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With mounting appreciation of the negative environmental cost of flying, not to mention the unexpected complications the world faces due to coronavirus, Jane Wolfe finds out how consumers can help protect themselves and the planet when taking to the skies 

When Ol’ Blue Eyes invited us to ‘take off in the blue’ to ‘a bar in far Bombay’ in the 1950s the last thing on his mind was the detrimental effects this romantic plane journey would have on the environment. Fast forward 70 years and people are all too aware of the negative consequences of air travel. 

But although protestors have been taking to the streets in their thousands against climate change, how many would back up their chants with action and give up their summer break abroad or their gap year adventure to a far off destination? And let’s face it, not many can opt for a Greta Thunberg epic zero-carbon yacht journey to get to their two-week vacation.

Although figures from Statista show Brits took an average of 1.9 holidays abroad in 2019 and the number of holidays taken overseas has increased, it says: “A rise in the cost of international travel and growing awareness of the environmental impact of flying … could significantly influence future travel trends.” However, it continues: “For now, outbound destinations remain popular with UK holidaymakers and many continue to take multiple trips both in the UK and abroad each year.”

Let’s face it, not many can opt for a Greta Thunberg epic zero-carbon yacht journey to get to their two-week vacation

But – and it’s a big but – this was before coronavirus. At the time of writing, travel restrictions are being imposed and borders closed. Social distancing is in place and we’re being told to stay at home. Non-essential journeys are a no-no. Worrying times indeed.

So, this is a very different feature than anticipated, but in situations like this it’s helpful to look to the future and hope we emerge stronger and wiser. By this time next year we will all need a holiday, although this health crisis is likely to forever change how we approach travel, especially in the confined space of a plane. 

With this in mind, let’s take a look at how plane passengers may be able to do their bit for the planet during future journeys at the same time as protecting themselves, by using natural, chemical-free and non-polluting products.

Flight fright
Holiday health starts before a traveller even steps on the plane, as many people experience crippling anxiety around flying. One in five have some fear of flying (aviophobia). “If they’re frightened of flying, some customers go down the CBD route or take something as simple as Rescue Remedy,” says retailer Hannah Bourne from Naturalife, Bridport. “But if they want something else for moments of extreme anxiety when going on a flight, Viridian’s L-theanine & Lemon Balm is brilliant. You can open the capsule and put it directly on the tongue so it works really quickly.”

One of the primary ways lemon balm is thought to reduce feelings of stress and enhance mood is by improving brain levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which has anti-anxiety and calming effects without being a sedative

Viridian Nutrition’s technical director Aimee Benbow explains l-theanine has been shown to possess anti-anxiety properties. “A single dose of 200mg … was shown in a study … to have some relaxing effects under normal resting conditions,” she says. “Interestingly, the effects were superior to both placebo and certain anti-anxiety medication.”

“Lemon balm has also been well researched for its mood-improving benefits and calming activity,” she adds. “One of the primary ways lemon balm is thought to reduce feelings of stress and enhance mood is by improving brain levels of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which has anti-anxiety and calming effects without being a sedative.”

Dr Chris Etheridge, herbal medicine practitioner and advisor to Puressentiel, recommends essential oils to overcome feelings of unease. Roman chamomile helps calm anxiety and can be inhaled directly from the bottle or blended with sweet almond oil and gently massaged into the solar plexus. 

Formulated for anxious flyers or those just looking for some relaxation in the air, Puressentiel Stress Roll-on contains 12 essential oils – including Roman chamomile, lavender, lavandin, marjoram, neroli, orange, clary sage and ylang ylang – blended to help release tension and calm feelings of apprehension. It can be applied to wrists, temples and neck. 

Sweet orange essential oil helps restore balance to the nervous system, dissipating anxiety, agitation and palpitations (Etheridge advises taking two drops on a sugar cube or spoonful of honey each morning), and petitgrain helps calm nervous and emotional imbalances. He suggests inhaling two drops diluted in two drops of sweet almond oil placed on the wrists. 

Immunity is key
A healthy immune system is vital when it comes to avoiding or fighting any virus, so travellers should look to boost their immunity to better protect themselves if they are travelling in a plane with a hundred other passengers.

