Ready to help your customers avoid common getaway ailments? Matt Chittock discovers the natural essentials that experts recommend to enjoy a happy, healthy holiday
Holidays should be relaxing occasions for everybody to unwind and enjoy some much-needed time out. But all too often the resort reality clashes with what the brochure promised – especially if you’re dealing with common holiday problems like insect bites, sunburn or a dicky tummy. Luckily the natural health sector has plenty to help travellers achieve a relaxed state. And as customers take natural approaches on-board as a way to combat holiday health horrors, they’ll be more likely to keep up with a natural regime when they return home.
Start at the bottom
According to research from Yakult, over ten million Brits have had their holiday ruined by digestive problems. The survey also found that of those people, nearly two-thirds suffered from diarrhoea or constipation. Dr Marilyn Glenville says that these problems are sometimes caused by bugs that holidaymakers pick up while abroad. “They can be from sources like buffet food – where food has been left under a lamp for some time. Even things that we think are innocuous, like rice, can be a problem – as can watery salad,” she says. Glenville suggests that probiotics are an important way to get the gut in balance before you travel – although it’s good to pack them in your suitcase too. Her Advanced Probiotic Support product has been designed to work without the need for chilling, which makes it a handy travelling companion. Sharon Morey from Quest Vitamins also recommends a probiotic as a way to boost the immune system pre-holiday. She says that it is a good plan to protect the body against foreign bugs that you might not have encountered before. “When you go abroad you encounter different bugs that your immune system isn’t used to,” she says. “It’s not that your holiday destination isn’t hygienic – we’ve seen visitors to the UK from the Middle East get sick too.” “To avoid stomach upsets, avoid drinking the local water as the mineral content can be different from at home, which can lead to diarrhoea,” adds Simon Bandy from Veganicity. “Remember also to avoid ice cubes in drinks as these may be made from tap water, and also try to avoid salad, which may have been washed in local water. Cooked vegetables are a great alternative,” he suggests.
Witness the sickness
Holiday ailments aren’t necessary all physical, many can start in the head too, especially if you’re one of the many people who find it incredibly difficult to switch off before you take off. “There’s been some research into what has been termed ‘leisure sickness’ by researchers,” explains Morey. “This is where people have been working so hard for so long that their immune system never gets a chance to heal. So when they start to slow down they begin to feel sick with flu-like symptoms.” As a nutritionist, Morey recommends that “stressed executives” start eating properly with a balanced diet packed with different coloured foods so that they’re enjoying the full spectrum of antioxidants. “However, if you haven’t got the time for that, a good comprehensive multivitamin can help,” she says. “It needs to have a bit of everything – including vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and selenium.” Glenville reports that she’s often seen people on the beach trying to chill out with their phone and laptop parked nearby on their beach towel. Not a great move if you’re attempting to unwind! She says that on holiday it normally takes around three to four days to really relax, so leaving the work phone and computer at home is the smartest idea – or using it during set times if this just isn’t possible. “Preparing to go away can also be really stressful, so try and plan ahead if you can to minimize problems,” she says. “B vitamins and Siberian ginseng can help – and both are featured in my Tranquil Woman Support.”
