In nature, wildfires are actually a normal, necessary component of the ecosystem – part of the life-cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. Where humans are concerned, however, fires are one of the most destructive and dangerous disasters for our physical communities and possessions as well as our health.
If you are already susceptible or suffering from respiratory conditions or allergies this is a likely time for a flare, but the poor air quality can trigger symptoms for anyone, especially pregnant women, new moms, children, and the elderly.
Some Conditions exacerbated by Polluted, Dry, Hot Air include:
- Asthma and Allergies
- Eczema and other skin conditions
- Cough, Sneezing, runny or bloody nose
- Sore or scratchy throat
- Nausea, loss of appetite
- Fatigue, insomnia
- Headaches, migraines
- Monitor air quality at sites such as The South Coast Air Quality Management District site that provides hourly updates on local conditions.
- Minimize time outdoors on smoky days, and avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
- Seek air conditioning, and if possible choose the re-circulated air option on your personal unit.
- Don’t rely on dust masks found at the hardware store as they are designed for large particle than is present in smoke.
Preventative medicine- This a perfect opportunity to be pro-active in protecting your family’s health.
- Be prepared – If you are susceptible to any of the conditions listed above, be sure to have a good herbal formula or some reliable supplements on hand to fend off the conditions before they become full-blown.
- Stay hydrated - Drink plenty of water. For optimal absorption, add a pinch of high quality sea salt and a squeeze of lemon to insure that the water is electrolyte rich.
- Anti-oxidants – Take extra vitamin C and E. Eat lots of fruit. Some fun drinks to combine hydration with anti-oxidants include iced green tea or hibiscus tea with lemon.
- Omega 3′s and Probiotics- These 2 supplements are key for a healthy immune system. Among their many benefits, they will keep inflammation low and the digestion healthy.
Wind, Fire, and Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine, the hot winds and blazing fires of late summer often lead to conditions we call “Wind Heat.” Wind Heat is considered a “external” invasion of the body characterized by symptoms such as allergic reactions, asthma, sore throat, dry and/or red eyes, fever, headaches, and skin rashes. Wind heat conditions are easily prevented and resolved with herbs and acupuncture – effective and safe alternatives to pharmaceutical remedies for conditions brought on by these hot, smoky days.