eucalyptus can help you breathe easier at night and get your sinuses draining.  It makes a great companion to lavender when vaporized, as well as when disinfecting surfaces and rooms. It is also known to repel flies and mosquitoes.

3.       Peppermint

What I love about keeping peppermint oil is that all you need is hot water to make tea.  Adding a few drops to a cup of boiled water, with lemon and honey, can make a powerful antipyretic tea, causing you to break a good sweat and bring down your fever.  Peppermint can also soothe a tender tummy and fight viruses.

4.       Oregano

This is my “in case of emergency” oil.  When something big, bad, and beastly is on the horizon, oregano oil is a powerful counter-attack.  You know oregano must be good for you because it’s hard to swallow.  Even when a few drops are diluted in water or orange juice, you feel the burn going down and a little tingling on your lips.  Don’t worry; these sensations will subside but the oregano will continue to fight for you.  Oregano oil should not be consumed for more than five consecutive days, one dose per day.   Lots of water is necessary to flush out the viral carnage from your body.  Diluted oregano oil can be applied to the feet of young children but they’re advised not to ingest the oil until they’re at least five years old.

5.       Melaleuca/Tea Tree

This amazing extract is Australia’s gift to the world (among others, I’m sure).  Being both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial, it has so many useful applications.  It can be directly applied topically to pimples, cuts, and insect bites.  It can be diluted and used to disinfect sheets and surfaces.  A few drops can be added to your shampoo to relieve you of dandruff and there are a gazillion other uses too.  It’s versatile, tolerable, and pleasant to smell.

Please Note:  Not all oils are the same can deliver the promised effects.  When selecting your essential oils, look for pure, therapeutic-grade oils, free of additives, and packaged in opaque glass bottles to prevent light from altering its quality.  My first batch of oils were from Young Living but since then I’ve converted to Doterra brand oils.

Mosque at Rest Stop en route to Bandung from Jakarta

Disclaimer:  The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


2 thoughts on “Five Essential Oils Every Traveler Should Know About

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s