A Travellerspoint blog

Dealing with Cystitis

The symptoms of cystitis include the urge to pee even though there is nothing to pass, a burning sensation on urinating and tenderness over the lower abdomen. Cystitis is due normally, to a bacterial infection. A severe case may also evoke blood in the urine and a fever. You should seek medical attention to prevent the infection migrating to the kidneys. However when you feel the onset of cystitis early on, you can normally treat it fairly efficiently. Your body Ph may have become more acid than it should be while trying to flush out the infection so bringing the body back in to an alkaline environment is going to slow the bacteria down. Take 1/2 a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a glass of apple juice to render the urine alkaline and avoid all meat especially pork, sugar, tomatoes, spinach and anything pickled. Avoid refined food and white bread, coffee, tea and sodas.

To act as an efficient anti microbial take a tea of Bearberry (Lat- Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Ger- Echte Bärentraube Sp-gayuba, Fr-Raisin d'ours ou Busserole, a tablespoon of the dried herb three to five times a day and to help soothe the irritated urinary tract a tablespoon of dried marshmallow (Lat-Althaea officinalis, Ger- Echte Eibisch, Sp- malvavisco, Fr-Guimauve)

Remember to wear cotton underwear and avoid tightfitting clothes. Proper breathing and vigourous exercise will also greatly reduce symptoms.

Try this pelvic breath exercise:

Lie on the floor with knees bent, resting slightly against each other.
Turn your attention inward to the body and the breath. Notice the quality of your breath.
Bring your breath to your lower trunk moving down to the area inside the pelvis. The pelvis can be seen as a bony bowl with a muscular lining moving from back to front like a hammock. See if you can feel the subtle movement of this area as you breathe.
Accentuate the movement of the pelvic floor.
Inhale and gently arch the lower back away from the floor, moving the tailbone backward.
Exhale and contract the lower abdominals while pressing the lumber spine to the floor, lifting the tailbone. Isolate this movement to the lower back keeping the rest of the body still. Repeat this motion, maintaining a constant rhythym full and deep lile a wave like motion. Lower jaw relaxed, teeth slightly seperated. Continue for 12 breaths.

Posted by bakpakbug 11:56 Tagged health_and_medicine Comments (0)

Female Hygiene

Heading out in to the back of beyond with a stack of tampons or pads can be cumbersome at best (Pads are very good however for placing underneath rucksack straps as extra cushioning!) or you may have just run out and not be able to buy any.Natural sea sponge is a natural, reusable alternative. Certain companies market sea sponge for this use specifically - their advantage is that they come sterile and with instructions of use. Otherwise you can buy natural sea sponge - cut to size - (this can be larger than you think) and then simply tie cotton string around the centre so the sponge can easily be retrieved. The sponge should be moistened before inserting. After use, it should then be rinsed out and placed in boiling water for one minute. A new clean piece of cotton string should be attached before insertion. When not in use place the sponge in an airtight container such as a plastic freezer bag to ensure it remains clean.

Posted by bakpakbug 02:31 Tagged health_and_medicine Comments (0)

Digestive Upsets

Chapter 2: Constipation

Constipation is usually due to a deficient diet, not enough water and a lack of excercise. Long periods of time sitting on public transport, the stress of new places, missed meals and not enough liquids while travelling will quickly result in a bout of "being bunged up". Here are a few suggestions to redress the balance.

Drinking a sufficient amount of water is one of the easiest things you can do to keep things moving. One of the worst places for not being able to access affordable water seems to be after the security check in airports and on the plane itself where they tend to limit you to small plastic beakers which they hand out infrequently. Invest in a stainless steel water canister. Carry it through airport checks empty and find the water fountain near your gate to fill up.

Increasing your intake of bulk laxatives such as fruit and grain will always help - simply eating an apple will be a preventative measure.

Psyllium seed husks (Plantago spp.Ger-Flohsamenschalen, Fr-plantain des Indes ou psyliium,Sp-llantén indio) will balance bowel function moving gently through the gut to maintain regularity- A teaspoon in water or sprinkled in live yoghurt every day will ensure healthy peristalsis.

If in India or Pakistan (available in healthfood stores in other parts of the world too) ask for Triphala - a combination of three fruits - Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), which among other health benefits, will help tone the intestinal tract. Lapacho (Tabebuia impetiginosa) (see A Natural First Aid Kit post) is my general tonic to maintain digestive functioning.

Try any of the warming "curry" herbs to give the digestive juices a boost: A pinch of Cayenne pepper (SP-pimienta roja, Ger-Cayennepfeffer, Fr- piment de Cayenne, hindu/urdu- Pisi hui lal murch )
and a pinch of Cinnamon (Bengali - darcheeli, Arabic- quefa, Sp- Canela, Fr_Cannelle, Ger- Zimt))-in 2 cups of water simmered for 20 minutes and drunk with a tablespoon of honey when cooled will really help to tone the bowel. Take a small glass of it every hour or so.

Reflexology for Constipation.

On the face, the small hollow on the chin, below the lower lip is called Chengjiang. Press this point gently for 7 to 8 minutes.

Yoga for constipation



Lie on the floor.

Exhale and bring your knees to your chest.
Inhale and take hold of your shins with your hands (if this bothers the knee place hands behind the knee)
Exhale pull your knees gently towards your chest
Inhale releasing the pull of your arms but keeping your hands on your shins

Repeat this series rhythmically, pulling and relaxing steadily for 12 breaths or longer if you feel this beneficial.

