Alternatively Speaking: Flying away

Alternative medicine expert Natalie Marx answers your questions related to flying: Can you suggest any homeopathic remedies that can help me overcome a fear of flying?

July 15, 2013 12:35
THE COCKPIT of a plane.

airplane cockpit 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Guillermo Granja)


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Q. Dear Natalie, I have a terrible fear of flying! Can you suggest any homeopathic remedies that can help me overcome this? 

A. This phobia is indeed very common and something that I come across in my clinic time and time again. Despite its frequency, the reasons behind it and how it manifests is different with every person. 
Fear of flying can be related to the fear of closed spaces, fear of heights, fear of death, fear of motion sickness, fear of being over water, fear when the plane lurches downwards during turbulence or simply the feeling of being out of control.

Homeopathy can help people to combat their fear of flying in two ways. Firstly, homeopathy can help by treating the issue acutely and prescribing remedies to help bring calmness and relief before and during the flight. Secondly, treating the individual with a constitutional remedy allows us to look at the problem at a much deeper level. 

As a homeopath I would typically assess the history of the problem, when it started and how it manifests. The aim of the consultation is to treat the root of the problem rather than just the symptoms that manifest. There are several homeopathic remedies that can be used to help combat fear of flying. Here are a few common remedies - select the one or few that fit your symptoms best: 

Argentum-nitricum: Extreme anxiety, restlessness accompanied by diarrhea and a big fear of “what if the plane crashes?” This remedy is usually prescribed when the fear is more related to heights and/or claustrophobia. This person will usually feel worse in heat and crowds and feel better in open air.

Aconite: This person will show complete terror and panic and an obvious fear of death – “knows the plane will crash.” The fear can suddenly appear before or during the flight.

Arsenicum: This person cannot bear to be alone and needs constant reassurance that they will survive the flight. The main fear here is a fear of death and the person may show signs of restlessness. They will feel better with company.

Gelsenium: Here signs are mild or severe trembling with anxiety and panic. The person's muscles may feel weak and heavy.

Nux Vomica: As well as anxious, the person will show excessive impatience and anger while kept waiting. Coffee and alcohol and any additional stimulants makes the anxiety worse.

Q. Dear Natalie, I have just returned back to Israel after three weeks in New York and I am suffering terribly from jet lag. Are there any natural remedies that can help me bring me back to balance? I am upside down.

A. Jet lag interferes with our body's internal clock as well as its production of the hormone melatonin, which regulates the body's sleep cycle. Although it is a temporary condition, you can relieve symptoms by supplementing with Vitamin C and other supplements. I recommend you take 1,000 mg of Vitamin C with a full glass of water every three hours from the day before leaving for your trip until you reach your destination. 

Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant and can help relieve high stress-related conditions such as jet lag. Continue to take 1,000 mg of Vitamin C once a day after reaching your destination for at least three days. If you are travelling for business, I recommend you take 300 mg of L-glutamine once on your flight. This amino acid works to improve concentration. 

The supplement Vitamin B complex (50mg) can be taken once a day during your trip. B-complex vitamins help fight stress and provide energy, which will relieve the symptoms associated with jet lag. 

Another crucial way to help prevent jet lag is some pre-trip preparation by eating high-protein meals for breakfast and lunch and a high-carbohydrate meal for dinner. High-protein meals encourage wakefulness, yet a carbohydrate-rich meal brings on sleep. The aim of these meals is to strengthen the pre-travel change in circadian rhythms as well as help reinforce the new schedule while traveling. 

Melatonin is the hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. The main role of melatonin is controlling the body's internal clock that plays an important role in when we fall asleep and when we wake up. 

There are many grain products that contain tryptophan, an amino acid that indirectly increases melatonin levels in the brain. Although melatonin can be purchased in 30mg pills there are many practitioners who advise in taking the lowest form possible. Taking amino acid as a food supplement is an excellent alternative and can alleviate daytime sleepiness and fatigue. 

An excellent homeopathic combo for jet lag contains the homeopathic remedies arnica montana, bellis perennis, Chamomilla, Ipecacuanha, and Lycopodium. These remedies combine to address a variety of symptoms concerning jet lag such as the sleeplessness and restlessness when overtired, waking mid-sleep, nausea, anxiety, and mental stress or irritation as a result of sleeplessness. An alternative option is Valerian - a herb used as a natural sleep aid. This is often a preferred treatment for jet lag used to help adjust to new time zones by helping people fall asleep at the "right" time. Valerian is not addictive.

Q. Dear Natalie, I have a fifteen hour flight coming up and I am looking for some good stretching exercises to do before and after the flight to help relieve any stiffness endured from such a long journey. Any of your recommendations will be welcome.

A. I could not let this question be answered without the mention of yoga. Flying long distance in a plane can, as well as jet lag, leave you stiff, tired, and with mental fog. As a yoga instructor I can guarantee that practicing a few simple yoga techniques during or after your journey will leave you rejuvenated and calm after a long trip.

The tree pose is a balancing posture that helps get you centered and grounded after being crunched up on a long flight. Begin by standing straight up on one leg and placing the other leg on your calf, knee, or thigh. As you inhale, reach your arms straight up as high as you can, bringing your hands together into a prayer position and hold the pose. Breathe slowly and deeply, enjoying the stretch and aim to hold the pose for five breaths. 

The seated forward bend is an excellent pose that can be tried on the plane as well as at home. It helps to calm the brain and reduce fatigue. Sit with your buttocks on your chair or floor, back straight, and legs straight out in front of you. Keep your back straight and reach forward as far as you comfortably can to reach your toes (the aim is not necessarily to reach the toes but as far as you can without straining). Hold the pose and breathe deeply for five breaths.

There are many wonderful natural remedies that can support and treat all kinds of health problems; from acute to chronic. Book your free consultation today with Natalie to devise your own personal health plan: Telephone: 054-7337401 or email

This column is brought to you as general information only and unless stated otherwise is not medical advice nor is it based on medical experiments. This column is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. For more information about specific problems, please contact a doctor.

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