Travel First Aid - why you need an Aroma Aid Kit

The summer holidays are nearly here, and if there’s ever a year that we simply deserve a good break, this is it.  Just like the past few years, 2023 has been hard. Whether you are travelling or staying home for the holidays, we all need this end-of-year fun in the sun to draw breath, chill out, reconnect with self and engage meaningfully with our loved ones.

Many South Africans will be travelling to the bush, the beach and overseas, and this brings its own challenges that can derail our best intentions for the holidays to be all about rest and rejuvenation. We face the typical stresses of air or road travel and the pursuit of elusive sleep in unfamiliar beds, as well as unexpected skin outbreaks and sudden irritants in new environments such as bites and stings, pollens and grass seeds. Typically, we deal with maladies such as anxiety, headaches, sleep deprivation and sinusitis with an arsenal of meds, over the counter and on prescription. However, qualified pharmacist and aromatherapist, Doryce Sher takes a different view when it comes to the holidays. She says, “You have a choice to prioritise your family’s holistic well-being by aligning with your wellness goals and opting for fast-acting, effective natural solutions that firstly, don’t require you to stock up on a hefty travel first-aid kit, and secondly, are free of side-effects.”


As the founder of Aromatic Apothecary, Doryce has more than 30 years’ experience in formulating tried-and-tested aromatherapy solutions in easy to carry and quick to apply packaging such as mini roll-ons and inhalers that help South Africans combat common health issues and relieve bothersome symptoms in an instant. She says, “It’s crucial when we travel that everything is compact and organised. You want health and wellness solutions that can be slipped into your pocket or handbag. It’s essential to deal with discomforts, especially those experienced by our children, quickly and effectively. We need actual solutions that counteract the conditions that can sap the joy out of our precious holiday time.”

Here are Doryce’s travel tips:

1. Calming down
Whether you’re dealing with airport hustle and bustle, fractious children on a road trip or family frustrations on a celebration day, the pocket-sized, handy, Stress-less Mini Roll-on can be applied instantly to pulse points, chest, or under the nose for natural inhalation. Doryce says, “All too often, planning or setting off for the holidays induces a lot of stress. We might be chasing last-minute deadlines or have a fear of flying. We need to deal with this angst by calming ourselves down so that we can breathe deeply which enables us to think more clearly. The more stressed we are, the less clearly we think and so we are more disorganised. This works against us because we feel more confident and positive about travelling when we feel organised. We deal better with the inevitable delays, frustrations, traffic and people congestion, disagreements with family and friends and things just not going our way when we are calm and centred. The Stress-less Mini Roll-on is a blend of lavender, geranium and camomile that is balancing and soothing, promoting deep breathing and distracting the brain from the anxious state or stressful condition. It’s both your ideal travelling companion and your go-to solution for helping your children cope with the rigours of travelling.”

2. Sleeping deeply
We can’t underestimate how much sufficient sleep impacts on our well-being and determines whether our holiday will be all that we hope for. As much as we may love the excitement of travelling, it plays havoc with our sleep patterns from crossing time zones to just being able to settle down in a strange bed in an unfamiliar place. Doryce says, “Of course, we have so many conventional sleep medications available, but the problem is that they don’t induce a natural sleep, so there’s a significant demand for natural aids to sleep. It helps to be aware and try to get into a healthy rhythm as soon as possible. Bedtime routines work for both children and adults. It’s important to mindfully set up soothing time before bed, which includes avoiding caffeine and alcoholic drinks. A relaxing bath and gentle music are ideal. Reading a book is great, but screen time should be avoided. During the summer season, it’s important that the room temperature is comfortable. Together with these bed-time rituals, the Silent Moments Mini Roll-on applied to wrists and under the nose provides a beautiful aroma that is instantly calm and soothing. With the carefully calibrated essences of geranium, camomile, lavender and neroli, it also works wonderfully for children who may be feeling over-stimulated by the new holiday environment.”