“Viridian’s technical services advice line has received a significant number of phone calls enquiring about immune-supporting nutrients in light of coronavirus,” says Benbow. “There are a number of important nutrients and extracts to consider when thinking about immunity.” 

She highlights vitamin C which has been shown to inhibit viral replication; zinc to boost immunity; and beta glucan which has a historical use for immunity – 1,3/1,6 beta glucan clusters around receptors on immune cells and primes them for defence, says Benbow. She also recommends elderberries which possess antiviral properties, citing a randomized trial conducted on over 300 air passengers, where 600-900mg of elderberry extract taken ten days before and four days following travel significantly reduced cold symptoms.

Euan MacLennan, herbal director at Pukka Herbs, also highlights elderberries, explaining that they act as natural antioxidants and are a natural source of vitamin C. “Vitamin C is well known for supporting our immune function and plays an important role by improving the activity of some white blood cells such as ‘natural killer cells’, allowing our immune system to communicate and coordinate its attack against viruses,” he says. “Elderberry is a powerful fruit shown to ‘deactivate’ viruses, helping to stop them spreading through the body. It may also help the immune system in a similar way to echinacea.” 

“Magnesium is great for maintaining homeostasis and is particularly helpful for long-haul flights when there’s a time difference”

One way of getting a hit of both is with Pukka Herbs Organic Elderberry and Echinacea, packed with antioxidants to reduce stress and fight infections. The sachets can easily be popped into hand luggage for an on-flight cuppa. Elderberry is also an ingredient in The Organic Pharmacy’s Immune Tonic – an organic herbal tincture that contains astragalus, cats claw, thyme and plantain. The brand advises the drops be taken in water before and after flying. 

Another helpful herb is andrographis, traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to promote the production of antibodies and reduce the severity of infection, says MacLennan. “It contains compounds that rally the immune system to fight effectively against invaders such as viruses.”

Probiotics are the go-to immune-boosters for many and are also useful to keep traveller’s diarrhoea at bay. Specific travel-friendly probiotics include OptiBac’s For Travelling Abroad, which contains Saccharomyces boulardii – a key strain for helping poorly tums when abroad – and ProVen Travel Probiotics which include l-glutamine, ginger and aloe vera for additional digestive support.

Don’t lag behind
After taking all these precautions, long-haul travellers don’t want to be laid low with jet lag once they’ve finally arrived at their destination.

Benbow highlights that cherries and glycine can help. She references one clinical study that found consuming cherry juice over a seven-day period significantly increased melatonin levels and improved sleep measures including time in bed, total sleep time and sleep efficiency. Two other studies looking at the effects of glycine in people with difficulty sleeping and daytime fatigue showed that it improved sleep satisfaction and cognitive function and reduced daytime sleepiness.

If at all possible, carry on with the normal body clock and try to stay awake while it’s light and go to sleep at the normal time rather than trying to catch up when you land in the day time

“For jet lag the homeopathic remedy arnica is really good,” suggests Bourne. “Travellers can take it every couple of hours on the flight and continue when they land. It is important to keep hydrated too. If at all possible, carry on with the normal body clock and try to stay awake while it’s light and go to sleep at the normal time rather than trying to catch up when you land in the day time. Because you want to try to sort out your circadian rhythm.”

Bourne also suggests trying to get some proper shut-eye on the plane so that your body clock isn’t affected too much, so recommends taking a good eye mask on board.

“Magnesium is great for maintaining homeostasis and is particularly helpful for long-haul flights when there’s a time difference,” says Keeley Berry, product developer at BetterYou. “Jet lag can really throw us off balance, but magnesium can help to reset our routine, supporting sleep.” 

BetterYou’s Magnesium Sleep Body Spray provides an easy way to get a dose of the mineral. Combined with essential oils of bergamot and clary sage, it is designed to soothe the senses while calming and relaxing the body for a restful night’s sleep.

On board
A lasting result of coronavirus will likely be a heightened awareness of the germs which can easily spread on board planes due to the pressurized cabins and air conditioning, so keeping bugs at bay is sure to be a future focus of flyers. 

