How to Detox After Wildfire Smoke Inhalation

wildfire-smoke-air-face-maskFor much of the west coast, wildfire smoke inhalation is unavoidable. This was especially true in the Los Angeles County and Ventura County area, where the wind-fueled blazes still burns acres of land.

Detoxing after smoke exposure is essential to your long-term and short term health. Detox solutions can include:

  1. Drinking LOTS of Water
  2. Drinking Hot Liquids
  3. Using a Saline Nasal Spray
  4. Rinsing Your Sinuses with a Neti Pot
  5. Breathing in Steam with Thyme
  6. Receiving a Vitamin Rich IV Drip
  7. Loading Your Diet with Ginger
  8. Increasing Your Vitamin C Intake
  9. Upping Your Glutathione Levels

We have all been encouraged to stay indoors. Some heeded these warnings. Some individuals fled to less smoky environments. And, some folks attempted to cover their faces with cloths or mask. Unfortunately, if you were here when the fires began, you were most likely exposed.

The concern with the exposure isn’t so much getting a large fleck of ash in your eye. Yes, smoke exposure can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like irritated sinuses, eye irritation, and shortness of breath. However, the real concern is the fine particles.

Jane Greenhalgh explained in her recent NPR article, ‘Is All That Wildfire Smoke Damaging My Lungs?’ it’s the, “particulate matter that’s 2.5 microns or less in diameter — that are the biggest health hazard. They’re so small you can’t see them.

Here are nine tips to help you detox and protect your lung from long-term damage after wildfire smoke inhalation:

1. Water. Drink LOTS of Water

Drink water. Drink LOTS of water. This is not a new mantra. It’s not a revolutionary tip. You’ve probably heard it hundreds of times before. Unfortunately, the vast majority of individuals are dehydrated. This is particularly an issue when you’re trying to detox after the harmful effects of fire.

Wildfire smoke inhalation causes microscopic particles to get trapped in your lungs. They can get into your bloodstream. And, they can travel throughout your body contaminate other organs.

Water helps flush these particles from your system. Ten, 8-ounce glasses of water is a good target in general. If you’re detoxing, aim to increase this intake to 12 or 14 glasses.

2. Drink Hot Liquids

Cilia are a short eyelash-like filament that covers the tissue of cells. When operating correctly, they beat in unison, creating a current that can move particles throughout the body (via Encyclopedia Britannica).

When there is a decrease in air quality, it can cause the cilium (plural for cilia) to stop moving. Hot liquids can encourage the cilium to start moving again. This can promote the movement (and removal) of mucous and saliva, which often contains high levels of contaminants.

Bonus Tip: A good ‘hot liquid’ drink can be made by steeping Slippery Elm and Marshmallow Root in hot water. These two herbs support, moisten, and relax the fragile tissues in your mouth, throat, and lungs.

3. Use a Saline Nasal Spray

It’s easy for smoke exposure to cause irritated sinuses, irritation to the eyes, and shortness of breath. A saline nasal spray can help you moisten and soothe the inside of your nose. This can promote the expulsion of foreign matter and provide immediate relief.

4. Rinse Sinus with a Neti Pot

Think of a neti pot as a nasal spray on steroids. In short – a neti pot allows you to perform a thorough, natural nasal rinse. It helps you remove foreign substances. When you’re exposed to smoke, pollutants can easily get trapped in your nasal passage. If allowed to remain, they can easily travel to the lungs and cause additional issues.

Generally, a rinsing with a neti pot can reduce congestion and improve symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and dry nasal passages.

5. Breathe Steam with Thyme

Thyme has a wide variety of benefits, including:

  • Anti- Microbial
  • Anti-Viral
  • Anti-Fungal

Breathing a steam, rich with thyme, can help expel foreign substances, clear passageways, and reduce the irritation level of your sinuses. The simplest way to create thyme-filled steam is to add 1 – 2 TBS of thyme to a large bowl. Pour in boiling water. Lower your head so it’s inches from the hot water. Cover head and bowl with a large towel, trapping steam under the towel. Breathe deeply for 1 – 2 minutes. Repeat as needed.

6. Receive a Vitamin Rich IV Drip

IV drip therapy allows you to give your body a huge boost of the key vitamins and minerals it needs to function at its peak. Depending on your doctor, they can help you a specific cocktail to meet your individual needs.

7. Load Your Diet with Ginger

Ginger is another fabulous, natural detoxifier. Not only does it contain chemical compounds that help the lungs function, ginger improves blood circulation. Plus, ginger is downright delicious.

It’s great in stir-fries, dressings, and marinades. Ginger can also be sliced and steeped in hot water to make a ginger tea. You may want to add a little lemon juice and honey to temper the flavor, as it can be very intense.

8. Up Your Vitamin C

Another natural antioxidant is Vitamin C. During the late fall and early winter, satsumas and pomegranates offer an easy and delicious way to add more Vitamin C to your diet. You may also consider a daily vitamin supplement.

9. Up Your Glutathione Levels

Glutathione is another natural antioxidant. It supports the production of cellular energy and can help protect your DNA from oxidative damage (a common side effect of smoke exposure).

Get Help

Our pharmacists are prepared to help you detox and restore your health. Please contact The Compounding Pharmacy of Beverly Hills to learn more.

 

Sourced by: Tru Health Medicine

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