10 large fires have scorched more than 256 square miles in Oregon this year. The impact of these wildfires is concentrated in Willamette Valley. Public health officials have warned residents from Portland to Estacada about the poor air quality. According to the Oregonian, “Air quality was at unhealthy levels for sensitive groups including children, the elderly, and people with respiratory illness…”
5 NATUROPATIC WAYS TO BOOST YOUR LUNGS
Although these fires are being managed, the air quality will linger on for weeks. First you should watch for alerts by the National Weather Service and your local officials. They recommend limiting outdoor activity, but are there any naturopathic ways to give your respiratory system a boost while the smoke and haze endures? Yes. Here are five natural ways to boost your respiratory system and lungs.
PEPPERMINT—A NATURAL ANTIHISTAMINE
Allergens and foreign bodies (like those inhaled when exposed to smoke) can cause your nasal tract (including throat, nose, bronchi, and lungs) to swell and become congested. Peppermint acts as a natural antihistamine. Additionally, it has high levels of menthol to relax the smooth muscles of the respiratory tract and promote free breathing. Peppermint is also an antioxidant and fights harmful organisms.
OSHA ROOT—FOR CIRCULATION TO THE LUNG
The osha plant has been a staple in Native American medicine for thousands of years. The roots of the plant contain camphor and other compounds which make it one of the best herbs for lung support in America. One of the main benefits of osha root is that it helps increase circulation to the lungs, which makes it easier to take deep breaths.
OREGANO—A NATURAL DECOGESTANT AND BACTERIA FIGHTER
Loaded with calcium and vitamin D, oregano’s primary benefits are owed to its carvacrol and rosmarinic acid content. Both compounds are natural decongestants and histamine reducers that have direct, positive benefits on the respiratory tract and nasal passage airflow. Although you can take oregano as-is, you may want to check out Oregano Oil, a concentrate that has even more healthy properties.
THYME—THE ANTIBIOTIC, ANTI-FUNGAL BACTERIA and VIRUS FIGHTER
Thyme is very powerful in the fight against chest congestion. It produces powerful antiseptic essential oils which are classified as naturally antibiotic and anti-fungal. When prepared as a tea it can fight bacteria and viruses—two different causes of infections.
LUNGWORT—NOT JUST BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE A LUNG
There was a time when plants that looked like a body part were decidedly good for that body part. This isn’t always true, but lungwort does happen to be good for the respiratory system. High in antioxidants, lungwort’s primary use is respiratory relief. It is the leaves of the plant which offer medicinal benefits. Once the leaves are harvested and dried, they can then be used in medicinal supplements or steeped in hot water to make a tea.