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How Not to Get Sick when Flying


Photo by Pensiero

Don’t you hate getting sick from long flights? Feeling completely helpless and unprotected as those around you cough and sneeze knowing you are breathing that? Next holiday season, be prepared!

I’ve developed a system that kept me healthy from a grueling trip spanning over 20 hrs flying and 3 climate zones while all those around me were sick and I thought I’d share my secret.

What you need to buy

Go to the health food store or Amazon and buy a box of either chewable tablets or a gel capsule of some herbal concoction with Echinacea.

from wikipedia:

Echinacea is popularly believed to be an immunostimulator, stimulating the body’s non-specific immune system and warding off infections. A study commonly used to support that belief is a 2007 meta-analysis in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.[13] The studies pooled in the meta-analysis used different types of echinacea, different parts of the plant, and various dosages. This review cannot inform recommendations on the efficacy of any particular type of echinacea, dosage, or treatment regimen. The safety of echinacea under long-term use is also unknown.

I found a box of gel capsules that was a blend of Echinacea, Goldenseal and Cat’s Claw but I can’t find a picture of it online to share. A widely available such supplement (that I also used this when I ran out of the first) is “Enzymatic Therapy Esberitox Chewables”– Start taking these as prescribed on box a few days before you travel.

Note: Echinacea is something that works better if you haven’t taken it in awhile. If you’ve been taking a lot of it already consider these other options.

Other items to buy at the same time are:

  • Vitamin C- I pick a time released 1,000 mg type that is “buffered” so it doesn’t make me nauseous. Here is what the bottle says: “Vitamin C provides antioxidant activity and is intended to proved nutritive support for normal, healthy collagen synthesis, cartilage and bone development, immune function, capillary and blood vessel integrity and nerve impulse transmission. “
  • Vitamin D- The Sunshine Vitamin!
  • Vitamin E

3 days before you travel

Start taking all of the vitamins and echinacea as written on packages regularly.

The day you travel

Take a double dose of all of your vitamins and echinacea the day of your flight. Bring along your vitamins to continue your regular dosage / schedule on the airplane (if your flight is long). Don’t drag all the bottles in your carry on, separate your doses to a ziploc bag or small container.

When you arrive

When you arrive to your destination, take a shower as soon as you can!
The next day take a double dose of all your vitamins again!

More Tips

  • drink a lot of water- ask stewardess for a large bottle to yourself and buy it if you have to (sit in aisle seat to make multiple bathroom trips easier).
  • wash your hands and use anti-bacterial gel at least three times during your flight if it’s longer than 6 hours
  • keep your nasal passages moist- either wet your nostrils with CLEAN hands or bring a natural nasal / saline spray

I hope this advice helps someone be prepared for their next long flight and changing climate zones. I felt I was about to catch a cold about three times in my grueling travel through different climates but just doubled my vitamin doses on those days and bounced right back to health. I know it was the vitamins that pulled me through and kept me protected while flying on the plane with a bunch of sick people!



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4 Responses to “How Not to Get Sick when Flying”

  1. nhe says:

    Wow, that is a great systematic approach! Thanks for sharing

  2. Stephanie says:

    Wonderful tips. I recall a 35 hour trip that left me brutally ill, but I didn’t know anything about health or nutrition at the time!
    BODA weight loss

  3. [...] How Not to Get Sick when Flying [...]

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