The vitamin approach
Today most consumers are extremely clued-up on the dangers of spending too long in the sun here the UK – let along in much hotter foreign climes. Obviously all the experts believe that sunscreen and strategic shade is the best plan – but there’s evidence that vitamins can be used to complement this approach. “Although winter time is generally when people are most concerned with taking vitamins and supplements to support the body, nutr-ients during the summer months can be just as important,” explains Chrissy Chrissy Kovach from Cambridge Commodities. “Vitamins can be surprisingly useful during the summer months and in hot climates. Vitamin C has antioxidant effects that may help protect cells from damage by encouraging collagen production and the growth of new tissue. “It also assists with tissue repair, so lessens the effects of sun damage, including photo-aging. Used topically, vitamin C helps to reduce the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays, and in conjunction with vitamin E, could help prevent sunburn.” Kovach also says that vitamin C can help the body physiologically respond to heat stress. “It reduces the likelihood of developing heat-related illnesses such as heat rash and exhaustion, and can also shorten the length of time it takes for your body to acclimatise. This is believed to be partly due to the reduction in sweat gland fatigue.” More research may be required – and it’s definitely not an excuse to go sunscreen-free, but Morey does have anecdotal evidence that vitamin C pays dividends for sun-stressed skin. “I’m really fair and so I often suffer from prickly heat abroad,” she says. “I’m not sure it would work for everybody, but vitamin C has definitely worked for me helping treat it. Obviously I still wasn’t able to go out and get a tan, but I think it made the holiday more comfortable.” Morey takes a couple of grammes of vitamin C “at least” on the run-up to going away. Quest offers both time-release and quick-action vitamin C products, and she prefers the quicker route before her annual escape. Apart from vitamin C, Morey’s favourite “travellers’ friends” are lavender oil and tea tree oil. “Both are really good in a bath, or blended into sun cream if you want to soothe sunburn,” she says. “In fact, some people use tea tree oil neat on insect bites. I put both oils in my carry-on luggage, but lavender is my ultimate choice because it’s so light and soothing.”
Focusing on the natural beauty sector is a great way for retailers to cash-in on the holiday health category. And with growing worries about the chemicals present in traditional sun creams, suncare is a good place to start. Dead Sea Spa Magik Sunsafe SPF50 is a high SPF product that works by reflecting and bouncing back the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays before they reach the skin’s surface, helping to prevent skin damage and premature skin ageing. As with the whole range, the product harnesses the regenerative and therapeutic benefits of a Dead Sea water base and certified organic extracts to help boost the condition of the skin and restore the body’s natural mineral balance. Another holiday health favourite is Yaoh’s Organic Hemp Seed Sun Block, which come in SPF 30 and SPF 15 varieties. The product combines the natural protective, moisturi-zing and rejuvenating qualities of organic hemp seed oil with the most effective and least damag-ing chemical sunblocks to produce a safe and protec-tive lotion that is vegan, free from parabens, harmful substances and unnecessary chemical additives.
Limited edition travel sizes offer retailers a chic point of difference to big mainstream stores – as evidenced by products like luxury brand Voya’s new travel kit. The brand recently conducted a vox pop survey which revealed 90% of women tend to compromise on facial products when travelling, leading to neglected skin and an array of problems, some of which can take months to repair. “The number of women needing to ‘repair’ post-holiday skin is always at an all-time high after the summer months, and each year we see a huge rise in those opting for facials that help to fix problems caused by neglected skin,” says Lucy Herring, senior skincare specialist at Voya. “Such problems can take up to two weeks to repair after a short break and more than a month after a two-week holiday! What women tend to forget is that if they continued to use the correct skincare whilst away, they could return with glowing, radiant skin that doesn’t need fixing.” To combat this problem, Voya’s kits include an anti-ageing face moisturizer, refreshing botanical toner and hydrating facial mask. Elsewhere, up-and-coming natural brand Nougat Naturals has also created a series of pretty mini travel sets focusing its key range into easy-to-carry holiday beauty essentials.
Why a pre-tox rocks
Planning to sink a few Pina Coladas to get you into the holiday spirit? By ‘pre-toxing’ their bodies, customers can guard against hangover horrors. With this in mind, here are five top travel tips from Veganicity’s nutritional expert, Simon Bandy.
1. Don’t crash diet in order to squeeze into your holiday bikini. Bandy advises against short, sharp diets in favour of a healthy eating regime that will see you slim for life. “Eat sensibly and ‘stock up’ on nutrient-rich foods,” he says. “Try not to snack on sugary or high-fat holiday foods which can cause fluctuating blood sugar levels, as this may lead to fatigue.”