Retailer Hannah Bourne has seen an increase in customers worried about hygiene in general, and this is obviously heightened in a flying environment. “The biggest problem at the moment is that nobody can get a hand sanitizer for love nor money,” says Bourne. “Normally we recommend Dr Bronner Hand Hygiene Spray, and to boost immunity when flying echinacea products such as A. Vogel’s Sore Throat Spray or Echinacea Lozenges (also good on landing), or Sambucus Black Elder Berry Extract Spray.”

Portable and multi-purpose, essential oils form the basis of a great natural first-aid kit when travelling and are an effective way to keep germs at bay. “Many essential oils have proven antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties, and when we inhale them we breathe in aroma molecules laden with these potent plant chemicals,” explains Dr Chris Etheridge. “Inhaling the aroma molecules of essential oils activates receptor cells in the nose which then signal our brain to release neuro-messengers linked to our immune response and other body systems.”

Puressentiel Anti Bacterial Lotion Spray Hands & Surfaces disinfects without the need for soap, water or rinsing. It contains three essential oils (lemon, lavandin, tea tree) along with anti-drying aloe vera to provide a triple action: antibacterial, antiviral and moisturizing. The spray can be used on hands as well as surfaces, so the seat, seat tray and arm rests on planes. It can also be used for hands throughout the flight to keep them clean and kill bacteria while also providing an uplifting aroma.

 

 

BioAcidophilus  Forte FOS Free

BioCare Ltd
Tel: 0121 433 3727
E-mail: [email protected]
www.biocare.co.uk

BioAcidophilus Forte F.O.S Free is a new formula of our popular, and practitioner-favourite, BioAcidophilus Forte, but without fructooligosaccharides (FOS) for those wishing to avoid additional fibre, and is therefore suitable individuals following a specific diet such as low FODMAP, SCD or GAPS. It is an optimum potency blend of the clinically proven LAB4 complex of probiotic bacteria in a convenient to use capsule form, and each capsule contains 30 billion probiotic organisms. It is ideal for therapeutic support during and after antibiotics, following illness, for digestive and other health complaints.

 

Bio-Kult Advanced Multi-Strain Formulation

Bio-Kult
Tel: 01460 243230
E-mail:  [email protected]
www.bio-kult.com

Bacteria found naturally in the body play an important role as our first line of defence. Bio-Kult is a scientifically developed, advanced multi-strain live bacteria supplement, containing 14 live bacterial cultures proven to survive the high acidity of the stomach, and to complement the existing gut flora naturally present in a healthy person’s digestive system. Bio-Kult does not need to be refrigerated and can be taken alongside antibiotics, by children, when pregnant, when travelling, by vegetarians and as part of a healthy diet.

 

 

FSC Lutein

FSC
Tel: 0800 083 0356
E-mail:  [email protected]
www.fscsupplements.com

Lutein has strong antioxidant properties. It is the primary carotenoid found in the macula (the central area of the retina) of the eye, and it is thought to act as a filter protecting the macula from potentially damaging forms of light. Lutein complex in this product is from marigold petals.

As with all FSC’s products, FSC Lutein is made in the UK with the finest ingredients and based on widely recognised scientific evidence of their health qualities. 

Suitable for Vegans and recommended to take one 20mg capsule daily with food. Available in 60 capsule glass bottles. 

 

Sun Cream or sensitive skin

Green People
Tel: 01403 740350
E-mail:  [email protected]
www.greenpeople.co.uk

A spot of sunshine can do wonders for our wellbeing but only if we protect our skin against the sun’s harmful rays! Green People’s range of organic sun creams provide natural sun protection for the whole family and deliver effective broad-range protection against UVA and UVB rays. Each plant-based tube contains an easy-to-apply cream and is enriched with a synergistic blend of antioxidant-rich plants which work together to provide sun defence and support the skin’s natural immune system.

