I have been treating multiple cases since last week of people being affected by the bad air quality because of the Southern California fires we're dealing with, with my patients' worsening of their allergies, asthma, and sinus congestions, eczema, chapped lips and dry skin.
I'd like to share this link that was created by a fellow acupuncturist at Scarlett Sage during the Sonoma fires earlier this Fall. It has a list of helpful herbs to drink as tea to protect the lungs and mucous membranes, as well as to help calm frayed nerves from the anxiety. My Sonoma friend who suffered through the fires found the link super helpful, she sai.
Some other tips to help ease respiratory distress:
Air purifiers and nasal sprays are also very helpful to keep the sinuses clear and moist. I like Xlear. Keeping the sinuses moist helps prevent broken skin, which is a cause for irritants and infections to enter the body.
Stay well hydrated. If your skin feels dry or you have chapped lips, your body is really thirst, so drink more than you think you need.
Use a humidifier during these dry nights, and it's an overall good idea to use one during the Fall and Winter season as the air naturally gets dry, and worsens due to heater use in the house. If the bad quality air is affecting your family strongly, also consider doing facials steams with eucalyptus essential oil to protect the sinuses and lungs.
If any of you are significantly feeling the effects of the ash, soot and general bad air quality, use mask N100 or N95. You can find them at hardware stores or paint shops. This tip is from the same friend who suffered through the Sonoma fires.
Keep your sugar intake low so the sugar doesn’t feed the inflammation, and try to go to bed early (by 10:30) to repair and heal.
Consider getting cupping done to help open the chest and sinuses. You can also purchase facial cups made of silicone to gently cup the sinuses, neck, cheeks and forehead to support sinus drainage, both for yourself or your children.
Tips for eczema sufferers
If you’re wondering if our current weather has anything to do with your skin flaring, you’re right.
This dry weather has all to do with why your eczema or your family's eczema is flaring up like crazy. Our skin breathes, just like our lungs (in our medicine, we say the skin is the outer organ of the Lungs). And right now, it's breathing in dryness and bad air. So the dryer the air, the dryer your skin gets because the blood, which is already compromised - dry and weak - and causing eczema, is not nourishing your skin. Consider drinking the teas or giving the teas I recommend in above in the link to your children as well. And do the above suggestions I listed, if you haven't already.
Consider drinking gelatin tea/bone broth multiple times a day or taking collagen to build up the hydrating elastic capacity of your skin. Wood Ear mushroom aka bai mu er in Chinese is also EXCELLENT at building that mucilaginous layer in your skin and membranes. Cucumber is cooling and hydrating.
Avoid red meats, spicy food and dairy.
Drive with the windows closed and with the air set on recirculation at all times, too!
Start taking or up your doses of your probiotics to support the gut which makes blood. I have a few topicals available in my office as well.
Last but not least, if your symptoms worsen despite medications or these preventative measures, consider coming in to get acupuncture and herbs. We have excellent natural remedies to fight many respiratory issues, as well as for anxiety as this can stir up fear and anxiety for many, and for eczema. We can also help boost your body's ability to fight off the effects of the dryness and toxic air quality.
Stay safe Angelinos, and we hope these fire get contained soon. May those of you who have been affected by the fires find safety and peace, and I thank all the hardworking fire fighters fighting the blazes!