I always end up dreading long-haul flights. I mean, how many of us actually get on board rearing to go? It’s just not a pleasant experience for the vast majority of us. So I saw it as a bit of a lifesaver when, before my long-haul flight home, a friend told me about this wonderful health shot to combat the tedious trip.
The shot combines the basic ingredients of one of the most well-known health shots in the wellness world: lemon, maple syrup, cloves, and cinnamon. It’s a mix of many of the things used in ancient and modern natural remedies. However, this shot has a secret weapon which boosts the ability to combat long-flight sleepiness, headaches, and flu like symptoms. The base of the shot is elderflower.
Elderflower is an incredible shrub which grows in many countries and has a long history of being used for natural medicines. From the Egyptians to the Native Americans, it was used to treat many things including burns, skin issues, flu, pain relief, swelling, and much more.
But, why is it good for long-haul flights? I often get headaches, stomach upsets, and nausea while flying long distance. Which all make sitting in a plane for hours so much more frustrating and less endurable.
Elderflower can be used to treat these symptoms because of some of these properties:
- Anthocyanins: compounds which help to reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a natural result of your body’s “help” signals activating when you’re injured or sick. However, over a prolonged period of time it can put stress on your body and your immunity.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is used to treat cold and flu across the world because of the knowledge that it improves immunity and helps your body fight off invaders. Elderflower can contain up to 60 percent of your daily recommendation in just 100 grams of the elderberries. So if you make this shot and whiz it up into a tasty drink… you could already have a large amount of your daily requirement.
- Dietary fiber: This leads to a slow release of energy and nutrients which can be more suitable for diabetics. They are also helpful in regulating bowel movements on flights with the fiber that they bring.
The elderflower alone can make a good boost of health and indeed, if you only had this to take before your flight, it would make a significant difference. However, the best results come from the combining all the ingredients that I mentioned before. So here’s a look at why those ingredients make this shot better for you and more delicious.
Lemon: This fruit is used for treating things such as fever, high blood pressure, and throat infections and is used in many ancient medicines. The nutrients contained within include the vital vitamin C, which adds to the elderberry’s bunch of this vitamin. It also helps to relieve fever which can happen while flying, by making you sweat more… Although for this very reason it’s probably a good idea to take lemon a little before boarding your flight. There is nothing worse than sweating on an airplane.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a spice which was once regarded as so special that it was reserved for kings, partly because of the amazing benefits it can offer to our health! Cinnamaldehyde which is contained within cinnamon is known to help to fight off infections and bad bacteria which may be entering our bodies. Especially on a flight where bacteria can be circulating in such a small space. Cinnamon and its compounds can fight many bacteria and in particular can prevent the spread of listeria. It is also anti-inflammatory which helps to bring down the risk of your body falling under an infection.
Cloves: Like cinnamon, cloves are anti-microbial and fight bacterial invaders. Unlike cinnamon, they don’t just help to prevent the infection. They also can kill bacteria which has already begun to take hold. Cloves can work this property on many different bacteria, including serious bacteria like E. coli in this study from The Brazilian Journal of Microbiology.
Combine them all into a handy little drink to take with you before your flight. Steep loose, dried elderflower in hot water to create an infusion. Add to blender, along with fresh lemon juice, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, and maple syrup. Blend the ingredients up into this tangy, sweet shot of goodness. You can take them in small bottles, a jar or any other small container that travels easily in hand baggage and you’re all set!
Photo: Francisco Torres – Unsplash; Milo Mcdowell – Unsplash; Hanne Hoogenda – Unsplash