Green People Sun Lotions start from £12.50 and can be purchased at www.greenpeople.co.uk 

 

DailyProbio™

HealthAid Ltd
Tel: 020 8426 3400
E-mail: [email protected]
www.HealthAid.co.uk

DailyProbio™   Optimum Gut Support – HealthAid® DailyProbio is a unique formulation containing a superior blend of 10 billion live cultures, using 20 different most researched acid and bile resistant strains to ensure that the bacteria are not destroyed by the stomach juices before they reach the intestines. DailyProbio is also fortified with the prebiotic Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS), to help stimulate the proliferation and survival of ‘friendly’ bacteria. DailyProbio contains probiotics able to synthesize digestive enzymes such as lactase reducing lactose intolerance. By helping replenish good bacteria it promotes normal function of the immune system. DailyProbio™ retails at £13.99 for 30 capsules. Contact HealthAid Ltd on 020 8426 3400 for purchase and stockist information or visit www.healthaid.co.uk.

 

Helios Stress Relief

HELIOS HOMEOPATHY LTD
Tel: 01892 537254
E-mail: [email protected]
www.helios.co.uk

Award winning Helios Stress Relief is a combination of three homeopathic remedies, Aconite, Arsenicum and Arg nit. This combination has a long history of traditional use to relieve symptoms of stress and anxiety and also fear of flying. In the wake of the current world health situation Stress Relief can bring much needed calm and alleviate fearfulness without any known side effects. Stress Relief comes in sucrose pill form in our easy to use single dose dispenser.

 

Alba Botanica Sun Care Sprays

Kinetic Natural Products Distributor
Tel: 08450 725 825
E-mail:  [email protected]
www.kinetic4health.co.uk

Alba Botanica sunscreen sprays offer easily-applied air-powered, earth-friendly mists that can be sprayed on at any angle. The sunscreens help protect against sunburn, skin cancer and premature signs of ageing. Are all biodegradable, water resistant (up to 80 minutes), gluten free and recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Free of oxybenzone, PABA, nano-sunscreens and Vitamin A. Available in Sensitive Fragrance Free Clear Spray and Kids Sunscreen Tropical Fruit Clear Spray, both with SPF 50 protection.

 

Lamberts® Probioguard®

Lamberts Healthcare Ltd
Tel: : 01892 554313
E-mail:  [email protected]
www.lambertshealthcare.co.uk

For those travelling, or following a course of antibiotics – Probioguard® contains four carefully selected strains of friendly bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp bulgaricus, which have been widely used in clinical studies. These species of bacteria are specially selected for use when travelling, as local cuisine can expose the gut to new challenges where different bacteria strains may be present and this can unsettle digestion.
Probioguard® is suitable for:
• People considering travelling abroad
• People who have used a course of antibiotics
• People with regular bloating problems or on-going digestive disturbances.
Our special pot contains an innovative inbuilt desiccant to ‘lock in’ any moisture.

 

Lunette Menstrual Cup

Lunette Menstrual Cup
Tel: +358 50 3554 064
E-mail:  [email protected]
www.lunette.com

Lunette has been revolutionising the future of period care with their small but mighty menstrual cup already for the last 15 years. One of the original menstrual cup creators, Lunette is a Finnish, women-led company on a mission to change attitudes about periods. Lunette Menstrual Cups are vegan, bpa-free, and come in a variety of colors. Ethical, sustainable and easy to use, Lunette Menstrual Cups will provide you with up to 12 hours of worry-free use.  By choosing Lunette, you’re choosing to support period-positivity and impact women’s rights movements all over the world. 

 

Hope’s Relief Spray for Itchy skin 

Hope’s Relief
Tel: 020 8886 4001
E-mail: [email protected]
www.hopes-relief.com

Hope’s Relief Topical Spray is a breakthrough formula for itchy skin and eczema. The “no touch – no ouch” application makes it ideal for hard to reach areas, convenient to use on the go and popular with babies and children. The instantly cooling spray is fast acting and packed with 10 natural actives including calendula, aloe vera, evening primrose and borage oils to soothe itchy and irritated skin. Clinically proven to increase hydration in the skin for up to 24 hours after just 1 single application! The 90 ml pump is perfect for travelling too, and can soothe prickly heat, rashes and insect bites for the whole family.

