Nothing is worse than being sick and away from home, except for being sick and away from home and driving 80,000 pounds of machinery and product around a neverending maze of traffic. If you’re on the road long enough, it’s inevitable you’re going to have a sick day once in a while, and being able to make yourself comfortable enough to get home or to wherever you can stop and tend to yourself properly is important.
Home and natural remedies have been used for thousands of years with much success, but modern medicine is sometimes more beneficial. These tips are provided as palliative measures — any time you have an infection, fever or chronic condition, you should seek professional medical care. Use common sense and take care of yourself. The most important machine you have is your body.
A small first-aid kit-sized box is all you need for your own little traveling homeopathic pharmacy. These remedies are intended for brief usage; no large amounts of anything listed is necessary. Because most of these things are perishable, it’s important to check and rotate your supplies regularly.
There are three common ailments on the road. Having a few simple items on hand can greatly reduce the discomfort associated with all three. Again, use common sense when self-treating any illness. If you’re running a high fever, or can’t get swelling under control, seek immediate medical attention. If you’re just feeling under the weather and need to get home to rest or see a doctor, these tips are for you.
Milk often hinders rather than helps stomachs because many people can’t digest it easily. Though many people think milk can soothe an aching tummy, it actually may do more harm than good, especially if you’re lactose intolerant.
Cinnamon stimulates the digestive system, helping things move along the gut tract smoothly. You can make a cinnamon tea by stirring a quarter to a half teaspoon of cinnamon powder into 1 cup of hot water. Let the tea stand for up to five minutes and drink for a soothing after-meal preventive.
Make your own antacid with baking soda. Mix a half teaspoon of baking soda in half a glass of water and drink away. Remember that baking soda is a sodium compound (sodium bicarbonate), so if you have high blood pressure or are on a sodium-restricted diet, don’t use this remedy and consider that ginger has much the same effect when eaten.
Most toothaches occur at night when you are trying to sleep because of the increased blood pressure around your head. Try keeping your head elevated to decrease some of the pressure. Swelling from infection is the cause of the pain, and curing the infection is the most important step toward relief. These remedies are for emergency situations only — it’s important to get infected teeth looked at by a dentist as soon as possible, as prescribed antibiotics are often necessary.
Asprin/ Asprin powder – The uses for asprin vary from pain reliever to life-saving blood thinner during a cardiac/stroke episode. Regular asprin is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory that also reduces fever. Taken in large or continuous doses, it can cause irritation of the stomach lining, but is an extremely versatile drug that can be used for relief in a myriad of medical situations. Aspirin in its present form has been around for over 100 years and is still one of the most widely used medications in the world.
Salt – The human body consists of two primarily compounds … water and salt. Salt has antiseptic and drying properties, and can be used to treat anything from a sore throat to a bee sting.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon contains a number of powerful antioxidant compounds, so it helps to prevent premature destruction of healthy cells in the body. Additionally, cinnamon possesses anti-microbial activity, so it helps to reduce the risk of food-borne diseases caused by bacteria. Cinnamon also contains a compound called cinnamtannin B1 that helps to combat Type 2 diabetes.
Ginger – A root used as a digestive aid for thousands of years, a longtime helper for stomach ailments of all types — particularly nausea and gas. Ginger helps food flow smoothly through the digestive tract, allowing the body to better absorb nutrients. The most practical and easy way to carry and use it in the truck is in dried or candied form.
Garlic – Because of allicin and other sulfur compounds found in garlic, it has antibiotic, antibacterial and antimycotic (anti-fungal) action. A clove of garlic in a dark, dry environment will keep for up to a month.
Baking soda – Toothpaste, carpet freshener, antacid, polishing compound. Having a box of baking soda comes in handy for a huge variety of things.
Unprocessed honey – Raw honey was used to dress the wounds of ancient Egyptians and is still used in wound care products today. Used topically or taken internally, honey provides antimicrobial benefits as well as boosting the immune system. Stored properly, honey keeps indefinitely.
Chicken soup – Science actually backs up what your mom knew all along — chicken soup does help a cold. It’s one of the most beneficial hot fluids you can consume when you have a cold. Scientists believe it’s the fumes in the soup that release the mucus in your nose and help your body better fight against its viral invaders. Chicken soup also contains cysteines, which are good at thinning mucus. And the soup provides easily absorbed nutrients. It stores easily and has a long shelf life in dried packets.
A clove of garlic with a little bit of rock salt, placed on the affected tooth, will relieve the pain. Alternatively you can chew a garlic clove daily in the morning. The antibiotic properties of the garlic will combat infection while the salt acts as a drying agent, reducing swelling in the immediate area of discomfort.
A strong saltwater rinse, four times a day, acts as an astringent in the mouth and will help swelling, thereby relieving pain.
Asprin relieves fever, pain and swelling associated with bacterial infection. If you are on blood thinners or have stomach ulcers, take caution in using asprin or asprin products.
The inflammation and swelling in the nose during a cold is caused by molecules called cytokines, or lymphokines, which are made by the body as it fights the infection. Research has shown that washing away these molecules can reduce swelling. You can make your own saline drops or spray by adding a quarter teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces water. Fill a clean nasal-spray bottle or dropper with the salt water and spray or drop into each nostril three or four times. Repeat five to six times daily.
Use honey to soothe a raw throat and calm a cough. A teaspoon of honey provides a coating for the mucous membranes. It also provides the body with a steady source of sucrose, which promotes good rest.
If you have the stomach flu (which is not really a flu, or influenza, at all but generally some type of microbial infection, like food poisoning), and it’s accompanied by diarrhea or vomiting, fruit juice will help resupply the potassium and other nutrients your body is losing. Water the juice by as much as half, so as not to irritate an already sensitive stomach.
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