Adventurer, journalist and presenter Pip Stewart has a real love for travel, meditation, health and wellbeing. She is a firm believer that connecting with people and the great outdoors is good for the soul. Here she shares her top self-care and wellbeing tips that keep her feeling zing-tastic!
Home remedies and natural tips that actually work
1. Bad breath
Solution: Admittedly this is not something I do every day, but when I was filming a documentary in the remote Amazon in Peru and ran out of toothpaste, a Peruvian friend of mine told me that termites make a minty alternative and can help get rid of bad breath. I thought he might be winding me up but I tried some anyway and he was right – they taste of menthol!
2. Period pains
Solution: When I used to work and live in Hong Kong, I noticed that whenever my mates were on their periods, they’d drink hot water. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, when you’re menstruating, having cold liquids doesn’t help the flow of blood around the body. I am now forever drinking hot water to reduce period pain (actually, whether I’m on my period or not, I drink more hot water now as a way of trying not to consume too much caffeine).
3. Insect bites and burns
Solution: I went into the deep jungle in Peru and stupidly thought to myself, "the locals have their sleeves rolled up – I will too!”. I got totally munched to bits by insects and my arms looked horrendous. The only thing that stopped the insane itching from all the bites was Lucas Papaw Ointment. It’s now a must-have carry-on item for me on any trip.
4. Digestive issues
Solution: Hot water and lemon is my go-to morning drink. My nan always swore by it as a great way to kickstart the day and get the digestive juices flowing. It may be an old wives tale but I look forward to a zingy start to the day with lemon to cleanse my body and reduce bloating naturally.
7 Questions Lightning Round
The one thing I carry with me in case I get ill:
It’s not so much if I get ill, but I swear by Lucas Papaw Ointment for any itches, bites and/or burns. It's magic in a tube!
When I’m ill I like to eat:
When I cycled back from Malaysia to London I got super ill for a few days in China. A diet of plain rice and Coke seemed to sort me out. And I definitely don't want this! I was presented with monkey head in Peru – talk about losing your appetite.
When I’m ill I like to drink:
Flat Coke. Not something I usually drink but when you’re down and out it’s a winner for me!
The only person (or pet!) I want to see when I’m ill is:
I secretly love to be fussed over when I’m sick so it would have to be my partner, Charlie.
The best 'cheer up' gift I’ve ever been given was:
It’s not so much a 'cheer up present', but when I was in the Andes it happened to be my birthday. I was interviewing an old couple who had told me how climate change was affecting their livelihood in a negative way because there was less water for their crops. They had very little but when they found out it was my birthday they made a mound of flour, put a candle in it, sang to me and then they gave me the most genuine, warm hugs. I had known these people less than a day but the warmth and love they gave me stuck with me – the best sort of gift there is.
If a friend is ill I give them:
Birch water. I’m a real believer in the healing power of nature. My partner co-founded a birch water brand called Tapped which I personally love – it’s the sap from birch trees of Finland. I think most people think of sap as being thick (the resin) but sap is liquid and tastes so blooming fresh. Drinking it reminds me of chopping trees to drink in the Amazon and it’s nice to be able to psuedo-share that experience with my mates.
The mantra I live by for a happy and healthy life is:
Don’t chase happiness, chase adventure. I find it odd that we put such an emphasis on one emotion in our society. I find focusing on adventure rather than happiness ironically makes me happier and more content. Adventures aren’t always pleasant at the time – they can be uncomfortable, they can push you to your perceived limits but they do force you to grow and that in itself is amazing.
Thank you, Pip!
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