 

OrganiCup

OrganiCup
Tel: +45 23 71 80 40
E-mail:  [email protected]
www.organicup.com

We’re on a journey to change the way periods affect our lives, our bodies and our environment. OrganiCup is the easier, healthier and greener period solution.  No leaks, no worries: OrganiCup holds 3 big tampons worth and can be worn for up to 12 hours. Day and night. No dryness, no infections: OrganiCup is made of 100% soft, medical-grade silicone that doesn’t mess with your body. OrganiCup lasts years, not hours = No constant waste and no monthly purchases. Certified Vegan & AllergyCertified. Try OrganiCup risk-free with our 90 days satisfaction guarantee.  Together we’re unfolding a #NewPeriod. Of periods.

 

Portable Salt mine

World foods brand management ltd
Tel:  01782 366080
E-mail: [email protected]

The healing benefits of inhaling salt goes back to Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. He employed the ancient method of inhaling salty steam generated by boiling salty water. Salt crystals have been used to treat respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and other chronic respiratory problems. I addition the therapeutic salt provides an antibacterial effect which way help prevent respiratory infection.  Inhalo DSI has now created a patented pocket inhaler which can accompany the user wherever they are in an award-winning compact design.

 

Natural relief

World foods brand management ltd
Tel:  01782 366080
E-mail: [email protected]

Otosan provides a natural solution to common issues associated with the ear, nose and throat.

Produced using innovative herbal extracts and botanicals Otosan has clear health indications and strong claims providing confidence to the consumer. Products include an effective Manuka and herb cough syrup, highly effective throat spray with Beta Glucans and a unique ear spray with organic extracts. Hayfever symptoms can also be alleviated with the nasal sprays which are also suitable from birth.

 

CherryActive

Active Edge (Nutrition) Ltd
Tel:  08451 705705
E-mail:  [email protected]
www.active-edge.co.uk

CherryActive is a premium, natural, plant based supplement made from nutrient-rich Montmorency cherries. Scientifically-proven to have powerful, health-promoting qualities containing no preservatives or additives. Rich in antioxidants, which help protect the body from harmful compounds called free radicals.  Research shows it improves sleep patterns and reduces joint inflammation and gout. Available in concentrate or low calorie capsule formats.

 

AstaXanthin™ with DHA

Wholesale Health Ltd
Tel: 01606 889905
E-mail:  [email protected]
www.wholesalehealthltd.co.uk

AstaXanthin™ with DHA from Good Health Naturally is a powerful antioxidant formula that delivers a potent combination of 180mg pure plant-based DHA oil and 12mg AstaREAL® Astaxanthin™ 10% which studies show is 1000x more effective than Vitamin E at protecting skin from harmful UV radiation. AstaREAL® Astaxanthin™ is the most studied astaxanthin with over 50 published studies. It is the first source of astaxanthin for human nutrition reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). AstaXanthin™ with DHA is derived from algae and the DHA is from a pure plant source making it 100% vegetarian and vegan-friendly.

 

Natural immunity

World foods brand management ltd
Tel:  01782 366080
E-mail: [email protected]

For almost 60 years Bio-Strath has been the trusted family supplement, suitable from 1 year to 101.

Shown to increase the absorption of nutrients in the digestive system Strath has one of the most comprehensive clinical study dossiers covering; ADHD, Chemotherapy, Influenza, and performance to name a few.

Bio-Strath will continue to ensure their product never compromises on quality and maintains 100% formula. 

 

ORGANii SPF50 Sun Milk

Pravera Ltd
Tel: 01557 870203
E-mail:  [email protected]
www.organii.uk

Protecting babies, children & adults skin from UV rays naturally and effectively, ORGANii’s SPF50 Sun Milk is certified organic, vegan and cruelty free, is fragrance free and has been dermatologically tested. This non-whitening mineral sun protection is formulated with non-nano Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide which sit on top of the skin, reflecting UV rays and creating a protective shield along with nourishing organic Argan, Jojoba, Sunflower, Linseed and Karanja oils to protect and soften skin, extracts of organic Chamomile to work as an anti-inflammatory, Calendula to keep the skin from over-drying and Mallow Leaf to soothe along with Vitamin E to defend against radicals.

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About the Author

Jane Wolfe

Deputy Editor
Natural Products News deputy editor Jane Wolfe re-joined NPN in 2013 having previously worked for the magazine as a sub and freelance journalist from its Steyning beginnings.

Articles by Jane Wolfe
Jane Wolfe
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