An Herbalist’s Travel Apothecary

The older I get the more I love the adventure of traveling, and as opportunities continually come up, it gets harder and harder to stay put. So I find myself traveling more than ever now, and as much as I love the thrill and excitement of exploring and wandering and visiting and shuffling from one place to the next…traveling is also when I feel the most vulnerable and ill-prepared for the unexpected to strike. Often my body can be unpredictable when I subject it to the rigors of travel and uprooted from my stable, grounding routine of home. My sleep cycle is disrupted, my energy waxes and wanes, my digestion feels a little wonky and my immune system is in a constantly high level of alert.

Over the years I’ve found remedies and tricks to address some of my travel woes,

but none have worked so beautifully as Urban Moonshine’s traveling apothecary herbal remedies that are absolute staples in my travel bag! When I travel these days, I keep five products in my bag at all times: Immune Zoom, Hit the Hay, Calm Tummy Herbal Bitters, Energy Tonic & Simmer Down Tonic.

This collection of herbal rockstars hits every single part of my body that needs support at any given moment,

and I never feel desperately at the mercy of finding a decent remedy when my body struggles to find balance (which in remote locations can be questionable). Any herbalist or health-conscious traveler can attest to the power of their tried and true herbal allies, and without them we feel lost and desperate. Hence, my traveling apothecary is always fully stocked with these five herbal formulas – perfect for any challenge while I’m on the road. 

Immune Zoom

Immune Zoom has gotten its fair share of use from me over the past six or seven years and is perhaps one of my favorite herbal products ever created (second only to the Calm Tummy Bitters). A powerful combination of echinacea, cayenne, elderflower, ginger and raw honey, a shot of this fast-acting elixir is my go-to at the very first sign of a cold or a bug catching me. This kicks my immune system into gear to fight off those first intruding pathogens and push them out of my system before they have a chance to settle in and take me down.

Hit The Hay

Hit The Hay blends nervous system supportive herbs + cerebral supportive herbs together to make the perfect calming, soothing and mentally relaxing tonic that is absolutely ideal for occasional sleeplessness when I travel. I use Hit the Hay on nights when I can’t turn off the mental chatter or my body feels restless in a new sleeping space, as this formula helps to take the edge off and settle my body into a quiet, peaceful and almost meditative space. Kava kava and California poppy gently calm my agitated and alert central nervous system while hops and passionflower help to ease my monkey mind and gently encourage a restful nights sleep…which I need desperately when I travel.

Simmer Down Tonic

If I’m on a long trip and suspect I’ll have occasional trouble sleeping multiple nights in a row, I know I need to support my adrenal glands long term, so I use the Simmer Down Tonic throughout the day which helps to set an upper limit on my cortisol patterns so my sleep is supported every night in response. A combination of Ashwagandha, Milky Oats and Tulsi help to restore my nervous system and are deeply nourishing adaptogens that work wonders on my adrenals in combination with the occasional use of Hit the Hay. The use of Simmer Down Tonic + Hit the Hay is the perfect herbal approach of blending tonic herbal strategies with acute remedies to support my body synergistically and with tremendous effectiveness. It’s also not a bad thing to have on hand when dealing with constant plane delays, excessive traffic or the general rigors of crowded spaces which always seem to get me wound up and in need of a gentle simmering down…

Energy Tonic

In more acute travel situations, I’m on the go constantly and often exert more energy than my body is used to. Whether due to increased excitement, problem solving, constant plane, trains and automobile changes, or just need an extra boost of energy without reaching for adrenal depleting caffeine,

I take little shots of Energy Tonic to give me a sustainable boost of energy and alertness without the inevitable crash of energy I would get from relying on caffeine.

Rhodiola, Eleuthero and Schisandra are all nourishing, tonic and building herbal adaptogens that stimulate my body just enough to push away fatigue and stimulate my alertness. The addition of Hawthorn leaf and berry + licorice gives me a renewed sense of vitality and well being, helping to fuel my passion for continued travel while feeling totally taken care of and supported when I take this formula consistently.

Calm Tummy Bitters

Finally, the mother of all herbal formulas, the herbal combination that I feel like saved my sanity time and time again, year after year, meal and after meal – Urban Moonshine Herbal Bitters. I have traveled with these bitters for at least seven or eight years now and rely on them whole heartedly to support my unpredictable digestion which, in previous years, was debilitatingly impossible to manage. The Calm Tummy Bitters is my go-to digestive support these days. The chamomile in Calm Tummy Bitters is remarkably soothing and normalizing to spastic digestive patterns while also being calming and supportive of an overly reactive digestive tract. This is combined with the classic bitter herbs dandelion root, burdock root, yellow dock and warming ginger and makes for an energetically balanced formula that is gentle, calming and tonifying to the entire digestive tract.

The addition of herbal bitters to my diet has been a game changer over the years not only for digestive support, but also for liver, adrenal and blood sugar support as well.

I constantly have a little bottle of bitters in my bag and take a couple of sprays before each meal to stimulate the endogenous production of digestive enzymes to prepare my body for food and optimize digestion. Works like a charm, every time.

As an herbalist and health educator, I’m perpetually particular about the products I use personally and the products that I recommend to others.

Urban Moonshine makes expertly formulated herbal products that are consistently effective and consciously sourced from herb growers I trust, never making me second-guess the quality of these herbal products. When creating your own traveling apothecary, test out lots of different formulas and products and see what really does the trick for you – everyone is different and needs support for different things. Pay attention to what areas of your body need support and address those areas consciously and tonically. My traveling herbal apothecary has been consistently filled with these products for years, and I don’t anticipate that will change for many more years to come!


Lindsay Kluge, M.Sc, CNS, LDN is a clinical herbalist & licensed dietitian nutritionist currently living and practicing in Richmond, Virginia. Her love of generational herbal medicine infuses deeply into her work as an herbalist and teacher, and her blog, Ginger Tonic Botanicals, is where she shares herbal stories, recipes and holistic living insights to connect people and plants more intimately. 
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