Yes, the fires in California have been out of control lately, taking out houses, buildings, even power…luckily not too many lives from the flames but the smoke and toxic irritants are a serious health risk.
Why? Because smoke is made up of an amalgam of gases and fine particles produced when wood and other materials burn. The microscopic particles in the smoke are the biggest health threat. These tiny particles penetrate deep into your lungs. Immediate symptoms include burning eyes, cough, difficulty breathing, phlegm, runny nose, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
The symptoms can be immediate or take weeks to show up, so it is important to detox your body if you know you have been exposed. And if you live in most parts of California you’ve been exposed! Aggravated chronic heart and lung disease, emotional imbalance, fatigue, headaches, heavy breathing/respiratory discomfort, nausea, sore throat are some of the common effects to watch out for. Also not to scare you but exposure to particle pollution has even been linked to premature death.
To mitigate these effects:
Breath Clean Air:
–Stay indoors if possible and hang out near your air filter/purifier. If you don’t have one get one! I personally love my Airfree Onix 3000 Filterless Air Purifier…mainly because it works and is filterless…it works for up to 650 sq. ft. so you may require additional. I keep it in my bedroom for while I sleep ALWAYS, not just for these special times. There are a lot of other “smoke specific air filters” worth looking into that you can order on Amazon..some receive SAME DAY if you have Amazon Prime (bonus you don’t have to leave your home!) Another great option is the Molekule, yes pricey but many insurances cover after wildfires and it is important for your health.
–Do not increase the toxicity of the air by burning anything; no candles, no cigarettes(great time to quit), no incense, and obviously no fires. It is also a good idea to avoid toxic cleaning chemicals and fragrances(really you should not be using fragrances ever as they are endocrine disrupting but that is a separate issue, article on toxic products.)
Reduce Physical Activity & Stay Hydrated:
Do not do anything that will cause you to have to take extra breaths indoors or outdoors. It seems okay indoors and the air quality is better but the nanoparticles are everywhere.
Stay hydrated! Drinking ample amounts of water supports the bodies natural detoxification system.
Staying hydrated also means not doing things that dehydrate you. Abstaining from alcohol in these times could make a big difference in your recovery.
Intake Activated Charcoal:
Activated charcoal has been coming all of the rage and there’s a lot of reason why!
Activated charcoal is a potent natural treatment used to trap toxins and chemicals in the body, allowing them to be flushed out so the body doesn’t reabsorb them.
How does activated charcoal work?Activated charcoal works by trapping toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores. It doesn’t absorb the toxins, however. Instead, it works through the chemical process of adsorption. In the body, absorption is the reaction of elements, including nutrients, chemicals, and toxins, soaked up and assimilated into the bloodstream. Adsorption is the chemical reaction where elements bind to a surface. There is a lot more information out there about activated charcoal, this information sourced from Dr. Axe.
Products I highly recommend:
Daily Detox Charcoal Set a great new duo by Beauty Counter (a company dedicated to getting safer products into the hands of everyone!)I AM EMPOWERED Deodorant by VitaLife Organics (a product line dedicated to providing you organic, non-toxic multiple benefits-in-one including products that are vitamin, mineral, and reiki infused)
There are additional products ranging from toothpaste to tablets available on Amazon or your local retailer. You just want to be sure that the products you use are made from natural sources like coconut shells.
Chinese Medicine Modalities:
Acupuncture: Acupuncture is known to help alleviate headaches, eye and throat irritation, and sinus congestion. Several acupuncture points on the body along the chest and back can help stimulate lung health, reduce phlegm, and relax muscles that can become tight as a reflex from irritation of the air passages.
Cupping: Cupping helps to reduce asthma symptoms, coughing, and wheezing as well as aids in expanding the lungs. Expanding the lungs is helpful as it aids in eliminating harmful smoke particles out of the body.
Huang Qi also known as Astragalus powder(can add to liquid/make your own blend)
Gou Qi Zi also known as Goji Berries available online or at your local health store.
These herbs help nourish the lungs, enhance their function, as well as provide the gentle moisture needed to help eliminate the small particles that are aggravating their tissues. Herbs can be used during the fire exposure as well as after to help restore the damage to the lungs. A particularly common and powerful formula is combining Astragalus with Goji Berries.
Astragalus Goji Berry Lung Detox: Simmer a half cup of astragalus in 1 quart of water for 20 minutes, strain, and then add a half cup of goji berries while the water is still hot. Let it steep until cool enough to drink. You can then drink throughout the day. Once you drink you can snack on goji berries. Both herbs serve to enhance lung qi and function, but also provide nourishment and moisture/yin to relieve the dryness that the smoky particles cause, as well as give it a carrier to eliminate it from the lungs.
Vitamin C is a very important water-soluble antioxidant found in the respiratory system.
Vitamin B6 is beneficial for lung health. The body requires vitamin B6 for normal functioning of more than 60 different enzymes, some of which are directly involved in the respiratory system.
Magnesium is important now and always! Getting enough quality magnesium supplementation(best form is of the chelate family) is important because the muscles of the respiratory system impact how the lungs expand, meaning their capacity to trap air.
Take Care of Yourself:
No matter what you do, trust your body, be cautious and take extra good care of yourself. Your immune system is currently being compromised so be sure to eat healthily and stay positive.