There are several common problems that come up when we are traveling. If you don’t wish to hear about bodily functions, read no further! One of the most common problems is constipation, euphemistically referred to as “irregularity.” There are many reasons this problem occurs: changes in schedule, rushing to catch a plane, lack of privacy, etc. I have often recommended that travelers use Peach Kernel Pills (also known as Run Chang Wan and Tao Ren Wan). Several suppliers sell this formula under various names. The important ingredients in this formula are Tao Ren (peach kernel) and Huo Ma Ren (Cannabis seed), both of which are high in fatty acids. These pills will not cause cramping or severe results, but will be mildly moistening. I recommend travelers start taking them two days before their trip, to get a softening effect going ahead of time, and also to gauge the results before the actual travel date. Start with 8 pills at night, see what the results are in the morning, and if this dose is not adequate, take 8 pills three times a day. You can increase the dosage incrementally as needed.
Another common problem for travelers is insomnia. I have had exceedingly good results with Suan Zao Ren Tang from several suppliers. Always, the chief ingredient is Suan Zao Ren. Do not follow the directions on the box (to take 3 pills 3 times a day), but take them just at bedtime, and again if awake at 2, 3 or 4 am (not later). Used this way, these will not cause drowsiness in the morning. The pills are mild, and certainly nothing like Ambien or other such drugs, but they work well to relax the body and mind and allow sleep to arrive.
Another problem that could occur on vacation is “hangover,” that feeling of malaise after too much alcohol consumption. Symptoms can include headache, fatigue, lack of mental clarity and nausea. I have two remedies for this. One is “Curing Pills” (sold by many suppliers under several names). The ingredients come from several herbal categories, including aromatic damp resolvers, Qi regulators, digestives and heat clearing herbs. These pills are excellent for anything that plagues the digestive tract, from heartburn to bloating to nausea and even diarrhea. A second herbal solution to hangover is Ge Gen (Pueraria root) and Ge Hua (its flower). John Chen  states that Ge Hua “increases the metabolism of alcohol, relieves hangover and promotes the process of regaining sobriety.” He adds that “the root and flower [of Pueraria] are believed to have the same property for treatment of alcoholism, hangover, and liver-related disorders caused by alcohol.”
Enjoy your break, and be sure to pack some of these common remedies in your bags.
 Chen, John and Tina Chen, Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology, AOM Press, 2004, p. 83