We all know there are some things that we'd rather not discuss (at least not openly) but we still need remedies for from time to time. Take, traveler's diarrhea, for example.
If you're fortunate enough to never have heard of such a thing because you've never experienced it before, count your blessings, chile. Although I never have (motion sickness is my personal area of expertise), I know people who do. According to them, it S-U-C-K-S.
Although diarrhea typically happens due to things like viral and bacterial infections or food poisoning, sometimes it can occur when one's digestive tract is disrupted due to anxiety, fast food, contaminated water, or germs that they come into contact with while they are on the road (or in the air).
Is traveler's tummy serious? Not really. It usually subsides after a day or two. But when you're in the midst of having loose stools and abdominal cramps, you definitely want to find a remedy sooner than later.
If you can relate, here are 6 natural ones that are directly related to traveler's diarrhea. Oh, and for those of us who get motion sick whenever we've travel, I've included 6 others too.
Drink Water That Has Aloe Vera Juice in It
Aloe vera water
When you're dehydrated, something that you're going to lose plenty of is water. In fact, the cause of death in some babies and seniors who have diarrhea-related health issues is dehydration. That's why, whenever diarrhea creeps in, it's important to remember that, no matter what, you need to drink water or a sports drink (they have electrolytes in them).
If you really want to speed up the healing process, pour a little aloe vera juice into your (non-carbonated) water. Aloe Vera juice has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce gastrointestinal inflammation.
Get Some Honey into Your System
I'm not sure if there's anything that honey can't fix. In the case of diarrhea, it's cool to know that there's such a sweet remedy to such an uncomfortable problem.
The reason why honey is so effective is due to its high amount of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It has so many of both that honey is proven to treat gastroenteritis as it reduces the longevity of bacterial diarrhea.
The best way to take it? Put about four teaspoons of honey into a cup of hot water (as hot as you can stand it) and drink it down straight. The cramping should subside within 15-20 minutes.
Take (Or Eat) A Probiotic
Yogurt chia parfaits
There are a million and one reasons why it's a good idea to take a probiotic supplement. It keeps your heart strong, reduces allergies, works to prevent yeast infections, soothes inflammatory bowel disease, decreases depression symptoms, and yep, you guessed it, is an awesome diarrhea remedy.
Probiotics work so well at treating diarrhea because they provide what is needed in order to promote good gut health by removing bad bacteria from your gastrointestinal system.
If you don't have some probiotics in one of your travel bags, that's OK. There are foods that you can eat that are loaded with probiotics too. Some of them include yogurt (although we must warn, depending on your sensitivities, you might want to go light on the dairy), pickles, cottage cheese, green olives, and (get this) dark chocolate.
(For the record, "bland" foods like toast, applesauce, and oatmeal can help to slow down gas bubbles and tummy discomfort too.)
Find Some White Rice
The problem with getting sick while you're out on the road is sometimes natural remedies can be hard to find. But if you do end up with diarrhea while you're out and about, try and get your hands on some plain white rice (like from a Chinese food restaurant or the microwavable kind you can get from a grocery store).
Although having regular bowel movements is typically a healthy thing, it's something you want to slow down when you've already got the runs. Because white rice is low in fiber, it has the ability to calm your stomach down so that you're not running to the bathroom quite as much.
You know what this means, right? If you're thinking that you'll just go with brown rice instead, you should seriously rethink that. Brown rice is full of fiber. This means that in the case of traveler's diarrhea, it'll probably cause more harm than good.
Avoid Certain Foods
If you know you've got diarrhea because you ate some foods that you had no business consuming in the first place, don't make matters worse by taking in more that don't necessarily agree with you. Foods that are loaded with grease (French fries would be a no-no), dairy (so, no ice cream either), or alcohol (it dehydrates you) go on the very top of the list. So no foods that are high in fiber (because that will only keep your system going) like leafy greens, berries, or corn.
BTW, something else you need to stay away from is chewing gum. It might sound crazy but most gum contains artificial sweeteners and that's something else that will further irritate your tummy.
