9 Natural Remedies for Smoke Inhalation
The smoke from the historic Woolsey and Camp Fires out here in California is a very dramatic, visual representation of the toxic burden our lungs deal with from not having clean air to breathe, and all that smoke is traveling across the United States to affect millions of people - whether you can smell the smoke or not. Check out the map below.
The invisible particulates and chemicals land in your lungs and cause inflammation and decrease your body’s ability to take in oxygen. The stress causes damage that can last decades.
If you are currently dealing with the smoke from the fires or even if you live in a big city or industrial area of the country, these simple natural remedies for smoke inhalation can support healing and healthy lungs and sinuses.
START WITH PREVENTION
First and foremost, take precautions to stop as many particulates as you can from entering your lungs.
Wear a mask when you go outside and make sure it is at least N95. The N95 designation means the respirator blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) test particles. A bandanna or surgical mask won’t stop the tiniest particulates from entering your lungs. Wear it very tightly to your faces and check for gaps. Note: if you have facial hair you might not be able to seal out enough of the particles. It is important to protect your lungs from the very beginning by avoiding as many particulates as you can!
Filter the air in your home. Don’t cycle in outside air if you are using an air conditioner. You can make your own DIY air filter that’s highly effective at removing particulates from the air. It’s is easy and it works!
Now, what do you do about all the particles you do end up breathing in?
First, tell yourself - out loud if you need to - that your body was made to heal. It’s going to do everything it can to clear these particulates. You just want to do as much as you can to support its efforts.
Here are are our top suggestions.
USE LAVENDER OIL
Lavender oil can strengthen your respiratory tract and soothe it. Add 2 drops to a diffuser, rub on a aromatherapy jewelry, or drop into a hot bowl of water and inhale the steam.
GET NAC AMINO ACID SUPPORT
Look for a high quality NAC supplement. It is a modified amino acid and healing antioxidant that can make mucus easier to clear by breaking it down.
It sounds so simple - too simple - but we never drink enough in general and when you breath in smoke and the microscopic particles, water helps your body flush those from your system easier.
DRINK NETTLE TEA
It is a calming action that has stress-reliving benefits and it is also a natural antihistamine that will help calm over sensitive airways and soothe inflamed tissue.
EAT EXTRA CITRUS
Citrus fruits have immune boosting vitamin C and bioflavonoids that have anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties that help calm airways back down.
Garlic actually helps reduce phlegm and can have an anti-inflammatory effect. It’s easy to add to salads, soups, and vegetables. Honestly, Heather’s husband Matt will just peal a clove, cut it in a few pieces, and swallow it!
Carrots contain beta-carotene, which has anti-viral action and can help heal the mucous membranes. Other beta-carotene rich foods to include are pumpkin, squash, and sweet potato.
SIP GREEN TEA
This beverage is abundant in antioxidants that help to reduce airway inflammation.
These berries contain anti-inflammatory flavonoids that keep airways healthy and functioning optimally. Studies show it can ward off respiratory infections.
As you can see, there are many natural remedies you can use to support your body’s healing from smoke and smog exposure. These natural remedies for smoke inhalation that you can do at home support lungs and sinuses to help recovery and healing happen faster!