ONE OF THE most valid supplements in ameliorating jet lag and traveller’s fatigue is ginseng. Ginseng belongs to a category of plants known as ‘adaptogens’, or agents that are known to improve human tolerance to various types of stressors.
Ginseng, especially Korean and Siberian, has been shown to enhance the tolerance to physical, mental and environmental stress, while reducing the associated mental and physical fatigue.
Because travel [especially long haul] involves all three categories of stress, ginseng is perhaps among the most useful tools for travellers.
Another useful herb is Rhodiola, which is one of the most powerful adaptogens ever researched. Like ginseng, rhodiola substantially improves tolerance to physical, mental and nvironmental stress.
One advantage of rhodiola is its ability to increase the activity of the calming, mood elevating chemical messenger, serotonin, in the brain.
Serotonin is involved in the regulation of mood, emotion, appetite and most importantly here, sleep. As we all know, often the key to beating jet lag, especially long haul, is to get as much sleep as possible while flying.
Foods such as turkey, bananas and milk all contain the essential amino acid L- tryptophan, which is the precursor of serotonin. A modified form of this amino acid called 5-hydroxytryptophan [5 HTP] is a more potent choice. It is naturally derived from the seed pods of a West African plant called Griffonia Simplicifolia and may also be useful on your return home to help you get a good night’s sleep when you are wide awake and in another time zone.