Herbal Remedies To Prevent Travelers Diarrhea

Herbal Remedies to​ Prevent Travelers Diarrhea
Travelers visiting many tropical,​ subtropical and​ developing countries run an​ increased risk of​ suffering a​ gastrointestinal illness . ​
These are usually caused by bacteria,​ parasites and​ viruses . ​
the​ microscopic bugs at​ the​ top of​ these rather gut wrenching for​ all the​ wrong reasons . ​
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charts are E Coli,​ the​ staphylococci,​ shigella and​ salmonella species,​ campylobacter jejuni,​ cryptosporidiosis,​ and​ hepatitis a​ . ​

Infected food is​ the​ biggest culprit,​ with water coming in​ second . ​
Ice cream,​ cocktails served in​ reused coconut shells,​ raw seafood,​ ice,​ and​ food from street vendors are potential risks that can interrupt your adventure with less salacious memories to​ pass on​ to​ family and​ friends . ​

The nausea,​ stomach cramps and​ diarrhea from such acute infections usually sorts itself out after a​ few days unless of​ course you​ have contracted hepatitis A,​ or​ something like giardia . ​
Certainly,​ if​ you​ are unlucky enough to​ be sick after a​ few days,​ you​ should see a​ doctor . ​

Fortunately,​ there are remedies you​ can take that will strengthen your immune and​ digestive system and​ hopefully give your body a​ better chance at​ dealing with its new environment . ​
the​ herbs I ​ describe below would make an​ excellent travelers mix . ​
the​ best form to​ take them in​ would be as​ a​ tincture,​ which can be made up by going to​ a​ local herbal dispensary if​ you​ have one in​ your area,​ or​ alternatively,​ a​ local herbalist . ​

Astragalus Astragalus membranaceus
Astragalus is​ a​ good antiviral,​ antibacterial,​ and​ antimicrobial . ​
the​ polysaccharides in​ it​ support the​ immune system . ​
Astragalus increases the​ activity of​ phagocytes,​ natural killer cells,​ and​ the​ levels of​ antibodies in​ the​ blood . ​

Picrorrhiza Picrorrhiza kurroa
This is​ an​ Ayurvedic herb that is​ best given in​ low doses,​ as​ higher doses can cause diarrhea and​ flatulence in​ more sensitive people . ​
Its a​ bitter herb,​ so it​ stimulates the​ digestive system . ​
it​ is​ also antimalarial,​ supports the​ immune system,​ and​ protects the​ liver . ​
Picrorrhiza encourages all aspects of​ the​ immune system,​ such as​ B and​ T cell activity,​ and​ the​ activity of​ phagocytes . ​
This herb is​ used in​ Ayurvedic medicine for​ liver related problems and​ immune problems . ​

Goldenseal Hydrastis Canadensis
Goldenseal is​ a​ gut antibiotic,​ which for​ example helps reduce adhesive e coli,​ and​ encourages some immune functions of​ the​ body . ​
for​ example,​ berberine,​ which is​ one of​ its active constituents,​ has been shown to​ increase the​ activity of​ macrophages,​ which digest bacteria and​ viruses . ​
Barberry also contains berberine,​ so more information on​ this very valuable constituent is​ below . ​
Goldenseal,​ being a​ bitter herb,​ it​ is​ also good for​ the​ digestive system . ​
if​ you​ are pregnant or​ suffer from hypertension,​ however,​ you​ should not take goldenseal . ​

Barberry Berberis Vulgaris
Berberine,​ one of​ the​ active constituents in​ this herb is​ an​ anti protozoic,​ which helps protect travelers against giardia,​ leishmania,​ and​ treponema pallidum . ​
Other notable effects of​ berberine are its activity against giardia,​ dysentery,​ and​ candida,​ as​ well as​ the​ cholera vibrio . ​
the​ active constituents berberine and​ palmatine are also antibacterial . ​
and​ berbamine,​ which like berberine is​ an​ alkaloid,​ is​ a​ strong antibacterial which seems to​ work by increasing white blood cells and​ platelets . ​
the​ constituent palamtine is​ a​ uterine stimulant,​ however,​ and​ as​ such pregnant women shouldnt take this herb . ​
Barberry is​ another gut antibiotic,​ but it​ is​ also antimalarial though no selfrespecting herbalist would recommend anything other than doctors treatment if​ you​ do contract malaria . ​

Echinacea Echinacea purpurea or​ augustifolia
Echinacea is​ an​ immune stimulant . ​
Its main active constituents are the​ polysaccharides and​ the​ alkamides especially the​ isobutylamides,​ which are both immune stimulating,​ and​ the​ polyaceytlenes,​ which are antibacterial,​ antiviral,​ and​ antifungal . ​
Echinacea supports the​ activity of​ phagocytes,​ which are part of​ the​ immune system,​ and​ is​ also considered antiviral and​ antimicrobial . ​
One of​ the​ ways echinacea appears to​ work is​ by inhibiting the​ action of​ the​ enzyme hyaluronidase . ​
This enzyme is​ used by microorganisms to​ break down the​ connective tissue that prevents them from entering and​ spreading through the​ body . ​
for​ these reasons,​ it​ is​ excellent as​ part of​ a​ travelers remedy mix . ​

These remedies are not designed as​ a​ prophylactic,​ like a​ vaccine . ​
They work on​ the​ principle of​ giving your body an​ increased chance at​ staying healthy . ​
But nothing replaces common sense . ​
Wash your hands before eating . ​
don't drink ice or​ from water bottles where the​ seal has been broken . ​
Drink cocktails in​ glasses,​ not cute but probably old coconut shells . ​
don't eat anything fresh that you​ cant peel . ​
don't eat ice cream or​ drink unpasteurized milk . ​
Be wary of​ eating from street vendors . ​
Some people do,​ and​ are fine . ​
But they are a​ risk factor with gastrointestinal upsets . ​
Its a​ good idea to​ pack some oral hydration salts as​ a​ precaution . ​

But above all,​ enjoy your holiday!
References C Fisher & G Painter,​ Materia Medica of​ Western Herbs for​ the​ Southern Hemisphere
Class notes from Ses Salmond,​ certified Natural Therapist and​ Herbal Medicine teacher
Herbal Remedies To Prevent Travelers Diarrhea Herbal Remedies To Prevent Travelers Diarrhea Reviewed by Henda Yesti on July 30, 2018 Rating: 5

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