Written by KAMU Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer Robyn Caywood.
Our hearts extend to everyone around the world affected by wildfires - from the delicate ecosystems and wildlife habitats to the people whose lives and homes have been destroyed. It’s truly heartbreaking and worrisome.
KAMU is based in Northern California, and we have also been affected by power outages, hazardous air quality, and friends who have been evacuated or who have lost their homes. We are filled with empathy, are awed at the community’s resilience and support, and have infinite gratitude and admiration for emergency personnel. They are away from their families and risking their lives in treacherous conditions to defend our communities.
Since it’s difficult to leave our homes to seek healthier air quality, there are things we can do to support our lungs and clean the air in our homes. Nature has provided many of these solutions, which can be found in our own yards.
I’ve included photos of a few plants from my Northern California property that I harvested this morning. Maybe they are growing near you as well. (Remember to always harvest responsibly, which means only take a small amount from each plant so we are leaving plenty of food for struggling wildlife and happy bees, and be sure to only harvest from clean areas that have not been sprayed with pesticides or near roadsides.)
The smoke you may be breathing is not just made of wood ash; it consists of the particulates of anything it burned in its path. Particulates include building materials, vehicles, waste, and more. Smoke is an excitatory neurotoxin and acts as a poison in our body, which our body reacts to with anxiety. So, not only do we want to support our lungs, but also our nervous system and immunity.
Tips for Keeping Your Body Healthy During Fire Season
- Do your best to clear the air in your home. Change your HVAC filters, attach a MDERV 13 air filter (available at hardware stores) onto a box fan and run continuously. Immerse a pot of water on your stove filled with fresh herbs such as mint, cedar or fir needles, mullein leaves, rosemary, or thyme. You can also use the essential oils of peppermint, thieves oil, cedar, etc. The steam and moisture that creates in the air is helpful. Also, wipe down surfaces with a damp cloth to clean up dust particles.
- Take vitamin supplements that are very useful for boosting immunity; B Complex, CBD, Omega 3 Oils, Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Glutathione.
- Make nourishing lung teas full of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and demulcents which coat the airways with moisture and provide relief. Any combination of the following will work: green tea, licorice root (avoid if you have high blood pressure), marshmallow root, Yerba Santa, mullein, tulsi, mint, calendula, and osha root. Manuka honey is a great addition!
- Other Herbal allies include: Elderberry syrup, lung support tinctures of mullein, osha root, Yerba Santa, grindelia (mostly native west coast plants), and adaptogen blends (including Ashwaganda, tulsi, CBD, astragalus, and medicinal mushrooms. Blends such as KAMU’s Vitality is power packed with adaptogenic plants).
Keeping the Endocannabinoid system balanced is one of the most important foundations for long term health. Keeping up with your daily dose of CBD and CBG is key. Shop our line of beneficial hemp and botanical blends to keep your body healthy this wildfire season.
(Photos: 1) steam pot to clean air with plants from my property, 2) plants harvested fresh, 3) baby Mullein rosette, 4) sun midday covered in smoke from my driveway, 5) mature Mullein plant