Tips to support your health when bush fire smoke is visible or invisible

tips to support health in bush fire smoke australia
20 January, 2020

5 Naturopathic tips to support your health while affected by ongoing bush fire smoke

With the unprecedented catastrophic fires we have had in Australia this Spring and Summer – and now ongoing air pollution as a result (unfortunately even if we can’t see it), many people are suffering from worsening health complaints. Some of these are the obvious breathing and respiratory/allergy conditions, but also chronic fatigue, lethargy as well as worsening mental health.

With this in mind I wanted to let you know there are some actions you can take to help ease the inflammation as a result of this unique pollution which is still not ideal some days – even if you can’t see and smell it.

The following list of specific foods and supplements are helpful in supporting the body’s detoxification processes

  • Eating cysteine rich foods to help support detoxification. The amino acid Cysteine is found in abundant amounts in animal protein foods such as red meat, chicken, turkey and eggs, and in lower amounts in dairy products, legumes and seeds & nuts. Cysteine helps to replenish our body’s master detoxification anti-oxidant called glutathione. N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) is the supplement form of Cysteine and both amino-acids are responsible for detoxification, fighting cellular damage from environmental pollution, immune health and mental health. NAC specifically is useful for respiratory issues and excess mucous build up caused by allergies. NAC used intravenously is used in hospital acute care for panadol overdose.
  • Broccoli sprouts (as food and as a green powder supplement). Broccoli sprouts contains sulforaphane (a sulphur compound) which again supports detoxification pathways in our body and has been used in clinical trials to reduce the impact of air pollution.
  • Quercetin as a supplement and in doses around 2000mg per day divided throughout the day with meals. This is a natural anti-histamine and reduces allergy symptoms, reduces swelling of sinus region, and in combination with cysteine and NAC can be a useful support to asthma and allergies – depending on your individual health circumstances & what medications you may be taking.
  • Good old vitamin C – a master anti-oxidant and specific for immune and allergies. It seems to spare glutathione (thus enhancing its amount in our body) therefore enhancing our detoxification capacity.
  • Specific respiratory and sinus herbs are also very useful to sooth and support these tissues. Reducing inflammation, reducing allergy reactions (anti-histamine action) and when needed, acting as an natural anti-biotic to clear infections that may result from a build up of mucous. Some of these are Mullein, golden seal, Licorice, eyebright, calendula, poke root, albizia to name a few. You can get these through myself or qualified herbalist

The above is not an complete list by any means, but it covers the basics of eating and supplements to support you a little more. Remember to check with your qualified health practitioner before taking any of these specific supplements if you have specific health issues or are on certain medications – if you are not sure about taking them combined.

Also, for more holistic ideals regarding reducing inflammation, read my blog on Chronic Inflammation – A Naturopathic Approach for overall lifestyle tips to reduce the total load on the body (we don’t need to be continuing to add in additional stuff into our day that we know will tip the inflammation scales, while our air is also not replenishing us with the cleansing oxygen we need to function.

Categories: energy, brain gut connection, immunity, mental health, depression, anxiety, auto-immunity, auto-immune, bush fire smoke, functional medicine naturopath, nutrition for health

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