2. Think about what you drink. Bandy emphasizes that it’s essential to prepare your gut and immune system for a boozy onslaught. “Pineapple and asparagus are great for cleansing the system before it’s assaulted,” he explains. “Choose drinks mixed with dark berry juices as these tend to be packed full of antioxidants. Drinking 15 drops of Veganicity Elderberry Tincture in a little water twice daily helps to boost levels of antioxidants in the body.”
3. Sleep soundly. Late night packing and early airport starts are often un-avoidable when travelling abroad. “Try to fit in a pre-plane snooze,” says Bandy. “It can be better to have an early night than a morning lie-in, when possible, and avoid too much sugar around bedtime.”
4. Try some light exercise too. “It’s a great way to improve circulation, shift toxins and help recover from a hangover.”
5. Get glowing holiday skin. “Using a good dry body brush can help skin to glow and stay blemish-free,” says Bandy. “Always remove make-up at night and keep up a good, daily beauty regime. Found in many beauty creams, hyaluronic acid can soften skin to give a lasting anti-ageing effect. Take Veganicity Hyaluronic Acid tablets to aid a youthful glow from the inside.”
The night before you fly out can be a difficult time to drop off. Potter’s Nodoff Tablets are a simple solution based upon a long-standing natural remedy to help you catch some restorative ‘z’s.
When you’ve got an upset tummy, magnesium can help get your stomach back-in-balance. Solgar’s high quality take on the mineral classic should help you through any digestive nastiness.
Wipes are a boon to any traveller, and Mendill has given an organic twist to the traditional format through its organic wet cleansing towelettes in a range of fresh natural fragrances from lemon to eucalyptus.
After three days attacking the all-you-can eat buffet you could well be craving some healthy food. Pulsin’s Beond Bars are a smart way to pack in some 100% organic goodness without maxing out luggage space.
Stop making scents
During a holiday hangover clarity can be hard to come by. Luckily, Zephorium has bottled it in their Lapis Lazuli Crystal Clarity Vision essential oil spritzer which should help you get your head back in working order after a night on the sangria.
Health File Listings
silicolgel is a medical device to treat symptoms of IBS and indigestion and alleviates similar symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract that can occur due to a change in diet during travel or on holidays. Containing natural silicic acid, it creates a protective lining in the stomach and intestine. The gel acts as a magnet physically binding with toxins and irritants rendering them harmless to pass through the digestive system. A tablespoonful of silicolgel, taken three times daily has been clinically shown to quickly normalise stomach and bowel function. silicolgel is available in 200ml (SRP: £8.29) and 500ml (SRP: £18.49.
Health Plus have a wide selection of products that may be useful for maintaining good holiday health, whether travelling abroad or in the UK. There’s our Immunade Pack (part of our Daily Pack range), range of B Complex products, Tyro Tan, Ginger Root, probiotics, digestive enzymes and much more. All are available from stock in single units, with no minimum order and excellent customer service. Health Plus have been serving over 200 quality products to the retailer and practitioner market for over 20 years now. If you haven’t tried us yet, now’s the ideal time!
Helios creams in tubes are made using the finest quality botanical tinctures, essential oils and other natural plant based ingredients. Known as the traveller’s friend Urtical cream contains organically grown Urtica Urens and Calendula plants and essential oils of Lavender and Roman Chamomile. Soothing relief for burning, itchy and irritated skin caused by minor sunburn, prickley heat and allergic reactions to insect bites and stings. Our creams do ]not contain lanolin, petroleum derivatives or artificial preservatives making them gentle enough for the most delicate skin. For details of our full range please contact Roz Crompton.
Terranova Digestive Enzyme Complex is a powerfully active and intensely synergistic formulation of digestive enzymes and herbal extracts designed to help support the digestive system and aid food absorption. Contains Fennel Seed and Ginger which have a soothing effect on the digestive tract, chlorophyll-rich Green Barley Grass for bacterial balance and fibre, Stabilised Rice Bran, Artichoke Leaf, Cardamom Seed, and Gentian Root along with 12 digestive enzymes. All Terranova products contain no fillers, binders or other excipients and are suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Contains the perfect balance of three strains of 12 billion Bifidus Bacteria at a high strength to help support the immune system. Glutamine and gamma oryzanol are also included along with added prebiotics to feed and aid the probiotics to soothe digestive discomfort and aid normal digestive function. Ideal as a travel and holiday in-store listing as refrigeration is not required. Free from gluten, yeast and dairy products. Made without the use of artificial flavours, colours or preservatives. Available in pots of 60 vegetarian capsules. Kosher and Vegetarian Society approved. Cost £16.73 + vat.
