Discuss the importance of vaccines, side affects of medications, water-safety worries and health insurance questions. Research malaria meds, cost of medical treatment overseas and other issues related to health on the road.

altitude meds: western vs. eastern


Knows What a Schengen Visa Is
Posts: 324
Joined: January 2nd, 2007

Share on Orkut

This thread doesn't have any tags.

You can still check out the tag index though.

What are tags?
  • Added on: May 13th, 2010
Hello Booties!

I'm about to embark on my first journey into significant altitude (the Andes).
I've read extensive debate about whether to use diamox and I'm still on the fence although I did get a 5 day prescrition to bring along.

The other day I ventured into a Chinese herbalist who gave me altitude meds that he gives travelers who venture into Nepal and Tibet. The box is in Chinese but from what I gather the name of the medication is "Gao Yuan Ning". I'm not finding much information about it on the internet aside from the fact that they provide this to the Chinese army for quick ascents.

Does anyone out there have any experience with this Chinese medicine? I'm curious if it is herb based and what herbs? side effects? I wonder if I should give it a try or just go with the devil I know, the diamox.


Kate and Dan

User avatar
Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 299
Joined: October 7th, 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: May 13th, 2010
In my experience — medication is not needed.

I try to stay away from meds as much as possible. After arrival, try to ease your way into high altitudes. Drink plenty of clear liquids. The low humidity at high altitude tends to dehydrate you, which can make you feel sick. Avoid alcohol and excessive salt for a few days—these items exacerbate dehydration. Take it easy for the first few days. Stick with meals that are easy to digest, etc.

And if you're in the Andes, you'll have access to plenty of coca! Just chew some leaves and drink copious amounts of tea. It's yummy.

Bare Paw

User avatar
Thorn Tree Refugee
Posts: 11
Joined: October 12th, 2004

Share on Orkut

  • Added on: May 28th, 2010
I did a report on this topic while in Pharmacy School. Diamox is stil the go-to med for Westerners, but the side effects can be bad. The dehydration it causes can be dangerous, especially if you are doing any hard climbing. As far as herbals go, ginkgo biloba has been shown to help, but make sure you are getting a quality preparation. Some brands sneak other herbs in that lower it's effectiveness. In South America, the coca plant is used in teas, or the leaves are chewed. This gives a mild dose of cocaine that helps with the effects of the elevation. There is no scientific evidence to support the Coca leaves, but many anecdotal reports. The addictive properties and legal issues should be taken into account as well.

Return to Health and Travel

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

PLEASE NOTE: Your original BootsnAll Boards Member login still works by logging in below on the Boards.
We have a new BootsnAll Account that you will start seeing around the BootsnAll Travel Network. This new login is not yet linked to your current Boards Account. In the meantime, you will need to sign up (for a BootsnAll Account) to use Account features like Indie ™ , Traveler Profiles etc.

Quick Links

Community Activity

Statistics for the last 7 days

New posts:
Newest Member:

Indie - Multi Country Flight Finder
Round the World Travelers

Join BootsnAll on Facebook

1 (503) 528-1005

© 2018 BootsnAll Travel Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.