Many of us are affected by smoke-filled, hazy and dusty skies over much of our country at the moment due to drought and bushfires.
Bushfire smoke can especially cause problems, being a mix of gases and fine particles from burning vegetation, building materials, and other materials.
Smoke and dust inhalation can be serious if you have a respiratory condition. Even if you are generally healthy, an atmosphere heavy with dust and smoke can also make you sick.
Symptoms can include:
• Trouble breathing normally
• Stinging eyes
• A scratchy throat
• Runny nose
• Irritated sinuses
• Wheezing and shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• An asthma attack
The first thing to do is to avoid the smoke or dust by staying inside, or wrapping a moist cloth around your mouth and nose when you do need to go outside.
There are also quite a few natural approaches you can try to ease the symptoms.
Many of these work by supporting your respiratory system to flush out smoke, fine particles and dust from breathing passages, lungs and sinuses. Some aim to provide rapid anti-inflammatory relief to reduce swelling, while others have an anti-allergy action or strengthen the immune system.
But please, if symptoms do start to get severe or you suffer from asthma, do see your doctor as soon as possible.
Here are some natural approaches to try:
1. Drink plenty of water and fluids to stay hydrated.
2. Use a humidifier or vaporiser with essential oils eucalyptus, orange oil and/or lavender oil.
3. Helpful foods to include in your diet include pineapple, ginger, garlic and onions.
4. Irrigate the nasal passages with salt water, using a neti pot.
5. Supplement with vitamins A, C, E,; quercetin, bromelain and Zinc.
6. Ginger and turmeric tea; and slippery elm with warm water (slippery elm can help coat the mucous membranes to protect against fine particle irritation).
7. Herbs such as Solidago canadensis (goldenrod), Armoracia rusticana (Horseradish) and Echineacea purpurea - available from your naturopath or herbalist - are particularly good for sinus congestion caused by smoke.
8. Balance your gut flora with a good quality probiotic to strengthen immunity.
9. Ensure intake of omega 3 (fish oil).
10. “Breathe Easy” Australian Bush Flower Remedy and also the Bach Flower Remedy “Rescue Remedy”. These two remedies are also safe to give to affected animals and children (pop a few drops in their drinking water).
As always, if symptoms continue and you need more support, I’d love to help.
Book in for a consultation to get started.
Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist