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Preparing for Fire Season

Coeur d’Alene Acupuncture & Holistic Healing / Health  / Preparing for Fire Season
Top tips for fire season summary from article with forest fire background

Preparing for Fire Season

By: Casey Carr, Naturopathic Medical Doctor

How Are You Preparing for Fire Season?

We are with you – we certainly hope that smoke won’t blow our way this season. But as a preventive and integrated health clinic, we are believers in preparation for the possibility. Just as it is prudent to have all of the nutrients/herbs/supplements on hand in case of a nasty cold, it can be too late if you are caught empty-handed at the onset without all the anti-viral nutrients you know help. Preparing for the possibility of smokey skies is the same thing: don’t get caught flat-footed. The time to prepare is when the skies are clear.

Here are our top tips for meeting poor air quality index scores prepared:

Reduce Exposure: depending on the air quality index, reducing exposure by limiting your time outside is an unfortunate, but necessary reality of smoke season. Heavy exercise outside is also a no-no during this time period. If you are particularly sensitive due to lung disease (asthma, COPD) or have a less robust immune system (elderly, pregnant, immunocompromised, children), we also recommend wearing an N95 mask outside will also help reduce exposure.
Get An Air Filter: certain high quality air filters (ie, HEPA) can greatly improve the quality of air in your home if smoke arises in your area.
By filtering out fine particulates, a good air filter can create cleaner air in an environment where you spend at least a third of your day sleeping, resting, etc, which is a significant portion of the day.
We believe air filters are of benefit to health in general, as it can also help purify the air from noxious off-gassing from furniture, carpets, cleaners and other toxin-laden chemicals that many products are made or preserved with.
In our own clinic, we use the Austin Air Filter. It is the only air cleaner that is backed by clinic trials, made of non-toxic materials, and can remove 99.7% of air particulates found in smoke. Bonus for our health clinic: it captures and destroys airborne viruses. Whether it’s asthma, chemical sensitivities, immunocompromised status, or just pure desire to decrease your exposure to the many toxins out there, Austin Air is the top tier air filter we trust and use.
We have asked Austin Air to provide our patients with 10% off of their order … and they said yes! Call the front desk for more details on ordering.
Eat Antioxidant-Rich Food: as smoke exposure causes free-radical damage, you will want to pay extra close attention to the quality of your nutrition when exposed. Eating unprocessed, whole foods, such as a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables, will help provide your body with more free-radical quenchers to counteract and deal with possible damage.
Up Your Supplement and Botanical Medicine Game: additional supplements and herbs are also protective against free-radical damage and can enhance lung health.
NAC: an anti-oxidant precursor that also has an affinity for the lungs. It helps to thin and clear out mucus.
Black Cumin Seed Oil: has been clinically proven to reduce inflammation in the lungs and improve pulmonary function tests.
Favorite Combo Product: Pulmonary Revive by Designs for Health
Mullein: the classic respiratory tonic that is soothing and anti-inflammatory to the lungs.
Licorice: the root of this plant is wonderful both soothing and moistening lungs in case of irritation, and also packs an anti-inflammatory punch.
Got Grief?: in traditional Chinese medicine, the lungs are seen as the storers of the emotion grief. If you have unprocessed grief, fire season may the time where you try and clear the air (and your lungs) in more ways than one. Acupuncture is also very helpful in bolstering lung health (and grief processing) as both a preventive and treatment.


You can check out more of Dr. Casey’s writings through the local Natural Wellness magazine publication and sign up for newsletters at her website,