Posted by bakpakbug 07:47 Tagged health_and_medicine Comments (0)

Digestive upsets

Chapter One: Diarrhea

One of the downsides of travelling can be the onset of a bout of diarrhea. A chronic case accompanied by fever and sharp pain should always be diagnosed by a medical expert as soon as possible. It may be due to a simple change of diet or a gastrointestinal virus but it may also be an underlying symptom of another ailment so if it keeps occuring you really need to have it checked out as soon as possible.

Diarrhea is a sign that your natural defences have kicked in and are obviously trying to flush out something that doesn't agree with the body. The old adage "better out than in" is fitting here - let the upset run its course for 6-12 hours. In this time drink plenty of fluid to rehydrate and try one of the following simple remedies below to help alleviate the symptoms. We are generally unprepared for this when it happens so I have kept suggestions to the easiest to get hold of or to carry with you. (The post on A natural First Aid Kit advises on some cures to pack before leaving)

Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon to a glass of water and drink. 3 times a day.

Grate an apple and leave it to brown before eating it. The pectin will help tone the bowel and bulk the stool.

Those warming kitchen spices are great at providing relief. A pinch of Cayenne pepper (SP-pimienta roja, Ger-Cayennepfeffer, Fr- piment de Cayenne, hindu/urdu- Pisi hui lal murch )
and a pinch of Cinnamon (Bengali - darcheeli, Arabic- quefa, Sp- Canela, Fr_Cannelle, Ger- Zimt))-in 2 cups of water simmered for 20 minutes and drunk with a tablespoon of honey when cooled will really help to tone the bowel. Take a small glass of it every hour or so.

A clove of garlic (Lat-Allium sativum, Fr- l'ail, Sp- ajo, Ger-Knoblauch,) crushed or diced in to 4 tablespoons of honey and allowed to sit for 20 minutes before eating will combat the diarrhea as well as killing off bacteria that may have caused it in the first place. Not to be taken if you have problems digesting garlic. Capsules could be taken instead.

Drink a tea made from Goldenseal 3 times a day or take capsules (see post on First Aid Kit for language glossary)

Chamomile tea (see post on first aid kit for language glossary) will serve to soothe any abdominal cramps.

A teaspoon of turmeric (Lat-Curcuma longa,hindu/urdu/gujarati - Haldi, Fr&Sp-cúrcuma, Ger-Kurcuma)in warm water with honey will also alleviate symptoms.

As you start to feel better eat lightly - clear soups, bananas, oats and plain rice. Eat live yoghurt to reintroduce the intestinal flora that may have been lost.

Khichari is an indian dish that is a excellent in replenishing nutrients and soothing traumatised intestines. It uses many of the spices mentioned above.

1 cup Basmati rice
2/3 cups moong or toor dal
5 cups water

Bring the rice, dal and water to boil. Cover, reduce heat and summer until dal is tender, all water is absorbed and mixture resembles a thick porridge (about 30 minutes with converted rice, one hour with basmati.)


2 tablespoons ghee or oil
pinch of asofoetida (hing:heeng)
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1&1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon ground fenugreek (Lat-Trigonella foenum-graecum, Sp-fenogreco, Fr-fenugrec,Ger-Bockshornklee )
1 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste
sugar to taste
To spice it up: cayenne
Add chopped fresh parsley, green onions, minced garlic, shredded ginger.

Heat the spices in ghee or butter. Pour over the rice/dal mix and stir thoroughly. Add salt and sugar to taste.

Yoga for Diarrhea

Utthanpadasana (Raised Legs Pose)
Lie on your back on the floor with palms flat on the floor.
Keep your ankle straight and the heel in contact with the floor.

Inhale while raising your right leg as high as is comfortable
Keep your knees and the other leg straight and in contact with the floor.

Hold on for 5 seconds, count while retaining the breath.
Exhale slowly and bring down the leg gently back to floor.
This is one round
Do 5 rounds with each leg

Move the leg upward and downward along with the breath, if possible.

This simple movement will strengthen and massage the digestive tract.

Supta Pawanmuktasana (Leg Lock Pose)

Remain lying on the floor.
Bend your right knee and bring the thigh to the chest
Interlock the fingers of both hands and place it just below the shin of the right knee.
Bring the thigh to the chest.
Keep the left leg straight and on the ground
Inhale deeply and fill the lungs full of air.
Retain the breath
Raise the head and shoulders from the ground and try to touch the right knee with the nose.
Hold in this position for a while.
Exhale slowly and relax.
Return to base pose.
If possible, keep your eyes closed.
Repeat this with other leg also.
Do this exercise ten times.
Start with the right leg as it presses the ascending colon directly.
Follow with the left leg as it presses the descending colon directly.

Posted by bakpakbug 06:25 Tagged health_and_medicine Comments (0)

Yoga in First Aid

Calm Breathing can help reduce shock and stress-inducing situations.

Breathing Exercises (Pranayama) can be helpful in minimizing stress and reducing high blood pressure after an accident or after a particularly busy day.

Humming Bee Breath (Bramari Pranayama) reduces anxiety and helps body tissue heal quicker.

Sit somewhere quiet, on a chair or cross-legged on the floor.
Use props like towels and cushions for support.
Close your eyes.
Relax your whole body. Concentrate on areas that you tense normally like shoulders and the jaw and actively release those areas.
Close your lips but allow the teeth to remain slightly apart.
Place your middle or index finger against the Tragus (ear flap) to close off hearing.
Inhale through the nose and then slowly exhale making a humming noise like a bumble bee.
Continue for 5 rounds or until a feeling of relaxation is achieved.
Your breath should remain steady and even.


Posted by bakpakbug 07:34 Tagged health_and_medicine Comments (0)

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