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Herbs + Tools to Avoid Sickness on Vacation: What’s in My Suitcase?

  • Published on: 19 June, 2014
  • Last update: 10 August, 2017


What’s on your vacation checklist? When I studied abroad, I was packing “clinical strength” aluminum deodorant and CVS sleeping pills for the plane… along with Colgate toothpaste, shampoo filled with sulfates, and lotion with nasty ingredients that I couldn’t pronounce. I didn’t realize that the personal care products I was using were pretty darn toxic and slowing me down during my 16 hour days of walking and exploring!

Here is an excellent, hilarious, and slightly shocking video about how almost every personal care product in America is toxic. Did you know that the FDA has only banned 11 cosmetic ingredients…whereas the European Union has banned 1,342? I can’t stress this enough – the FDA does NOT care about your health. They are in this only for the money, and are in the business of “sick-care” instead of health care. Healthy people don’t generate profit, and they would rather you be sick. This is why there are GMOs in your food, carcinogens in your products, artificial dye and sugar in your drinks, and especially why the real knowledge about the body and cancer is hidden. Plenty of people have cured cancer using alternative methods, but trust that Big Pharma suppresses every method because they can’t patent nature. Do your own research and become your own health advocate.

Did you know there is lead in most lipsticks and mercury in most mascaras!? Did you know that cancer-causing phthalates, banned from use in children’s toys, are one of the most common ingredients in many skin products?  Did you know the FDA has no regulatory control over cosmetics companies, and allows them to decide their own safety standards? They don’t even have to fully label ingredients.

This time, I know better, and have had months and months to research products and come up with my SAFE, NON-TOXIC favorites. In just 5 days, Nick and I will be basically backpacking across Europe with just our carry-ons, staying on strangers’ couches through Air BnB! (Don’t worry, all the people we are staying with have excellent reviews and are real people that won’t be orchestrating a rerun of Taken.) I can’t wait! We will be away for 2 & 1/2 weeks… London, Copenhagen, Rome, & Portugal! I apologize for my blogging absence throughout that time, but I will certainly be posting some delicious #foodporn on Instagram to make up for it.

In this picture, I have my traveling “medicine cabinet”:

  • Dr. Christopher’s Lower Bowel Formula – Every single formula the legend Dr. Christopher has created is absolutely wonderful. He has one for everything, and all ingredients are organic or wildcrafted. This is a gentle laxative that is not habit-forming. Everyone gets a little tummy trouble on vacation, and I know I’m going to be eating gluten and dairy-filled foods that will not exactly prep my colon for proper digestion! These are a must-have in every medicine cabinet for days when your bowel movements are sluggish. They also contain a parasite killing ingredient, cascara sagrada. Best part: 11 bucks!
  • Spry Peppermint Xylitol Gum – I like gum. Unfortunately, you guessed it – the main brands are GMO and toxic! Orbit has genetically modified soy lecithin and artificial sweetener. I once did a market research study for *a brand I may have just mentioned*  and I had to sign a WAIVER because the ingredients were banned in other countries. This gum is non-GMO and sweetened with xylitol. Plus, peppermint can ease an upset stomach and calm nerves on a flight.
  • Charibelle’s Funny Farm Probiotic Deodorant (Tea Tree) – Do. Not. Put. ALUMINUM. In. Your. Armpits. Support small business on Etsy and the health of your lymph nodes by choosing a handmade probiotic deodorant. Probiotic deodorant naturally kills bad bacteria and keeps the good guys. I usually make my own, but lately I have had no time. This is the best one I’ve ever used and Charisse makes them all with LOVE. Very important!!
  • BARE Hair Shampoo – Don’t put chemicals on your head either! Over 70% of what touches our skin is absorbed into our bodies. This is another small business on Etsy that needs love and let me tell you – this is the best shampoo I have ever used and I will never go back to buying even the most frilly lilly high end organic shampoo again. The ingredients are pronounceable and include apple cider vinegar, herbs, essential oils, and more.
  • Liposomal Vitamin C – The most important thing I have ever discovered. Lily tells me to take Vitamin C every single day and explains to me how NO ONE understands its power. Did you know that naturopaths and physicians have used IV drips of pure Vitamin C to cure cancer. There is a doctor named Dr. Clark by my house in New Rochelle, NY who gives cancer patients magnesium and Vitamin C drips… he cures them. Vitamin C is the most underutilized vitamin known to man. Please check out the book Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins. Liposomal Vitamin C is a very special kind of C: it’s wrapped in a liposome (fatty membrane basically) that goes RIGHT into your cells like an IV. I would never, ever go anywhere without this and take it every single day. I will have a full post dedicated to this soon!
  • Thieves Antibacterial/viral Spray – Instead of hand sanitizer that can create antibiotic-resistant bacteria, use essential oils to sanitize your hands, doorknobs, seats, ANYTHING! About theives oil: it was used by theives during the great plague, they rubbed it all over themselves so they wouldn’t catch it while robbing the people. And it worked. They did not get sick. That is how the name Theives Oil came about. One Amazon reviewer sprays it in their mouth as soon as they feel a cold coming on and NEVER gets sick!
  • Lavender Essential Oil – calms your nervous system down during travel and helps alleviate insomnia. It is anti-bacterial so it can cleanse wounds, cuts and scrapes and speeds healing. Lavender soothes mild burns from sunburn to 2nd degree burns and eases the pain. Lavender is also a natural antihistamine, so breathe it in deep to stop allergies ASAP!
  • Peppermint Essential Oil – is good for relieving inflammation from bumps, bruises or sore muscles from carrying heavy luggage. Peppermint is also helpful for easing nausea from travel or illness. Breathe breathe breathe & apply to wrists.
  • Stevia Extract – Listen, I’m going to eat sugar ‘when in Rome’ but I’m not going to consume it when I don’t need to. When I’m in Europe I like to have a coffee every morning and tea every night, so I want to save my sugar bank for non-GMO croissants and Cadbury. I get my stevia from Vitacost (where I buy a lot of my dry bulk groceries) – click here for $10 off your first purchase.
  • Nascent Iodine – This requires an entire post on its own, and believe me, it’s coming! I put 3 drops in my water 3x a day to keep my metabolism super high and my thyroid running. 90%+ Americans are deficient in iodine which is why so many of us have a sluggish thyroid and a slew of other issues. This is THE most available type of iodine. It detoxes any radiation from your body (hello Fukushima) AND clears your pineal gland. It also displaces fluoride and chlorine (toxins). I am going to need the extra support while I’m eating tons of European food on my trip!
  • Toner – I always use a toner before I moisturize with oil. This is a broccoli sprout infused lavender toner I got at the Green Festival in NYC. Crucial to keep your skin looking dewy and gorgeous on vaca.

