The Essential Travel Apothecary

Does your suitcase have a travel apothecary? The last thing you need whilst traveling is a shit disturber. Some call it the shits, some call it tourista; I call it brown grief. This article is a must-have list for a travelers suitcase —the travel apothecary. Throughout my years of traveling and living abroad, I have picked up some tips from some hard-core nomads and am sharing what has worked for them and myself included.

Wherever you plan on taking a trip, it helps to prep in advance so you are prepared to take care of yourself and prevent illness.

Here is a list of items to have in your suitcase or backpack to keep you healthy. Below is a list of herbs and natural medicine that I always travel with if I can.


Oregano Oil:

This is a wonderful herb that has a myriad of benefits when taken orally. It’s my go-to if I ever get a sore throat by applying a couple of shots to the back of the throat. It works very well. You can feel the virus burning off! Oregano oil has high levels of carvacrol and thymol, which is an antibacterial. It helps eliminate two serious leading causes of infections such as staphylococcus epidermis and aureus.

Oregano oils is a must have when traveling
Oregano Oil for your Travel Apothecary.

It may help treat fungal infections like athletes foot, oral thrush, yeast infections, and toenail infections.


Balance the good bacteria in your digestive tract in advance by taking probiotics with each meal. Starting a week or two before travel is recommended and a week after. We should include probiotics in our daily eating habits. Some of the best sources of probiotics can be found in sauerkraut, Kombucha, tempeh, miso, pickles, kefir, and yogurt.

Anti-parasitic herb:

Anyone can pick up a parasite. The most common one is a parasite that infects the gastrointestinal tract. This happens when one might eat undercooked meat, drink infected water, or fecal-oral transmission (wash your hands often and keep your fingers away from your mouth!) I use Parasitix by Clef des Champs (local medicinal plants from a huge garden in Val-David, It’s a wonderful place to visit) or Paracleaner by Herbsforever. However, you can consult your local health food store or refer to a reliable online store.

A friend who was living in Laos, was often feeling bloated, had abdominal pain, diarrhea, and long bouts of fatigue. One day he was squatting over the ground level toilet bowl and when wiping his ass he felt this stringy type thing dangling out of his anus. He pulled and pulled until something snapped off. He looked down and to his horror saw a piece of a tapeworm. Just how many squatters was he hosting?! He found out the hard way that he had parasites, later diagnosed with helminthiasis. Do you have intestinal worms?


Dirty water can cause travel woes

Wild garlic:

Also known as bears garlic, has been quite a popular medicinal plant since the middle ages. It’s great for digestive issues as if has anti-inflammatory properties and a myriad of other positive effects.

Wild Garlic for your travel apothecary
For the love of garlic!

It’s known to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Wild garlic can easily be grown in your garden.

Digestive enzymes:

These tablets can help reduce gas and indigestion. Our organs work hard to break down foods. There are 3 main types of digestive enzymes:

  1. Proteases: breaks down protein into small peptides and amino acids.
  2. Lipases which breaks down fat into 3 fatty acids plus a glycerol molecule.
  3. Amylases which breaks down carbs like starch into simple sugars. If your diet does not contain enough digestive enzymes then food molecules can’t be digested properly.

Eating foods that are high in natural digestive enzymes can greatly improve digestion. These digestive superfoods are pineapples, papaya, mangos, bananas, sauerkraut, avocados, honey, kefir, kimchi, miso, kiwis, and the powerhouse, almighty ginger. Sometimes we do not always have access to these foods so taking a digestive enzyme tablet assures that we are getting our daily intake.

Probiotics in Sauerkraut for the travel apothecary
A good reason to eat sauerkraut.

Vitamin D3:

So many people have a vitamin D deficiency, it’s one of the few vitamins that the body makes itself. Vitamin D is made by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Having a supplement can give it the D boost it needs to help the body absorb calcium and phosphorus. The mighty D also prevents osteoporosis and manage blood pH levels.

Colloidal Silver (NOT Ionic Silver):

It’s a solution of tiny particles suspended in a liquid. Colloidal silver uses date back to thousands of years and its history is fascinating. It can be used topically on the skin for fungus or infection, as eardrops, or to sniff in case of a sinus infection. Although there is a lot of information that discredits colloidal silver, there are thousands of testimonials le agree on its benefits for topical uses. It’s a natural sterilizer that cuts off the oxygen supply of viruses, fungi, and bacteria.

Activated Charcoal:

Activated charcoal is the emergency pill that can help the kidneys filter out undigested toxins and drugs. Learn more about the fascinating qualities about it here.

Activated Charcoal has many health benefits
The many uses of activated charcoal.

Huang Lian Su:

If you think you have tourista or dysentery the these Chinese traditional medicinal yellow tablets will help stop the runs. If you are traveling in countries with poor sanitation and questionable water quality, these tablets are a must-have.

Huang Lian Su Tablets to prevent travelers diarrhea
Huang Lian Su Tablets to prevent travelers from diarrhea

If you have a natural medicine in your travel apothecary that works for you when traveling? Please share with our fellow readers.