Natural Jet Lag Remedies: Boost Energy and Reset Your Clock

on May 30, 2023| Modified on Jun 01, 2023
Jet Lag natural remedies

Jet lag, a common concern among frequent flyers and long-distance travelers, can seriously damper the excitement of reaching a new destination. Fortunately, there are a variety of natural remedies for jet lag that can help balance your circadian rhythm and optimize your energy levels, allowing you to enjoy your travel adventures to the fullest.

Understanding Jet Lag

Before delving into the natural remedies for jet lag, it's important to understand this sleep disorder. Jet lag, also known as desynchronosis, is a temporary condition that causes fatigue, insomnia, and sometimes digestive problems. It's usually a result of air travel across multiple time zones, which disrupts your body's internal clock, also known as your circadian rhythm.

Stay Hydrated

One of the most accessible and vital natural remedies for jet lag is hydration. Due to the low humidity levels in airplane cabins, dehydration is common during flights. Dehydration can worsen the symptoms of jet lag, so drinking ample water before, during, and after your flight can help mitigate the effects.

Optimize Light Exposure

Light exposure is a key factor in regulating your circadian rhythm. When you travel across time zones, your body's internal clock gets out of sync with the local time, leading to jet lag. To realign your internal clock with your new time zone, expose yourself to natural light during the day. Conversely, avoiding light in the evening can help your body adjust to the local bedtime.

Natural Remedies

Several herbs and natural supplements can help manage the symptoms of jet lag.


Melatonin is a hormone that our bodies naturally produce in response to darkness. It helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle and tells our bodies when it's time to sleep. While our bodies produce melatonin naturally, the hormone is also available as a supplement. Taking a melatonin supplement before bedtime can help reset your internal clock, particularly when you are adjusting to a new time zone.


Chamomile has been a staple in traditional medicine for centuries, known for its calming and sleep-inducing properties. Chamomile tea, in particular, can be a soothing bedtime ritual. The herb's gentle sedative effect can aid in easing insomnia, a common symptom of jet lag.

Valerian Root

Valerian root is another herbal remedy known for its sleep-enhancing properties. This plant's root can help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of your sleep. It can be taken as a tea, tincture, or capsule. For jet lag, it's often recommended to start taking Valerian a few days before your trip and continue for several days after arrival in the new time zone.


Lavender is celebrated for its calming properties, and studies have suggested it can improve sleep quality. You can use lavender essential oil in several ways: add a few drops to a warm bath before bed, dab it onto your pillow, or use a diffuser in your sleeping area.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is a member of the mint family and is considered a calming herb. It has been used for reducing stress and improving sleep since the Middle Ages. Consuming lemon balm as a tea, or using it in aromatherapy, can help induce a sense of calm and aid in a night of restful sleep.


Ginseng is a traditional remedy known for its energizing effects. However, some varieties of ginseng, such as American ginseng, can help you relax and reduce stress levels, assisting in alleviating jet lag symptoms.

Mindful Eating

Avoiding heavy meals and choosing lighter, healthier options can help manage jet lag symptoms. Your digestive system also has its circadian rhythm, and consuming foods rich in protein, fiber, and antioxidants can support this rhythm and assist in reducing jet lag symptoms.

Regular Exercise

Light exercise, such as stretching or walking, can help to reset your internal clock and alleviate jet lag symptoms. Try to get some physical activity during daylight hours in your new location. Just remember to listen to your body and avoid strenuous exercise that might leave you feeling more tired.

Mind-Body Techniques

Practices such as meditation, deep-breathing exercises, and yoga can aid in adjusting your internal clock, reducing stress, and promoting better sleep. These methods not only offer natural remedies for jet lag but also contribute to overall wellness.

Adjusting your Sleep Schedule

Lastly, consider gradually adjusting your sleep schedule before you travel. A few days before your trip, start shifting your sleeping and eating times to match those of your destination. This method, known as phase advance, can help your body adjust to the new time zone and minimize the symptoms of jet lag.

Continue reading below for tips from Earth Clinic readers on the top natural remedies for jet lag! Please let us know which remedy helped you!

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Baking Soda and Epsom Salt Bath

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Cheryl (Highland Park, NJ) on 05/30/2023 10 posts

This remedy is the simplest, most natural bath cure for jet lag I've ever come across. It was developed by a South Sea Islands physician many years ago.

Use this simple treatment as soon as possible after getting off the plane. Within the first few hours is the best. The longer you wait, the less effective it is. I tried it once after three days and it didn't do much. When I did it right after the flight, it worked like a charm. No lag! My cousin who did business with Tokyo and France said it saved his life, and business.

This jet lag bath-therapy only takes a little more than an hour and can be done any time of day or night, but as soon after deplaning as possible.

GOOD NEWS: Two can bathe for the price of one!! This is a soak, not a bath, and the person who likes water temperature hotter can soak first, then the other person can use the same water.

1. When traveling, pack one 8-ounce box of baking soda and one cup of epsom salts* in a zip-lock bag or plastic container. (Label it 'epsom salts' so that Customs doesn't freak out that you're smuggling drugs.)

2. As soon as you arrive, fill the tub with water as hot as you can safely tolerate it and dissolve the salts and soda in the water. I got in with water warm as it was filling, then turned it hotter and hotter until I reached my max.

3. While the tub is filling, drink at least 8 ounces of water, preferably more. Air travel is notoriously dehydrating.

4. The water level should cover your shoulders, so you may have to slide down in the tub. It's ok for your knees to stick up out of the water. The thing is to immerse your whole torso.

5. Soak for 7 - 10 minutes. Only soak, do not wash with soap.

6. Do not cross your arms over your body - keep them down at your sides. Do not cross your legs or ankles while you're in the tub.

7. Get up slowly out of the tub after 7 - 10 minutes and carefully pat yourself dry or just wrap the towel around you. Do not rub your skin with the towel.

8. Lie down on your back and cover yourself so that you do not chill off too quickly. Rest for one hour.

9. While resting, keep your arms at your sides and your legs out straight from your body. Do not cross your arms over your body or cross your legs or ankles - same as in the tub. If you feel more comfortable with a pillow under your knees, that is fine.

10. After one hour of rest, you may get up and shower and get on with your trip if it is during the day; or, you may roll over and go to sleep for the night.

This safe and simple treatment for jet lag will rebalance the nervous system, restore the pH of the cells, relax the muscles and reset your body clock to the present time -- holistic at its best!

Make the most of your trip, and take the soak when you get home, too! Bon voyage!


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Pete (Brazil) on 09/06/2012

My trick is to take melatonin. Once you arrive at your destination make sure you stay awake until local night-time. 30 minutes before going to bed take your melatonin. It's not a total solution but it helps. Good luck!

Sunlight on Closed Eyes for 10 Minutes

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Mmsg (Somewhere, Europe) on 09/05/2012

For jetlag, I was told to sit in the sun WITH EYES TIGHTLY SHUT for about ten minutes at a time (once a day?) after landing. It seems to readjust a person's circadian rhythms.