Here are some other great things I picked up or was gifted with for my trip!



  • Moxibustion Sticks – as a going away gift from my Chinese doctor Lily!! You burn the sticks and hold them over meridian or chi points on the body to move your energy and warm organs that are stagnant. Great for poor digestion when we eat mounds of gluten & dairy…
  • Natural/organic tooth brightener – another gift from Lily, made from whole food calcium, magnesium & baking soda!
  • WATER BASED NAIL POLISH! – FINALLY. NO solvents, NO formaldehyde, and NO smell. Harder to put on but not poisoning myself is worth it.
  • Herbal Fire Cider – I am so excited! This will keep our stomachs from becoming too yin since we will be eating a lot of cooling & *not organic olivia approved* foods… when in Rome! Bring it on pizza! Fire cider is apple cider vinegar, honey, oranges, lemons, onions, horseradish, ginger, habanero pepper, garlic & turmeric. Take a shot every morning to rev your digestion and metabolism.
  • Non-Toxic Odorless Nail Polish Remover – for the water-based nail polish.
  • Ecco Bella “Good For You Gloss” – castor oil, shea butter, candelila wax, aloe, vitamin E! The PERFECT lip tint and incredibly moisturizing.

Last but not least, from Organic Bath Co., one of the greatest small businesses I have ever known:

  • Rice Brain Cleansing Beauty Oil – Gianne knows how much I love my oil cleansing method, and this is the best oil blend I have used thus far. It contains rice bran, camellia seed, grapeseed, and sweet almond oils; along with manuka and sweet orange essential oils. It is pure skin food and I am honored to use Organic Bath Co.’s products. They are a small business that works so hard to educate the world about what we’re putting on our skin!
  • Stress Less Body Oil – made with a whole blend of calming and soothing essential oils, because we will be walking around all day and need to soothe our muscles the natural way! Use this instead of lotion and you will never, ever go back. I am head over heels in love with how my skin feels when I get out of the shower. This is an insomnia cure and moisturizer in one. Thank you so much, @organicbath!


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Kiersten Olson

How do you take the liposomal vitamin c? 1 tablespoon in water? Also, does it work topically on skin? What about using it while pregnant?<br /><br />Thanks! LOVE your blog and IG.

Olivia A.


Yes 1 tbsp in water, you can take it once every hour or so if suffering from an infection or virus. You can use it while pregnant and should 🙂 I haven&#39;t tried it on my skin yet but I&#39;m sure it would only help, although you may need a carrier such as vegetable glycerine! Thank you so much!

Kiersten Olson


Thank you, Olivia! Keep doing what you&#39;re doing!


Avoid Cadbury lol have fun 🙂

Olivia A.


Oh nooooo. Don&#39;t tell me it&#39;s GMO?! I&#39;m sure it&#39;s owned by a corporate giant. Ugh just checked… it&#39;s owned by Mondelez, formerly Kraft Foods. Sad. None for me.


Great information! I&#39;m learning so much from you. I appreciate you being so passionate about this topic!

Olivia A.


Thank you soooo much for the feedback 🙂 Great to hear!!

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