Funny what kind of thoughts you have when preparing for travel. Here are some of mine as I prepare for a Mexican holiday!
Are you familiar with this TV ad? The scenario: the new bride being carried by the groom to the sand and surf to ‘trash the dress.’ Then close-up to the bride’s face…the look of horror. Or the dad buried up to his neck in sand? Same look of horror. Or this scenario: the scuba diver in a wetsuit ready to take the plunge? How is it we all know that look? Diarrhea! It’s written all over their faces. And what makes it even worse? They were supposed to be having the time of their lives.
All you have to do is watch this ad just one time and it leaves you wondering… What if it happened to me? After all, who wants a holiday ruined? You might even seriously consider the over-the-counter oral vaccine being offered. BUT WAIT!! Before you rush out to get the product, consider another alternative. Homeopathy to the rescue!
You know what? It’s a clever ad – it distracts the viewer from the oral vaccine’s possible side effects, including nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. (Gee…diarrhea before the vacation and possibly during… And it’s not 100% effective!)
If I were to use this commercial, I would end it by offering homeopathic remedies to treat the diarrhea. You could possibly use homeopathy for prevention, as well – especially if you are considering whether to use this particular product to prevent cholera (which is another claim by the makers of the product).
What’s in the Oral Vaccine Product?
As with any vaccine, it is really important to know what’s in it. The first thing to do is Google the package insert or the product monograph with the name of the vaccine. Either should get you to a link where you can see what’s in the vaccine and read warnings, possible adverse reactions (yes…you can actually get diarrhea from the vaccine itself), drug interactions, and information about how well this vaccine works or doesn’t work, depending on the age of the person and their state of health.
For example: www.janssen.ca/subcategory_docdownload?id=1207
The vaccine is made from several strains of inactivated cholera virus plus another strain called Recombinant cholera toxin B subunit. I’m still working on understanding all what that means but, at its most basic, that last ‘subunit’ is a kind of genetically modified cholera bacteria. The idea is to give you a ‘little bit of the disease’ to trigger your immune system to create antibodies to the disease. In other words, some of the bacteria strains are inactivated and one strain is genetically modified but not inactivated. (Yes…that means GM vaccines. Follow the link HERE to listen to an interview with Dr. Joseph Mercola and Vicky Debold explaining what this means.)
If you decide that the risks of taking the oral vaccine outweigh the benefits for you or your family, especially if you have children under the age of two or you are pregnant, you might want to consider homeopathy. You can add to your ever-growing remedy kit and have a homeopathic alternative for any TD moment.
What Remedies Should You Have on Hand?
The really good news? If you started an at-home/travel kit, you already have two of the five recommended remedies in today’s newsletter.
This HANDOUT has even more remedy suggestions and includes information about diarrhea in general. Children under two are quite susceptible to rotavirus so the handout will give you some options for treating it with homeopathy. And, for those just starting out with homeopathy, it’s helpful to have remedies that are used more frequently for many illnesses and not just diarrhea.
Arsenicum album (Metallum album in Canada)
Great remedy for so many ailments! If you happen to get food poisoning while travelling or on a cruise, this is the go-to remedy. Chilly yet burning pains better with heat. Vomiting and diarrhea, possibly at the same time. Restlessness with fear of death. Fear of being alone. With children, vomiting and diarrhea as soon as the child eats.
Aconite (Aconitum napellus)
Sudden onset with fear, especially around midnight. Green chopped spinach stools. (Yep…you will have to check the stool!)
The other three recommended remedies (read up on them in the handout):
Podophyllum (Podophyllum peltatum)
Every parent will need this remedy at some point with sick kids. This is the remedy for that gurgling, rumbling in the belly, and you just know what’s coming next…the diarrhea explosion! Painless but explosive.
Aloe in an herbal or material dose is sometimes used to help with constipation. Homeopathically, it is very useful in TD situations where there is ‘no holding back.’ (Involuntary stool is the official term.)
This will be a situation where there is tremendous weakness after the diarrhea. Will have the chills while also sweating profusely. Unlike Arsenicum where there’s a desire for warm/hot drinks, the Veratrum person will crave ice-cold drinks.
For those of you who volunteer or work overseas in developing countries where TD and cholera are still a reality, here’s a very good blog article from a reputable homeopathic research website. The article includes a list of well-known homeopathic remedies used historically and being used currently in the cholera outbreak in Haiti after the earthquake.