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Lung Health and Smoke in Portland

by Dr. Amber Hincks LAc

The air is thick with smoke.  You can feel it in your throat within minutes outside.  In discussion with herbal students this morning, a welcome distraction,  we came up with few ideas for remedies for the irritation we are experiencing.

For your body:

  • Licorice Root - the main ingredient in Throat Coat tea, is not only soothing to a sore throat, it is detoxifying.
  • Poached pears - not only in season, pears nourish the Yin fluids of the lung, damaged by the dryness.  Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon or ginger.  Drink the liquid too!
  • Steam some herbs on the stove.  Fill your house with the fragrance of rosemary, sage, eucalyptus, mint or a splash of the same essential oils, if you can get your hands on some.  A humidifier may also feel supportive if your lungs and throat are feeling dry and hot. The moisture in the air will also help.
  • Take out your neti pot if you have one and rinse those sinuses after you head outside.
  • We’ve got herbs and Lung Clear Throat Drops here too if you need them!
  • Avoid make-up and other strong skin care products while your skin is being exposed to smoke.
  • Avoid inflammatory foods (alcohol, refined sugars, processed grain) and instead eat bland foods that are easy to digest over the next few days and if you already have digestive sensitivity, for at least a week or even two. Patients are already reporting nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath related to prolonged time outdoors, though sensitive individuals have reported symptoms with short exposures times as well.

A few things to consider at home and beyond:

Additionally, avoid other environmental toxins in order to support your body in its efforts to regulate. This means no perfume, air freshener, artificially scented candles, harsh incense, chemical cleaning products, etc.

Keep your doors and windows closed as much as is possible.

Use toys, bones, etc. to exercise your pets inside if possible.

If you take a drive in your care use A/C if you have it and recycled air.

Lung Health and Smoke in Portland, Amber Hincks Acupuncture in Beaverton, OR