Get Your Hands on Some Tea
If eating is the last thing you want to think about doing, an herbal tea bag or two can get you through the night. Chamomile tea contains properties that slow down intestinal spasms, blackberry and raspberry leaf teas have tannins in them that will soothe the mucous membranes in your intestines, and Rooibos tea is loaded with flavonoids that help to stop diarrhea-related cramping. (If you add the honey that I talked about, you can get relief even quicker!)
And what if your upset stomach is more motion sickness-related or you're not sure what the deal is? No worries, we've got 6 remedies that will help you out in that department too!
Make Some Crystallized Ginger
You might've heard somewhere that ginger is great for morning sickness. It's a surefire remedy for motion sickness too. If you want to know the scientific reason why, I've read that the properties in ginger help the development of gastric dysrhythmias and the elevation of plasma vasopressin. Basically, that means the 6-gingerol that's in it helps to soothe your stomach and intestines.
Honestly, any kind of ginger—ginger snaps, ginger tea, ginger capsules—will get the job done. But a potent (and delicious) form of ginger is crystallized ginger candy. You can get some at your local grocery store or learn how to make it yourself by clicking here.
Sip on Something Carbonated
Speaking of ginger, another thing that can help is to drink some ginger ale. Not just because of the amount of ginger that's in it but because carbonation can help to ease your tummy too.
Personally, I'm a huge fan of ginger ale but if you can't stand the taste of it, any type of carbonated drink will do the trick. Just make sure that it's something that doesn't have caffeine in it. Caffeine will dehydrate you and could lead to even more nausea and discomfort. That means Coke is a no-no. #sorry
(If you're a big tea drinker, opt for some warm peppermint or chamomile tea. They're effective stomach-soothers too!)
Create Your Own DIY Travel Oil
Even though planes don't smell the best, that doesn't mean you can't get on board with your own aromatherapy. My suggestion would be to make a blend of lavender oil and nutmeg oil. Lavender oil contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce the feelings associated with nausea and the urge to vomit. Nutmeg oil has the ability to calm your nervous system, boost your immunity, and reduce dizziness.
All you need to do is combine one-part lavender and one-part nutmeg oil into a traveler size bottle (feel free to add a little bit of a carrier oil like avocado oil or sweet almond oil if the scent is too strong). Right before you get going, put a little underneath your nose, rub a little on your stomach, and dab a little on your wrists. It should instantly relax you and make the journey much easier on you and your body.
Get in the Right Position
If you get motion sick as much as I do, you probably already know that sitting in the back of a car is worse than sitting in the front. That's because the back of the car moves around more than the front does. So, unless you're fortunate enough to have the entire back seat to yourself (so that you can stretch out across it), try and get in the front. Also, try and keep your head on the headrest as much as possible. It will stabilize you.
What if you're riding on a plane? Here's something that might surprise you. It's best to sit in the middle, as close to the airplane's wings, as possible. According to pilots, that's the part of the plane that experiences the least movement so that you'll end up having the calmest ride.
Oh, and if you've got a cruise coming up, book your reservations for the lower level cabins near the center of the ship. That's the part of the boat that moves around the least.
Put Your Phone Away
You're probably not going to want to hear this, but you should. Remember how when you took family road trips as a kid, if you tried to read a book, it made you want to hurl? Trying to scroll down the small font on your smartphone is no different (actually, it's worse).
You know what that means, right? As far as your phone goes, it's best to set it to airplane mode or only use it to listen to music until you get wherever it is you're going. Otherwise, those gossip blogs and IG stories are gonna have you feeling sick as a dog. Yes, literally.
Try to Travel at Night
You're not going to feel motion sickness nearly as much if you're asleep. So, if you're planning a road trip with some family or friends, try and get them to want to leave around sunset and let you drive first. That way, once it's time to switch drivers, you can go to sleep and miss all of the bumpy action (same goes for plane, ship or train).
Here's to some super-smooth sailing, sis!
Featured Image by Getty Images.