As we continue to face the days ahead with smoke-filled air, here are some tips for keeping your lungs as safe as possible.
First and foremost: stay indoors as much as possible. Keep windows closed and ideally have an air filter running, especially if you live in a drafty home. If you don’t have an air filter- you can make one using a box-fan with a furnace filter (20”x20”).
Here’s a link for more details on the DIY air filter: http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/sinus-hepa-0630
Using a humidifier at home will also offset the dry air.
If you need to be outside for an extended amount of time, wear a mask. Either N95 or P100 are recommended for smoke particulates. If you have already been exposed to smoke, make sure to shower and use a neti-pot or saline wash through your sinuses to remove particulates.
Keep your lungs and throat moist. The lungs are known as the “delicate organ” in Chinese medicine; the best protection the body has for its lungs is keeping them moist. What we consume affects the moisture level in out body. A few of the best foods for generating fluids in the lungs are honey, licorice, and pears, so stock up on these and consume generously. Traditional Medicinals’ Throat Coat tea is perfect to sip on throughout the day: http://www.traditionalmedicinals.com/products/throat-coat/
For your little ones, give them a couple of teaspoons of Elderberry syrup (preferably made with honey) per day to help keep their lungs coated. Avoid foods that are heating and drying on the body; this includes spicy food and coffee. Instead, consume more moistening foods, such as soups, broths, and juices. If you feel your eyes being affected by the smoke, Chrysanthemum tea is great for relieving dry and itchy eyes. You can pick some up from our neighbors, Alembique Apothecary.
And last but not least, if you notice your symptoms are started to progress from exposure, we are here to help! Acupuncture is helpful for boosting your immune system and we have herbs and lozenges on hand to help your lungs and sinuses recover.
All the best, Deanna Tasi L.Ac.