Q. Dear Terry, “I’m going to be traveling in a few weeks to a remote place in South America. Medical care will be limited and last time I got really bad diarrhea, which I assume was from contaminated food or water. It was manageable, but miserable. Anything I can do to prevent this from happening again?” – Trenton K., Corpus Christi, TX
A. Dear Trenton, When it comes to protection against bacteria, viruses, or parasites – all of which can cause “traveler’s diarrhea,” I think there are some natural medicines that can make a real difference.
While antibiotics can be effective, they kill off the friendly bacteria in the intestines that keep you safe from viral infections and bad bacteria in the first place. The combination of cinnamon, thyme, clove, and oregano oils are some of nature’s most powerful antibacterial ingredients, especially for times when our immune system is most at risk. They can help boost the body’s natural defenses when traveling and subsequent exposure to new pathogens. Because these ingredients are up to 100 times stronger than ordinary dry herbs, you only need a small amount. Look for concentrated plant oils that are approved for internal use. Unlike essential oils used for massage and aromatherapy, these plant oils are tested and their identity verified based on specific molecular makeup, species, marker compounds, purity, and safety for internal medicinal use. The extraordinary potency of these tested plant oils allows for relatively low doses, but very powerful health benefits.
I would take 75 mg total of these four plant oils internally two times per day while traveling. You could also take them starting a week before your trip.
Another botanical medicine that’s effective against pathogens that cause diarrhea is andrographis. I believe that taking 400 mg of andrographis daily would be an excellent choice for supporting the immune system and gastrointestinal tract. Look for an andrographis standardized to andrographolide content.
Propolis is also a great choice because it is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. Make sure you use propolis that is purified to remove inactive resins and beeswax. I would take 200 mg of propolis once or twice per day.
Lastly, probiotics can be very useful as they can help establish bacteria balance. There are many probiotics on the market, but the kind I prefer are human strains, meaning they are found in our digestive system already. Three probiotic strains I recommend are Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. I would take 20 billion colony forming units (CFUs) that is a combination of L. plantarum, L. rhamnosus, and B. bifidum per day.
Terry . . . Naturally
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