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Nowadays the majority of people fly to their destinations and this is a mode of transport that brings particular problems. The compressurised compartments cause dehydration and swollen feet and ankles, cramp, dry skin, headaches and, especially in tourist class, painful knees from having them pushed up against the seat in front! Avoid alcohol when travelling by air and tea and coffee. Drink plenty of water and fruit juices to keep your sugar level up.

If you suffer from tummy problems your stomach may feel bloated  and extended because gases in your stomach can expand during flights. To alleviate this, have a cup of peppermint tea before yo leave the house-one drop peppermint oil, mixed with a teaspoon of honey and dissolved in hot water.

If flying makes you anxious have ready a tissue with one drop of lavender and one drop of geranium in a little plastic bag in your pocket. When you are begging to feel uneasy about the situation pull the tissue out and hold it to your nose for a moment. Take in big sniffs, lie back, close your eyes and relax. This also works well for people who get irritable on plane journeys.

There are two methods of dealing with swollen feet and ankles, which can become particularly troublesome on long flights. Both work equally well, and need preparing in advance. For the first, you will need a piece of cotton - a small handkerchief is perfect - for making a compress. Wet it so that it's just damp and put five drops of lavender oil on it. Fold it up and put in a small plastic bag and into your pocket. When your ankles swell during the journey, or at the journey's end if they feel heavy and tired, apply the compress to your feet and ankles  and gently massage them in an upwards direction to the bottom of the calf, both back and front, for a few minutes.

For the second method you'll have to retire to the toilet. Massage your feet and ankles in an upwards direction, as above, with an oil made from adding 5 drops of lavender or eucalyptus essential oil to a teaspoon of oil. If you are planning a world trip you'll need more than a teaspoon to see you through, so prepare a little bottle to take with you. I can assure you this works wonders and your travelling will not be marred by this silly inconvenience. I say silly, because that's what you feel when you can't get your feet in your shoes!

If you are prone to getting cramp when travelling, make a compress as above but using geranium oil and hold the compress over the affected area - usually the calf of the leg or the foot. Also try the old Chinese trick of holding your big toe tightly between the thumb and the forefinger.

Knees weren't designed to spend hours bent squashed up against the seat in front of you on a 747, and especially for tall men and women, this can become a problem on long, and even, short journeys. Again, use the compress method with five drops of lavender oil, but rub it over your knees. Business men in suits might find this so something of an embarrasment if done while actually sitting in their seat, but hey can retire to the toilet where the trouser leg can be pulled up without anyone wondering what is going on!

Children on long flights can get fidgety and irritable- which can make your journey as uncomfortable as theirs. Have ready a small bottle containing 15 drops of chamomile in 30ml of a light nut or vegetable oil. When things start to get out of control, twist the child around on the seat so you can massage his/her legs and feet with the oil, tuck him/her in and he/she will soon settle down. You will only have used a tiny portion of the oil but it will come in handy for other holiday problems..

As we take longer flights to hotter suns, jet lag, becomes an increasing problem. Even two or three days of unhappy recovery time are too many in an already short holiday or important business trip - and then there is the journey home to look forward to as well!. Jet lag occurs because your body time-clock is out of synchronisation with the new environment , but the essential oils seem to bring the wheels of time together gently and slowly, avoiding fatigue and jarring of the nerves.
There are several combinations of oils one can use, but a good one comprises peppermint and eucalyptus for the morning and lavender and geranium for the evening.

Before you set out on your journey, have a bath using two drops each of peppermint or eucalyptus or, if you prefer to shower put one drop each onto a wet face cloth and wipe it over your body, once you have washed. When you arrive at your destination, force yourself to stay awake and go to bed at local bed-time, although do have an early night. If you have a nap when you arrive to recover from the journey you'll wake up in the middle of the night. Before you sleep, have a bath to which you have added one drop each of lavender and geranium oil. If it is not possible to take a bath, put a small amount of nut or vegetable oil in the palm of your hand, add one drop each of lavender and geranium and rub the oil around and up your neck, covering the shoulder blades and as much of the upper back as you can reach, the chest and solar plexus region, inhaling deeply all the time.


Also rub over your lower back and hips to relieve the travel pain and tension that comes from sitting for long periods confined to one chair, often without enough leg room. This treatment will alleviate the symptoms of jet lag but for the best results it must be continued. so when you wake up, put two drops each of peppermint and eucalyptus in your bath or one drop each  on a wet face-cloth, wiped over your body after the shower. Alternatively, use the oil method described above but with these morning oils.

Try to stay awake during the day and again, go to bed early. Continue with this morning and evening routine  for the second and third day  after you arrive, or for as long as it takes for your body to adapt to local time.

If you are involved in serious intercontinental travel you would do well to add the fabulous oil of grapefruit to your travel kit. I recently took a twenty six hour flight to Australia which arrived in the early hours, giving me a couple of hours' to sleep before had to appear on breakfast TV lookin sparkling. Grapefruit saved the day - or, to be more precise, the morning! This was the first morning of a six week tour packed  with flights and interviews  and I really needed all the help I could get from essential oils.

When planning your essential travel help it's important to know at what time of the day you are leaving  and the local time of arrival. I planned to get straight to sleep on the plane and so before I left I had a relaxing chamomile and lavender bath.  On the flight I slept as much as possible  and drank plenty of water and fruit juice. At stop overs I got off and walked around. The whole time  wet by in a relaxed time-warp with sniffs of lavender and chamomile hankies.

After my arrival at the hotel I got into a grapefruit and lavender bath, and had a long soak, inhaling deeply  the reviving aromas  of the oils. I felt great by the time I arrived  at the TV studio, and throughout the whirlwind tour, I kept myself on my toes  with a little help from my friends - grapefruit and lavender.

Before setting off to the airport for that final long haul home, it was back to the Chamomile and lavender combination to ensure a relaxing journey.

Another combination for travellers is peppermint and geranium. This works well for people returning home , who after having spent a week unwinding  at their holiday destination, and a week getting totally relaxed , find that their two-weeks holiday has come to an abrupt end and they are back at their desks with that Monday morning feeling-only much worse! Getting back into the routine is very tough but a couple of drops each of peppermint and geranium will help you get over the shock of reality.

Reference:/ Fragrant Pharmacy/ Valerie Ann Wormwood    

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