Just when we thought these dreaded bushfires had moved on, we were again reminded last week that they are here to stay until the rains arrive and hopefully distinguish them for good. Unfortunately, what is also remaining is the dense smoke which seems to descend over our towns, often affecting our lungs and respiratory system.
There has been much written over the past few months of the negative effect on our health of this ongoing bushfire smoke particularly for those suffering from a pre-existing heart or lung conditions. Young children and the elderly are also more likely to be affected. I’ve heard many people expressing their concern, particularly as we have been exposed to this bushfire smoke for such a long period of time.
This smoke contains a mixture of gases and particles which comprises of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and other organic compounds. It seems the main concern for our residents is the tiny particle known as PM2.5 which can infiltrate deep into our lungs. These tiny particles may have a negative effect on our cardiovascular and respiratory health.
We can help reduce our exposure to the smoke obviously be staying indoors. Staying indoors will only be effective however if our house is completely sealed. When we undertake exercise outdoors, it is important to be aware we may often be inhaling deeper and faster, which can increase our exposure to smoke by up to tenfold.
At this time of the year, I often suggest we might like to take a blend of herbs to help detox our liver after the overindulgences of the festive season. This year the festive season seems like a long-lost memory, in fact sometimes I wonder if it even happened at all. Certainly, New Year’s Eve wasn’t a celebration. This year instead of nurturing our liver it may well be worthwhile looking for herbs to help nurture our lungs.
An interesting herbal detox lung formula which I have been able to recently source contains a combination of herbs which I believe may be extremely beneficial to help our lungs survive this exposure to bushfire smoke. This formula contains herbs which may help protect our lungs and respiratory tract from exposure to toxins such as air pollution, including bushfire smoke, cigarette smoke, radiation and chemicals. Two of the most important antioxidant herbs contained in this formula are Grapeseed and Thyme. Grapeseed is considered to contain powerful antioxidants and free radical scavengers oligomeric proanthocyanidins known as OPCs. As well as containing antioxidants, Thyme may also help relieve inflammation of the respiratory tract and act as an expectorant to help relieve coughs.
Other herbs contained in this formula are White Horehound, Albizia and Ivy Leaf. Both of these herbs are believed to help support the respiratory tract. White Horehound may be helpful in not only relieving non-productive and dry coughs, it can be also assist in loosening and clearing mucous congestion from the lungs, chest and respiratory tract.
Albizia is an interesting herb used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It’s believed to help clear, remove and detoxify toxins in the respiratory system, plus help relieve respiratory allergies such as coughs, rhinitis and hay fever. It also may be helpful to reduce symptoms of allergic sinusitis.
If you’re finding it hard to breath at night, particularly when you’re trying to sleep, I often find setting up a diffuser in the bedroom, diffusing a blend of aromatherapy oils containing lavender, peppermint, tea tree and eucalyptus to be extremely helpful.
For more information call in to see Bev and the team at Go Vita Your Health Shop in North St, Batemans Bay. Don’t forget to tune in to Bev on 2EC every Wednesday at 12.30pm for Go Get Healthy.