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by Dr. Dori Skye Engel, ND 

 

It’s pretty bleak out there friends.

The world is literally on fire. The atmosphere is heavy and ominous.

We must keep moving forward.

We also need to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

Even once the haze eventually lifts, which it definitely will, your body will need support moving forward to eliminate all the particles that have been inhaled.

And also, this will not be the last time. Let’s arm ourselves with tools and information.

 

We also need to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
 
 

Potential symptoms of wildfire smoke inhalation:

 
  • shortness of breath

  • wheezing

  • coughing

  • phlegm buildup

  • asthma attacks

  • chest pain

  • increased heart rate

  • headaches

  • exacerbated allergy symptoms

  • runny nose

  • sore throat

  • skin irritations

  • eye irritations

  • fatigue

  • depression

  • reduced immune function

  • reduced lung function

  • aggravation of any preexisting respiratory and cardiovascular disease

  • all kinds of things we just don’t want, need, have time for, deserve

 

Also, I’d be remiss not to highlight why this is happening. It’s not a fluke. It’s Climate Change. It’s not a theory. It is our current lived reality and it’s only getting worse. Rising temperatures, decreased precipitation – our ecosystem just can’t handle it. VOTE IN ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO TAKE CLIMATE CHANGE SERIOUSLY and are committed to meaningful change, renewable energy and regenerative farming to stabilize the atrocities we have committed to this planet.


And now, some ideas to implement right away…..

 

1. Hydrate.

Think of it as flushing and diluting all the nasty particulates out of your lungs and blood stream.

  • Water is always the queen of the fluids, add lemon if you can to really up the free radical scavenging.

  • Electrolytes also have their place – commercially made or straight up bone broth and/or coconut water

  • Herbal teas are another great choice, especially ones that are also cleansing and support your body’s innate detoxification – I’m talking Nettle, Dandelion, Burdock

  • Demulcent herbsSlippery Elm, Marshmallow Root, Mullein – excellent for increasing the integrity of those mucous membranes while moistening and relaxing your lungs and esophagus

  • Don’t forget your plant friends – water them! Plants are what will help save our planet, don’t neglect

2. Rinse.

Target your mucous membranes directly by making them slippery and resistant to adherence. They are your first line of defense and the area that gets the most exposure to smoke.

  • Neti Pot nasal rinses – releases trapped pollutants in your sinuses, moistens your tissues

  • Saline Nasal Spray – flushes those particles out for immediate relief from sneezing and congestion

  • Steam inhalation with Thyme essential oil – easiest is to sprinkle on the floor of your shower. Diffusing works as well. Antimicrobial plant magic.

3. Food as Medicine.

It’s all about harnessing the natural detoxification and antioxidant power of your food

  • Ginger – natural detoxifier, anti-nausea, improves circulation. Use in food, tea or as a supplement

  • Vitamin C – natural antioxidant. Fruit is an excellent source, especially when in season. Supplementation can also be very effective

  • Broccoli & Broccoli Sprouts – this plant has robust evidence to support it’s ability to reduce allergic response to particulate pollutants in the air. Enjoy often.

  • Fermented Foods – key. If you’re local try this incredible resource for all things fermented.

4. Supplement

  • NAC – a precursor to Glutathione – the body’s master antioxidant – crucial for detoxification and respiratory health. Liposomal is a liquid suspension extremely effective for kids as well. This one comes in a tasty strawberry flavour.

  • Vitamin C – aforementioned antioxidant capabilities. Protects vessels from particulate matter exposure. Essential.

  • CoQ10 free radical neutralizer able to rebuild the damage caused by environmental pollutants. Our natural production decreases as we age.

  • Respiractin – an herbal tonic safe for children and adults that relieves coughs, soothes airways and provides clearer breathing.

5. Acupuncture

If your lungs, sinuses or head are aching and you are having trouble bouncing back, get some acupuncture for hands on support in moving stagnation through your body and opening up your channels for smoother flow of air, blood, energy, life force.

 
 
 
 
 

6. Castor Oil

Rubbed over liver and lungs – front and back – helps bring circulation to the area, supports your body’s natural detoxification abilities – get those particles out!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

7. Greens

  • Chlorella and Spirulina are nutrient dense algae that bind to toxins in the body and evict them effectively. They are so rich in powerful chlorophyll they can cause unpleasant detox symptoms if you take too much at once without regulating to it first. Start low and go slow.

  • Cilantro and Parsley can be helpful food additions as well.

  • A high quality Greens powder makes access particularly easy

You can find many of these supplements on Fullscript. Links above or here


 

As always, this is not a replacement for individual care or personal medical advice. Please see your own practitioner for personalized advice.

 
 
Dr Dori Skye Engel is a Naturopathic Doctor and Birth Doula practicing in the Toronto area. She is a mama of 3 wild and wacky boys and is an avid traveller. Dr Dori believes strongly in the body’s innate healing ability and works to find the right combination of support to guide her patients in attaining optimum health, vitality, resilience and vibrancy. Through a combination of tools including clinical nutrition, lifestyle counselling, botanical medicine, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and hydrotherapy, she creates personalized treatment protocols for each individual.

Dr Dori has a special interest in the Perinatal period of a family’s life; Fertility support, Preconception Care, Pregnancy, Labour & Birth, Postpartum support as well as Babies & Children. Treating the whole person, as well as the whole family, she is honoured to support men & women through further life changes such as menopause, thyroid dysfunction, diabetes, heart disease, skin conditions & all the curveballs life throws. She is certified in Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture and is a trained Birth Doula.
Dr Dori is also the co-host of Beyond Beautiful Birth a Podcast about the messy, intense and powerful and all-encompassing beauty of birth and beyond.

Want to get prepared for pregnancy, birth and postpartum? Grab our free Bump to Baby Checklist! This clear and thorough guide walks you through everything to expect from your first trimester to past your 6 week postpartum check up.

  • What tests and screenings will be offered and when
  • When to sign up for prenatal education and what types to consider
  • Things you should think about that your care provider may not mention
  • Links to helpful resources

Want to get prepared for pregnancy, birth and postpartum? Grab our free Bump to Baby Checklist! This clear and thorough guide walks you through everything to expect from your first trimester to past your 6 week postpartum check up.

  • What tests and screenings will be offered and when
  • When to sign up for prenatal education and what types to consider
  • Things you should think about that your care provider may not mention
  • Links to helpful resources

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