3. Raring to go
The other side of not sleeping well is facing the new day feeling sluggish, or just being tired out from your holiday exertions and the end-of-year social whirl. Sometimes, we need to lift our mind, body and soul in a healthy way. Doryce says, “Let’s face it, travel and holidaying is often exhausting. You may need to stay alert during a long drive or perk up after you have arrived feeling worn out. All too often, we lean into stimulants like caffeine to help us pay attention and focus, even though this will increase our heart rate. When you focus on holistic well-being, you want solutions that are equally stimulating in the moment but free of the long-lasting cardio effects. The Wake Up & Focus Mini Roll-on can be applied repeatedly without any harmful effects. Peppermint, lemon and rosemary are natural, side-effect-free stimulants while the essence of geranium brings in the important element of balance so there are no jittery effects.”

4. Relieving pain
Headache is one of the most common, debilitating pains that is amplified when we travel or are immersed in a busy social time. Pressure changes on airplanes, motion sickness in cars, trains or on boats, stress in relationships and sinus problems due to allergic reactions can all trigger headaches that impact significantly on our resilience and sense of well-being. Doryce says, “Your first reaction to head pain should be to drink plain water because headaches are most often a symptom of dehydration. Our Headache Care Mini Roll-on is a tried and tested aromatherapy solution, well-used in countries with the most advanced medical systems such as Switzerland. The combination of peppermint, marjoram and lavender can relieve throbbing, dull or stabbing head pains.”

5. Clearing airwaves
Holiday time brings us into new environments and often, into closer contact with more people. There are also higher pollen counts and a proliferation of grass seeds in the summertime air that can trigger allergic reactions such as sinusitis. “We need preventative and curative aid but when we are travelling, needing to pay attention, enduring long drives and trying to stay focused, it helps to have a natural decongestant like the Cold & Sinus Soother Mini Roll-on. This is a natural solution that is non-drowsy, immune-boosting and effectively does the job of fighting infection, opening the airwaves, soothing the throat and ears, and easing tightness in the chest.”

6. Facing the holiday with confidence
Changes to our diet, sleep and exercise routine often causes our skin to break out on holiday – just when we most want it to be at its best. Doryce says, “Sometimes our skin routine is disrupted, sometimes we are dealing with the stress on the surface, but it erupts in other ways. The Zap-Zit Mini Roll-on, which fits in a pocket or a purse, includes Tree Tea, which is anti-infectious, lavender which is soothing and promotes new cell growth and bergamot, which is an astringent. The blend is in an alcohol gel base so that the roll-on is self-sterilizing and always cleansing to the skin. It can be applied repeatedly, literally on the spot, although not while sunbathing.”

7. Soothing irritations
It’s undeniably exciting to be immersed in the bush or the beach over the holidays, but it can be challenging to avoid unlovely aspects such as mozzies and bluebottles. The travelling first-aid kit must include a remedy for bites and stings, and it is best if these solutions are safe and effective. Doryce says, “The Zap-BitesMini Roll-on provides a naturally sterilising and relieving solution that will stop itching and avoid scratching the skin. It can be safely applied repeatedly to a bite. Because the blend of selected aromatherapy essences is delivered in an alcohol base, the easy to administer roll-on can even be used on bites that have been scratched open to help ensure the wound stays germ-free.”

How does aromatherapy work?
Scents we inhale, such as those in essential oils, trigger the olfactory nerve system and this sends information to the limbic area of the brain, which is involved in emotions, memories and some physiological functions. Doryce concludes, “Deep in our limbic system where there is understanding beyond language, we recognise and understand scents. For instance, if you blind test Aromatic Apothecary Silent Moments Mini Roll-on, which is calming and Aromatic Apothecary Wake Up & Focus Mini Roll-on, which is stimulating you will easily identify the contrasting purpose of each blend without any expert help. In addition to this, there is also a direct effect of using a Mini Roll-on because of the absorption of essential oils into the bloodstream and into the tissue through the skin wherever it is applied. The beauty of aromatherapy and the Aroma-Aid travel kit is that it puts your well-being where it should be, in your own hands.”