Protect Your Lungs
Apothecai is a California based company, and we are heartbroken over the devastating fires that continue to ravage our state and our communities. At the time of writing, wildfires have decimated over 800,000 acres of land and the number of victims continues to grow.
This phenomenon is likely to become a growing concern. If experts and scientists are correct, wildfire conditions are linked to climate change and will only increase as rains diminish and temperatures rise. “The concern is that this is the new normal,” says John Balmes, a member of the California Air Resources Board and a physician at UC Berkeley.
For Californians, it’s never been more important to protect our lungs from the effects of air pollution; cities in Northern California measured the worst air quality on the planet for most of this week. For all of us, diminishing air quality is a global concern that can reduce the average life expectancy by 1.8 years.
How Air Pollution Affects Health
Numerous scientific studies have linked exposure to polluted air to a variety of health concerns:
º Increased respiratory problems from coughing to difficulty breathing
º Decreased lung function
º Aggravated asthma;
º Development of chronic bronchitis
º Irregular heartbeat
º Non-fatal heart attacks
º Premature death in people with heart or lung disease
We may not even realize we are breathing in affected air. Small, microscopic particles pose the greatest threat by getting deep into our lungs and entering the bloodstream, affecting lung and heart health. Larger particles—those greater than 10 micrometers—can irritate the eyes, nose and throat.
Globally, particulate pollution reduces life expectancy more than tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and smoking cigarettes.
Who’s At Risk
People with pre-existing heart or lung conditions are most at risk, along with older adults and children. Healthy people may not notice any immediate symptoms but in high risk areas like the current Bay Area, sinus infections and coughs are not uncommon, even among the most robust of the population.
Hazardous particles can be carried over long distances by wind, impacting communities far from actual fires.
º Lakes and streams become more acidic
º Nutrient balance fluctuates and shifts in coastal waters and large river basins
º Soil is depleted of nutrients
º Sensitive forests and farm crops are damaged
º The diversity of ecosystems is threatened
º Rain can become toxic and acidic
A strong immune system is crucial in guarding against poor air quality.
Protect yourself from the inside out. ENVIRON-METAL DETOX is a powerful immune strengthener that combines Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) and seaweed kelp to target and eliminate heavy metals and environmental toxins from the body.
Reduce exposure. Stay inside and keep car windows up. Wear a good quality pollution mask outside when the Air Quality Index reaches a score of 101. We recommend Makrite N95.
Invest in an air filter. We love Molekule.
These Chinese herbs will help cleanse and protect the lungs. You can decoct them into a tea, take them in tincture form, or diffuse them in your home or car.
Elecampagne is a lung expectorant and decongestant that works to clean the lungs internally.
Peppermint is an antihistamine that soothes the respiratory tract.
Lobelia works has an anti-spasmodic for severe cough and bronchitis relief.
Eucalyptus and oregano work to soothe the lungs and make breathing easier.
You can find good quality organic dried herbs at a local co-op, farmers market or online.
Vitamins and Mineral
Vitamin E (200 IU of mixed tocopherols including gamma)
Beta carotene (7,500 to 10,000 IU)
Vitamin C (300 to 500 mg)
Quercetin (100 mg) fights environmental allergens.
CoQ10 (100 to 200 mg) stabilize membranes and disarms free radicals.
Diet and Acupuncture
Avoid dairy and heavy foods that are hard to digest. Choose fruits such as pear and persimmon to moisten the lungs and combat dryness.
Studies have shown that acupuncture can support breathing and lung function in people with serious lung conditions such as COPD and asthma, and have a direct effect on reducing lung symptoms and improving overall lung health. As a practitioner, I can attest to the healing power of a session, even as a way to combat the stress and sadness that can feel overwhelming in the face of crisis and chaos.
How To Help
For fellow Californians, all of us at Apothecai are wishing you and your families a safe passage through the tragic time.
Photo by Dominik Lange on Unsplash
- Men's Health,
- Nature Conservation,
- Self Care,
- Women's Health,