how to support lung health during fire season - my top 5 recommendations
This past week has been horrendous on the west coast of the United States. Fires up and down California, Oregon and Washington (plus fires in the other twelve western states) and a thick blanket of smoke that few were spared from. It was something I've never experienced, and as a California native I have been through a number of fire seasons.
As smoke clouded my area for over a week, with friends calling to check in and update me about the air quality I strongly that I wanted to support my lungs with herbal remedies and supplements.
Typically these herbs and supplements are something I would recommend for upper respiratory tract infections, however, smoke exposure can cause just that, or something similar. Our airways are infiltrated with particulate matter that can become lodged, leading to an infection. It's important to wear a mask when air quality is low and to consider home remedies you can do to support your body.
1. Old Indian Cherry Bark Syrup
With herbs like yerba santa, jie geng (platycodon) and mullein (just to name a few) this is great for supporting lung health. Touted for upper respiratory tract health, these herbs will help clear heat and gunk from the lungs. I enjoy the adult formula as well as the kids formula (a little sweeter) and have been carrying it with me, making sure to take a dose or two a day.
2. Elderberry Syrup
Elderberry syrup has been shown to enhance the immune system as well as have a direct affect on lungs and the upper respiratory tract by loosening congestion. These two syrups also feel really soothing to my throat as the heat and smoke has left if feeling dry and slightly irritated.
3. Vit C
Antioxidants are great to help the body clear oxidative stress that is caused by smoke. It can also enhance the immune system. I recommend 2,000-4,000 mg per day. I also recommend Vit C in liposomal form, meaning it's suspended in a liquid. It is easier for the body to assimilate Vitamin C in this form.
4. Fish Oil or Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Vegan form)
Omega 3s and fish oils hep the body reduce and control inflammation. When exposed to wildfires and smoke the body is inundated with contaminants that cause the body stress. Though it's a different mechanism of action than Vit C, Omega 3s and fish oils reduce inflammation. I take both supplements because they have different mechanisms of action, widening the reach of their therapeutic actions.
5. Bach's Rescue Remedy Flower Essences
My homeopath reminded me about Bach's Rescue Remedy flower essences formula. Tried and true, this is a great remedy for stress. Whether it be the immediate cause of losing a home to a wildfire or worrying about the potential for fire, supporting our spirit with Rescue Remedy is recommended. I like the pastilles and usually keep a can in my car or in my purse. However, they have a spray as well as formulas for sleep. I recommend taking the dosage on the bottle. Flower essences, like homeopathy, is gentle and subtle, yet dosage awareness is important.
I have included a link to my online supplement dispensary through FullScript below (see that little box that says Fullscript Place Order). You can shop for these products (and more) at a discount and have them shipped directly to your door. If you have trouble accessing FullScript please send me an email here and we will get you situated. In the protocol called "Lung Health and Stress Support for Wildfires" I added a vegan version of Omega 3s (normally fish oil is popular) and both the adult and children's formula for the cherry bark syrup, so please look closely. Don't hesitate to comment or email with questions.
May all of our upper respiratory tracts thrive during this fire season.