It's difficult to stay healthy and balanced on the road, no matter what the purpose or how you're traveling. Bus, car, train, plane - your body is moving faster than nature intended! Travel at any speed introduces the qualities of mobility, light and dryness into your being. When traveling, your daily routine is disturbed. All of this naturally aggravates Vata Dosha and leaves the traveler vulnerable to dehydration, insomnia, diarrhea or constipation, anxiety, forgetfulness and jet lag, just to name a few. But here’s the good and wonderful news: Ayurveda offers a bunch of ways to be vibrant and bright on the road.
1. Natural Sedative
About an hour before you start your journey:
- Eat a ginger or cinnamon capsule
- Drink mint tea
- Eat some tagar (Indian valerian)
These herbs have a number of benefits. They strengthen digestion, improve circulation and relax the mind and body. Tagar actually has properties very similar to melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep, so it will help you to get some z's during a long journey. Avoid taking tagar if you are the driver, since it can be quite potent. Put 1/4 teaspoon of powdered tagar on your tongue and wash it down with water. Repeat this every six hours while you're traveling and when you want to sleep once you first get to your destination.
2. Stay Hydrated!
Drink lots of water! This couldn't be more important while traveling and is essential to good health. Drink more than usual and avoid coffee, caffeinated tea, alcohol and soda. Caffeine, sugar, alcohol, and carbonation are dehydrating and will serve only to further aggravate Vata.
3. Enjoy the Sun
Sunlight reduces jet lag! When you reach your destination, spend some time outside, for at least 20 minutes. Sunbathing helps to more quickly reset your body clock to local time. Sunlight also stimulates Sadhaka Pitta in the brain, which keeps you alert.
Also adopt the local time immediately. Go to bed and get up at the same time you would at home. Resist the urge to nap as much as you can since napping will just prolong the jet lag.
4. Eat Grounding & Nourishing Food
Avoid drying raw foods like salad, dried fruit and potato chips, just as a few examples. Think of eating warm food with a little extra oil and spices instead. Look for cooked apples for breakfast or a snack, steamed veggies with cumin, lentils, rice, legumes, hot soups and stews and kitchari mixed with ghee and cilantro. If you’re not a strict vegetarian, fish and chicken are also grounding.
5. Massage Your Body at Bedtime
6. Triphala As A Travel Companion
Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal healer that regulates the bowels, preventing constipation and calming jet lag. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the powder to a cup of boiling water and steep for about 10 minutes, until it is cool enough to drink. Leave the herbs at the bottom of the cup while you drink for an enhanced effect. Triphala has several tastes, including bitter and astringent, so the flavor is not particularly pleasant, but it's worth it!
All views and information shared here is only for the sharing of Ayurvedic knowledge. Please do not try or prescribe or take any of the remedies and suggestions here without talking to your regular, qualified doctor. Kottakkal Ayurveda and no other person associated with Kottakkal is responsible for unwanted side-effects or contraindications in your health.