HealthAid Sacardi vegan capsules, helps against a multitude of factors that impact the ability of the gut system to function effectively. Sacardi™ vegan capsules is a unique formulation combining 5 billion live microorganisms of pure Saccharomyces boulardii, Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and Vitamin B3 to provide powerful immune support in the gastro-intestinal tract and enhance the body’s defences. Sacardi™ capsule from HealthAid is a natural, dairy-free product suitable for people using antibiotics, suffering from stomach discomfort, acute diarrhoea, indigestion or persistent yeast infections such as Candida. Retailing at £11.99 for 30 Vegetarian capsules, Contact HealthAid Ltd on 0208 426 3400 for purchase and stockist information or visit www.healthaid.co.uk.
Hair Volume is a unique hair tablet supplement. It contains Apple, which is traditionally eaten in Sweden for beautiful hair. The unique bioactive nutrient hair growth factor combination contained in each tablet nourishes and activates the life processes of hair follicle cells. The tablet works from the inside out. The tablet contains apple extract rich in procyanidin B2, a natural growth factor that appears to be able to promote the active growth phase of hair follicles. Plus biotin and zinc contribute to the maintenance of normal hair and copper contributes to normal hair pigmentation, fighting grey hairs.
Make the most out of the longer days with New Organic Jungle Elixir! Organic Jungle Elixir is an alcohol-free, natural energy shot with a zingy lemon flavour. Made with a 4:1 guarana extract (4x the strength), each shot contains the equivalent of 1,000mg guarana. Guarana seeds have been used for thousands of years by the Maués-Saterés tribes of Brazil to support mental performance and reduce mental fatigue. Ideal for demanding days, work, study, long journeys and party-hopping. Now available in an attractive 30-phial counter display. 15ml RRP. £1.99 Please contact us for special offers and more information about stocking this range.
Did you know up to 50% of holiday makers suffer from traveller’s diarrhoea? ‘For travelling abroad’ is a probiotic designed to prevent traveller’s diarrhoea in exotic environments such as India, Egypt & Mexico. It contains a robust formula of probiotics, including Saccharomyces boulardii which has been clinically proven to help inhibit and ‘flush out’ pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella. For travelling abroad does not require refrigeration, making it ideal for travelling in a suitcase. Recommend to anyone buying travel essentials.
Maintaining a healthy immune system is one of the best things you can do for your health to help ward off illness and to help keep allergies in check. A well functioning immune system is also essential for clear skin, faster muscle recovery (anti-inflammatory phytonutrients aids inflammation) and during periods of detoxing and dieting (helping clear toxins faster). Highest quality nutrients, all of which have been shown to have proven benefits when it comes to modulating the immune system, are combined in the Bee Prepared formulas which have been created by nutritionists and nutritional scientists. Therapeutic amounts of bee propolis, black elderberry, olive leaf, beta glucans, astaxanthin, acerola cherry and more are included in these one a day capsules. Bee Prepared is suitable for most ages- capsules may be opened into juices, smoothies & yoghurt for those who do not swallow pills. • Vegetarian Society approved • Nothing artificial, no GMOs & gluten free. • Researched based formulas • Concentrated formulas so fewer capsules required. • Great consumer reviews • A portion of profits donated to bee causes The Daily Mail hails Bee Prepared the ‘Celebrity It-Vit’ (Gwyneth Paltrow, Emma Forbes & Olympic athlete Victoria Pendelton are amongst fans). The products have won 5 awards. For more info and reviews see: unbeelievablehealth.co.uk