Here in Southern Oregon it feels like most of the summer has been smoky and we’ve been robbed of our days on the water and hikes–boo. We watch our air quality apps to gauge how much time we spend outside (if at all!) because we know breathing poor quality air can have long-lasting effects on our lungs and worsen chronic heart problems and possibly even affect your brain and fertility.
Despite being careful about time spent outdoors, we know here on the west coast we are still breathing in those particles at some point. Here are a few ways to help reduce the stress on your body and keep things operating optimally.
**Reminder: these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA (because they’re SOOOOO trustworthy). This page is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this page is not intended to replace proper medical help. Consult with the healthcare authority of your choice and remember–you always have a choice.**
Run a HEPA air purifier (or two) in your home and make sure your home air filters are no more than 3 months old. If you live where it’s been smoky for a long time consider changing it more frequently. In 2020 during the Almeda Fire, all air purifiers were out of stock so people used box fans with a home air filter duct taped to the front of it. People I knew who did this said they could see all the dust and particles building up on the filter as proof it was working! We now keep an extra 2-4 filters on hand at all times. This might seem obvious, but still worth mentioning (and this pic is of the purifier we have and we love it).
Use your diffuser! Throw some Raven, R.C., Eucalyptus (any type!), Lavender, Ravintsara, or Pine into your diffuser and breathe deep. Myrtle and Roman chamomile are other great oils to diffuse (and smell so yummy!). Inhaling those oil molecules deep into your lungs can provide a lot of support.
We also like to rub Breathe Again, R.C., or Raven on our upper chest and backs or on the Vitaflex points for lungs on the soles of our feet.
*I do recommend turning your air purifier off while diffusing or using it in a different room–no need for those oils to go to waste!*
Take a detox bath. Regardless of wildfire smoke, our bodies are constantly accumulating toxins from our environment, products, food, and water. Regular detox baths help you body out.
I follow a detox bath recipe from a friend who is trained in lymphatic detox release:
4 cups Epsom Salts
4 cups Baking Soda
4 cups Hydrogen Peroxide
I add a few drops of lavender, cypress, or eucalyptus to the epsom salts before stirring them into the water. Soak for 20-30 minutes and drink a LOT of water–just go ahead a take a glass in there with you!
Why these ingredients?
Epsom Salt: It’s is rich in magnesium & sulfate, which are easily absorbed through the skin & aid in detoxification. It acts as a broad spectrum cleanser, clearing lymphatic congestion, removing some heavy metals and helping remove residual radiation & chemical exposures. Of course, it’s a smooth muscle relaxant & helps with muscle strain & pain. Epsom salts help replenish the body’s magnesium levels, which combats hypertension. It also induces sweating! They create a dense bathwater, and osmotic pressure pulls toxin-laden fluids out of the body.
Baking Soda: It’s a drawing agent that’s known for it’s cleansing abilities, and even has anti-fungal properties. It helps neutralize chemicals like chlorine, & increases mineral absorption. It also naturally alkaline, which aids in removing toxins. (ALL disease needs an acidic environment to live!)
Hydrogen Peroxide: Of all the ways to oxygenate the body, this is the easiest & cheapest. By cleansing & purifying our skin, our bodies are more equipped to better eliminate toxins. Peroxide can help destroy toxins, organisms & even pulls out the residue left by soaps & other (toxic) body products. It’s also antibacterial and antiviral.
If you feel lightheaded time to get out of the bath and rinse off with a lukewarm or cool shower.
Drink your water and add some lemon vitality. Water seems like a no-brainer but we often need a reminder to keep sipping through the day to stay hydrated and keep flushing our systems.
Adding lemon or another citrus vitality essential oil to your water can help support your lymphatic system which clears away toxins and waste and is part of your immune system.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation. Sounds fancy, but basically–it’s exercise! A quick search will yield lots of articles and videos on specifics for this, but exercise–both aerobic and anaerobic–aid in conditioning your diaphragm and making your lungs more efficient.
This seems like common sense but exercise in clean air–not where it’s smoky.
Herbal teas that can offer support are slippery elm, marshmallow root, licorice root, peppermint, or lobelia. Chamomile also makes a soothing tea to drink and an eyewash for irritated eyes.
Mushrooms turkey tail and ashwagandha are also great for supporting your immune system.
Take care of your liver. Those particles that you inhale and are small enough to pass through your lungs and into your bloodstream will be filtered by your liver. Eating fresh, whole foods–particularly those that are not inflammatory–provides your body with the tools it needs to eliminate toxins and regenerating itself. Foods like garlic, onions, and broccoli help increase enzyme activity–refined sugars can lower it.
Essential oils that can help support the liver are JuvaFlex Vitality, JuvaCleanse Vitality, GLF (gallbladder/liver function) Vitality, Orange Vitality, Ledum Vitality, Celery Seed Vitality, Lemon Vitality, Carrot Seed Vitality, and Cardamom Vitality. These can be taken in a vegetable capsule or drank in water–I love lemon in my water or you can put it in hot water with lemon to make a tea.
Supplements that are fantastic at supporting a healthy liver are JuvaTone Tablets, JuvaPower, Longetivity Softgels, and Sulfurzyme.
These are some foundational ways to help support your body on ANY day, but especially during prolonged exposure to wildfire smoke. Your body is constantly regenerating itself–it’s important to provide it with the best building blocks to do so.
Resources I used included The Essential Oils Desk Reference, 6th Edition by Life Science Publishing, Ultimate Balance: Infusing Vibrational Energy of Essential Oils into Chakras, Meridians and Organs by LeAnne Deardeuff, DC, Natural Detoxification: A Practical Encyclopedia, The Complete Guide to Clearing Your Body of Toxins by Jacqueline Krohn, MD, & Frances Taylor, MA, and The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies: The Healing Power of Plant Medicine by Nicole Apelian, Ph.D, and Claude Davis.