The smoke in the valley is no joke this summer. I could barely see the mountains today when I woke up, and we live right at the foot of Mt. Emily!
- Stay indoors, with windows & doors closed
- Use air filters indoors 24/7 – HEPA is best
- If you have the AC on, set it to the “air recirculation” setting (at home or in the car)
- Drive with your windows rolled up
- Shower and change into clean clothes when you get home
- Exert yourself while you’re outside
- Vacuum – it stirs up dust particules in your home and you end up breathing in more, not less
- Smoke or burn things inside your home (including candles, cigarettes, marijuana, incense, etc.)
- Wear a dust mask for protection – these are designed to keep out larger particles, but the small particles from forest fire smoke will get through anyway. A better bet is to wear an “N95″ or “P100″ Disposable Particulate Respirator. Click here for more guidelines on which respirators to buy. In the La Grande area, these are available at ACE Hardware and D&B Supply.
Supplements to Support Your Body Right Now:
Nature’s Pantry has these in stock if you’re in the La Grande area.
Detoxification (and Cofactors)
- This will help support your overall health, of course, but there are also a lot of pathways in your body that are working overtime to prevent damage from all this smoke inhalation. Many of those pathways can only function properly if they have enough B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and selenium. So take a quality multi that will give your body all the goods it needs to keep things functioning how they’re supposed to right now!!
- As I said above, B vitamins are essential to a lot of your body’s natural detoxification routes, which are being overloaded with all this smoke in the air. If you have a good B vitamin on hand, this is the time to be taking it!
- N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)
- This is safe for adults and kids alike. NAC is a molecule that aids in the main detoxification pathway of your body. It also helps break up mucus congestion, so if the smoke is affecting your lungs and breathing, you should definitely be taking NAC right now!
- The standard adult dose is 600 mg by mouth, 3x/day. If you already have lung issues, continue this through the smoky season.
Smoke particles cause “oxidative stress” to your blood vessels and cells, which means that they’re actively being damaged when you breathe in smoke – this can keep your cells from being able to function normally!
Oxidative stress is one of the main ways that your body gets injured when you have heart disease, diabetes, or even cancer. The “antidote,” if you will, to oxidative stress, is ANTIOXIDANTS.
Your body naturally has a ton of antioxidants that are working around the clock to keep your cells from being damaged – but in times like these, taking extra doses can really help! That being said, here are two of the top-player antioxidants in your body that you should be taking additional doses of right now:
- Reduced glutathione
- The #1 antioxidant in your body. There is a lot of glutathione in your lungs, where it works to process all the toxic or harmful particles that you breathe in. When there’s this much smoke in the air, your glutathiones are doing double-duty, and there may not be enough to go around! This is where taking a glutathione supplement can be SO helpful to help boost your body’s natural resources and take care of those toxins! This is especially true if you have any underlying liver issues. You can also get building blocks for glutathione in foods like: onion, garlic, kale, cabbage, and broccoli.
- A standard adult dose is 100 mg by mouth, 2x/day.
- Vitamin C
- This is one of your body’s most widely-used antioxidants. Vitamin C helps prevent the damage to blood vessels that can occur when you inhale smoke – this is particularly important for anyone who has an underlying heart condition!
- The recommended dose of vitamin C is highly individual. If you take “too much” vitamin C it won’t hurt you, but your body will start to get rid of the excess. You’ll know when this happens because you’ll start to get diarrhea or looser stools. So the right amount of vitamin C is the dose where you’re just on the edge of getting loose stools. In the medical world, we call this taking vitamin C “to bowel tolerance.”
- For adults, start with a dose of 2000 mg by mouth, and take an extra 1000 mg every hour or so until you begin to get loose stools.
All of these teas listed below have herbs that will:
- Protect your respiratory tract
- Soothe sore throats and coughs
- Break up any mucus congestion in your sinuses or chest
Throat Coat by Traditional Medicinals is my all-time fav, but there are several other good-quality teas that have a similar mixture of herbs, including:
- Breathe Easy by Traditional Medicinals
- Throat Comfort by Yogi Teas
- Breathe Deep by Yogi Teas
- Breathing Space by Choice Wellness
- Throat Cozy by Choice Wellness
And by the way – these all make delicious *iced* teas, if hot tea in the summer isn’t your thing.