Author: Lily Mazzarella
Protecting yourself from smoke, with things you may have in your house:
First, keep your house a safe zone. If your house has old drafty windows like mine you'll want to run your hands over the closures to feel if air is coming in. If so, use weather stripping, tape, or draft blockers (sand in stocking works) to shore up the window or door.⠀
Use an air purifier, HEPA is best; do NOT use ozone generating models! This can actually make the air you're breathing more dangerous. Run it on high, round the clock! If you only have one, you may want to close the doors in the room where it's running and stay there.
Don't cook indoors anything that might create smoke or particulate (frying, broiling, high heat cooking) as this just adds to the air burden. And, you don't want to be turning on exhaust fans as many bathroom and stove fans pull air from the outside in. No good.
Do you have Eucalyptus or Lavender essential oil? Eucalyptus can help struggling airways relax, while Lavender helps decrease stress and anxiety. Having something PLEASANT to smell in the air redirects the limbic response from hyper vigilance about the smoke. Boil water, place in bowl and add the oils to diffuse them into the air (and add moisture!). You can also give yourself a steam by throwing a towel over your head and the bowl—just be careful not to burn yourself! Eucalyptus radiata is safest for children.
Stay VERY hydrated to give your mucous membranes the best shot at protecting you (and not getting sick). If you have a good multi at home and you've fallen off of it, get back on! And take extra magnesium and vitamin C. These are safe for kids but can cause some diarrhea if given in excess. Zinc lozenges are also a great thing to be taking now, but make sure you or your kids have eaten first or nausea can occur.
Easy to find teas that can help sore throats, respiratory congestion/tightness, and stress. Traditional Medicinals Licorice root (yes, @thescarletsage!!), Breath Easy, Throat Coat and Easy Now are among my favorites. They have children's teas and it is so important to take care of those little nervous systems, lungs and tummies! They know what’s going on and its hitting them hard, even if they don’t say it. You can also make teas from kitchen herbs like ginger, thyme, sage, rosemary, turmeric and honey. Lemon and organic citrus peel is also full of antioxidants that help protect your cells from this mess and this stress. Turmeric, ginger, lemon + peel and honey is delicious and helps support liver clearance of nasty stuff.
The dis-stress piece is so key!! Stress and trauma can turn on and off genes involved in cellular metabolism and detox. If you have any nervines, dig them up and start taking them. Do you have bags of chamomile tea? Take like, four of them, and cover them in a 16 ounce mason jar with boiling water. COVER the tea while it steeps, and then drink a few times a day.
Pregnant people, there's a lot you can do with food and herbs!! Some safe bets herb-wise: Chamomile, Marshmallow, Ginger, Citrus Peel, Nettles, Reishi, …..give us a call at Farmacopia for a free chat or a custom blend for whatever you’re experiencing. You want to practice more strict avoidance since you have another developing creature on board, but remember that your body is built to keep that baby safe!
More soon, but in the meantime, love to all out there experiencing this extreme stress and trauma. Our hearts go out to the people who have lost homes and lives and businesses, to the trees and the animals. To the firefighters in such danger. Arrow-like intentions for wise practices and protection from smoke, fire and #45.
Photo by Mike Aliason