Protect Your Lungs During CA Fires

We are heartbroken for those who’s families or homes are affected by the California fires.

As wildfires continue to rage, residents may be dealing with smoke for days or even weeks. We have some self-care tips for surviving the poor air quality that seems to be becoming a more frequent phenomenon here in the Bay Area. Protecting yourself is particularly important for pregnant women, kids, elderly and those who suffer from asthma, allergies or cardiovascular disease.

  • Firstly, try to stay indoors and reduce physical activity to lower intake of air pollutants. During exercise we take increase air intake by 10-20 percent.

  • Use a particulate respirator to protect your lungs while outdoors. It should have the word “NIOSH” and either “N95” or “P100” printed on it. You have to change them out every day if possible, so get a few per person in your family.

  • Avoid using an open window to circulate air, instead use a central air unit if you’ve got one, as it contains a filter. An air purifier for your home is also a good idea. HEPA filter air cleaners range in price but you don’t have to spend a mint. Here is an in-depth review by Wirecutter of the best air purifiers.

  • Cultivate house plants that naturally purify the air, such as english ivy, peace lily and bamboo palm.

  • Drink peppermint, chamomile or turmeric tea.

  • Nourish your lungs and clear inflammation with a delicious pear and ginger decoction daily:

    Cut up one pear and a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger. Cover with water in a pot and simmer for 20 minutes. It should develop a thicker, more syrup-like consistency.

    Strain and drink liquid. Eat the pear as well if you’d like.

  • Incorporate stress relief by using a free meditation app such as Insight Timer

  • If you are having allergy or asthma flare up’s, consider getting acupuncture and a customized herbal formula to help.