It’s that time of year again in the northern hemisphere. Summer heat and lack of rain bring the perfect conditions for wildfires, which can bring smoke into communities near and far. Smoky skies are unfortunately becoming commonplace in the summertime where I live in British Columbia. So I thought I would share some strategies that I love to help soothe scratchy throats and ease some of the common symptoms that can occur when living and working in environments where wildfire smoke is prevalent.
Symptoms seem to really vary from person to person, however the most common symptoms include; itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing. To help combat these symptoms I like to combine restorative lung tonics with demulcent herbs to soothe and protect the mucous membranes that can become dry and scratchy from exposure to wildfire smoke.
RESPIRATORY HERBAL TEA BLEND
This is simple herbal tea blend that I like to drink regularly when the skies are smoky. Combine the herbs with boiling water and steep for around 20 minutes.
- 2 parts Mullein leaf
- 2 parts Marshmallow root
- 1 part Goldenrod
- 1 part Linden
- 1 part Peppermint
- 1/2 part Raspberry leaf
Steam inhalations can also be super helpful for our respiratory system by easing congestion and soothing the lungs topically. For a simple decongestant blend I like to combine 1 part each of thyme, bee balm and eucalyptus. These can be prepared as a standard steam inhalation by adding boiling water to the herbs, allowing the to steep for 20 minutes and then carefully breathing in the aromatic steam.
Steam inhalations can be especially helpful for children who won’t necessarily want to drink herbal teas. For younger kids however, (because kids and boiling water aren’t always a great mix!) I like to create a steam room by placing herbs in a muslin bag in a bathtub and turning the shower on hot for 5 minutes.
My other tips are to drink lots of water and to limit outdoor time (as frustrating as that may be!).
Let me know in the comments your tips for surviving the wildfire smoke!