Tourist’s experience: healthcare in foreign countries – Germany


In 2010 my family spent 12 days in Germany and Austria. The trip was enjoyable and very educational.

Naturally I was searching for some shops that sell essential oils. To my total frustration the only place where I’ve seen essential oils sold was at the opened market. Well… The sign proclaimed in German and English to sell 100% pure essential oils, but was a disappointment as all bottles had the same price and size and did not smell right.

Than, because of the German weather, I discovered something interesting. The weather was definitely against me spending a peaceful vacation. Well… I found the hard way that our mellow North Carolinian 40-60 Fahrenheit is definitely not the German or Austrian 40-60 Fahrenheit. It is bloody cold and feels more like -50F.

So after spending a couple of hours in the streets, unprotected from the icy gusts of wind (that locals claimed to smell of spring), my sinus gave up. When I finally managed to get to my supply of essential oils it was too late. The waterfall from my nose could have easily run a small turbine to power a decent size mall. The breathing was impossible.

I gave up and decided to submit myself to the wonders of western medicine. I do not like nasal prays – my nose hurts after just one application. But it was that or drowning. So I went to the pharmacy.

Pharmacies in Germany and Austria are very different from what we are used to in the USA. This is not a place to buy milk or totally poisonous snack bars. This is a place to buy meds. I was greeted by the pharmacist in white coat. She asked what bothers me and after I managed to explain my problem between a few gulps for fresh air, she immediately suggested a nasal spray by the German company.

I do not like nasal sprays. But this one was different. After I was able to breathe again I looked at the label. Not sure what surprised me more, the absence of usual pain or the list of ingredients: in addition to medicine it included essential oils.

Being as curious as a cat I continued my short research finding to my total amazement that many medicines contain natural products. Like, for example, the diarrhea remedy that included healthy stomach flora. What a simple idea.

One thing is to read that European countries spend less on health care (which is free in the EU) because of integration with complimentary medicine. Another one is to experience it or walk the streets and read advertisements of doctors’ offices that offered among other things: chiropractic services, Chi Gong, meditation and homeopathy.

As to the natural question about how much free healthcare costs to consumer the answer might “shock”. The income tax rate in Germany is around 40%. It might seam a lot, but it includes: free health care, free school education, free collage education (you just pay 500 Euros a year), unemployment payments of 100% of your last salary for a year, pensions, care of historical sites (and it is a lot in Germany), excellent affordable public transportation and smooth roads (Germany is #3 country after the USA and China in roads length), and numerous social programs.

So how long we are in the USA plan to re-invent the wheel?

Browse our essential oils collection and buy online.


About Marina Lando

Marina Lando, MS, Reiki Master Teacher, Certified Aromatherapist, and the author of "Dynamic Healing, a practitioner's guide to Reiki applications" Marina Lando is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider. She is the founder af Harmony Life, locally owned healing Reiki center and academy in Cary, NC. The center offers wide range of healing modalities: Medical Reiki, Clinical Aromatherapy, Ayurvedic treatments, Infrared Sauna in Cary. Marina offer classes and workshops: Reiki I-III Certification and Reiki Maste - 10 CE credits for massage therapists, Aromatherapy, Chakra System, Dynamic Healing workshops (where she teaches Reiki Protocols she developped) - 16 CE credits for massage therapists She studied complimentary medicine with her grandmother since the age of seven and continued her education in natural healing techniques through adult life. Her current practice includes Medical Reiki , Aromatherapy and Guided meditation.