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Sunday, September 28, 2014

What herbal formulations can I take to help protect me from gastrointestinal upset while travelling in third world countries?

Several years ago, while cycling around the main island of Fiji, my partner, Alofa, my son, Alama and I, went to a remote island where we planned to rest for a few days before continuing our journey.  While it was known that typhoid was a problem on the island, we assumed we were safe in the island resort.

Upon arriving by boat and entering our cabin the first thing we wanted was a drink of water.  The sign above the tap said, "The tap water is safe to drink", so we guzzled.  Little did we know that the statement had been blocked out with a felt pen, but later mistakenly wiped off by the cleaners!  The water was contaminated with typhoid caused by sewage backflow in the water table from several months of severe drought.  Within 24 hours we were violently ill.  So ill we were bedridden.  The headaches were unbearable!  I felt I was going to die and worried we might have to be helicoptered at great expense to the mainland (our travel insurance was minimal).

We had brought with us a supply of Artemisia Plus, just for such emergencies.  We took one tablet every few hours (I think I took much more but cannot recall accurately).  To my amazement, we were on quickly the improve within a day.  Astonishingly so.  After another day we were sufficiently well to be able to take the boat to the mainland where we struggled our way to a resort where we holed up for a few more days to recuperate.  Needless to say, we demanded and received a refund for our island stay! Once strong enough we made our way back to Nadi where we continued our recovery and a less physical end to our Fiji expedition.

If were were not as fit and healthy as we were at the time and, if we had not our supplies of Artemisia Plus, I still wonder what might have eventuated.  I appreciate how these severe gastrointestinal infections can kill.

If you are travelling to a 3rd World country where infections like Delhi Belly, Bali Belly and Montezuma's Revenge are possibilities, Several studies, including a Cochrane Review, have shown artemisia to be active against several forms of malaria.  

"Artemisinin derivatives for treating severe malaria Artemisinin drugs improve survival in severe malaria. Artemisinin drugs come originally from a plant that has been used since ancient times in China as a traditional medicine for fever and malaria. 

They are fast acting and effective against malaria parasites that have developed resistance to quinine. 

The review shows that treatment with artemisinin drugs may be better than quinine at preventing death in adults and children with severe and complicated malaria. 

There is no evidence so far against early treatment with suppositories in rural areas whilst patients are transferred to hospital. Few side effects have been reported with these drugs.
" (Cochrane 2010)

So, why isn't artemisia more commonly used as an antiparasitic?  Possibly because it is a relatively cheap and common herb and there is no money to be made by Big Pharma.  Until there is a patented extract from the herb, or synthetic version, there will probably be little in the way of commercial promotion to the public and to the medical community.

I recommend that you have on hand a small supply of Artemisia Plus.  You can even take it prophylactically - one tablet at night with a glass of water, allowing it to slowly percolate through your system overnight.

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The advice in these articles is given freely without promise or obligation. Its all about giving you and your family the tools and information to take control of your health and fitness.
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