Fire Support: Detoxifying with Herbs & Self-care Practices
I hope you are all taking care of yourselves right now. With the spread of particulate matter filled with nuclear and industrial waste, our air is more toxic than ever. I wanted to share with you some tips - practical and herbal - to help minimize the toxic burden on your bodies and maintain your health during these challenging times.
Limit your exposure outdoors, staying inside with all windows closed. Invest in a HEPA air purifier. If you do need to go outside, be sure to wear a N95 mask (make sure to fasten it securely around your head to keep out particulate matter). Ideally, wear your mask at all times, even while indoors unless you have an air filter.
Drink plenty of water to aid your kidneys in filtering out toxins that may have entered your body
Avoid exercising outdoors, especially any type of cardiovascular activity (e.g. running, biking, etc)
Avoid alcohol, refined sugar, and processed foods. Your liver needs to focus on eliminating toxins from the smoke right now
Eat whole, fresh foods, along with good quality proteins and fats (e.g. avocado, olive oil, etc)
Bathe with epsom salts. Take 4 cups of epsom salts and add to a warm bath to help pull out toxins from your body. Soak for as long (and often) as needed.
Facial steaming is an easy and affordable way of detoxifying the lungs. Check out my herbal facial steam recipe here.
It is important to not only focus on the lungs and respiratory system, but also other channels of detoxification & elimination - the liver and kidneys - as well as our immune system.
Our herbal allies are here for us during this time. You can buy most if not all of the herbs I've mentioned below at the following shops in the Bay Area: Five Flavors Herbs in Oakland, Llasa Karnak in Berkeley, or Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco.
1) Lung detoxification
Take moistening herbs, ie demulcents, which will help to restore moisture to the tissues affected by smoke / dryness. In order to drinking plenty of water, be sure to include demulcents in your daily routine.
a) Marshmallow root (as an infusion or powdered)
b) Slippery elm bark powder (mixed with raw honey and taken as a lozenge)
c) Licorice root (chew on sticks or add a teaspoon of powder to 8 oz of water). Note: do not take if you have high blood pressure
2) Liver detoxification
The liver's role is the clean the blood and filter out toxins from our bodies, therefore supporting liver health and reducing stress to it is key. My favorite herbs for liver cleansing include:
a) Burdock root, pickled in tamari and/or apple cider vinegar
b) Dandelion root (simmer the root as a decoction and drink as a tea). This is also a gentle laxative
c) Milk thistle seed is superstar herb for protecting the liver. You can buy it in capsules or grind the seeds yourself and add it to food
3) Kidney detoxification
Drinks lots of water. Drink nettle leaf tea (add oat straw, alfalfa, etc) to help replenish nutrients that may have been depleted
4) Immune system support
As our bodies continue take on the toxic load from the smoke-filled air, it is drawing from our energy reserves and compromising our immune systems. Thus it's critical to take immune boosting herbs and tonics daily
a) Bone broth. Add pieces of astragalus root for added immune support
b) Honey cough syrup. Herbalist David Winston recommends taking an onion and cutting it into rings. Put into a glass container and pour honey over them. Let it sit, covered, overnight or for 8 hours. Strain off the honey and onion juice. Take a small spoonful every hour or two
c) Medicinal mushrooms - I recommend Four Sigmatic Reishi Spores Blend. Add it to water or your oatmeal / cereal
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The information on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. It is provided for educational purposes only.