Hello my lovelies,
What a start we had to this year, it's been so intense here in Australia, especially on the east coast. I won't dwell on it as, if you live here, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about, it's been a tough and trying time and I'm sure that collectively we are all hoping relief is on its way.
Maybe, like me, you now feel we're at a turning point: as if we're on the brink of something big. It's starting to feel like it's time to look forward; to take a deep breath in and carry with us the lessons we've learned and with a big sigh of relief, let go old ways that no longer serve. And to keep on breathing - in - out - in - out.
With all that in mind I'm dedicating my first blog of 2020 to our respiratory health, for a few reasons, the main ones being:
1) Very obviously we've experienced lots of exposure to smoke and that affects our respiratory health.
2) Who doesn't want a healthy respiratory system? One that's ready to deal with coughs and colds, sniffles and sneezes and not let them rule you.
3) More esoterically: our lungs, a huge part of our respiratory system, are where we hold onto grief and this summer has held a lot of grief. Many of us are still grieving, albeit quietly, for our land, for our people, for our wild life. So we need to look after our lungs and let them let go; let them breathe out our grief so we can get on with collectively healing and let the sweet fresh air of hope fill them up.
9 Ways to Support your Respiratory Health
1. Sip on thyme and sage tea. Simply pop a few sprigs of thyme and / or sage in boiling water, cover it for a few minutes to release the oils and then enjoy. These herbs are both strong antimicrobials and are fabulous for sore throats, which are common with smokey weather. They also make for a delicious warm drink!
2. Another amazing herb is Tulsi aka Holy Basil. Tulsi is revered in India as a most holy plant, 'the queen of herbs' and has been described as “yoga (or meditation) in a teacup.
Just a leaf or two of Tulsi in a glass of hot or cold water is enough to relax and uplift you. Or you can buy it as a tea or oil and in clinic I use the extract as well.
The scent of Tulsi (I love just gently brushing my plants as I walk by them) is beautifully uplifting and it's said that the essential oils released as you touch the leaves opens the lungs, removing grief and relaxing tension.
3. See the fabulous recipe below for a simple home made onion syrup. Yum! This is what I call a kitchen cupboard remedy - a cough and cold syrup made from onions – urky I hear some of you say but try it, you may like it and it really works! Make this syrup on smokey days, when your throat is sore or are noticing any other cold / flu type symptoms.Chop an onion, cover it with brown sugar or manuka honey (well, let’s not get fancy, if it’s a true kitchen cupboard remedy, any old sugar or any old honey will do just as well). Leave it to stand for at least a few hours (preferably 8 hours or overnight), the sugar draws the syrup out of the onion, then sip a teaspoonful every couple of hours.
4. Eat foods rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc. These wonderful nutrients play key roles in your immune system. Vitamin A and zinc are important for the health of your mucous membranes, which line your lungs. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. Sources include orange fruits and veggies, citrus fruit, kiwi fruit, berries, avocado, green leafy veggies, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds and seeds, tofu, lentils, organ meats and poultry.
5. Also enjoy foods rich in omega 3. Consume oily fish like wild caught salmon, mackerel or herring 2 to 3 times weekly. Other sources of omega 3 include walnuts, chia seeds, other nuts and seeds. Omega 3 is a strong anti-inflammatory compound, supports mucous membrane health and helps regulate your immune system.
6. Fill your home with indoor plants. These aren't only lovely to look at, but also help purify the air. Examples of types specifically shown to help purify the air are English ivy, spider plant, mother-in-law's tongue, chrysanthemum and aloe vera.
7. Get extra support through a herbal tonic and / or supplementation. These are fabulous ways to ensure you're getting therapeutic doses of specific herbs and nutrients that support lung health, such as mullein, marshmallow vitamin C, omega 3 and N-Acetyl Cysteine. Please ask me for specific recommendations as they'll need to be tailored to suit your individual needs. (I did make a generic blend to send to the south coast where they have been it hard by the fires and it included all the herbs I've mentioned plus a few extra for trauma support).
8. Use a salt inhaler regularly. Aim for 5 to 20 minutes daily, perhaps at night while watching tv or while you're reading in bed. Salt inhalers, like this one, are based on halotherapy which has been used for thousands of years to help relieve various respiratory conditions.
9. On smokey days, stay indoors to avoid the outside air. If you do need to go outside on these days, do your best not to exert yourself and don't exercise outdoors.
If you'd like some extra support, please don't hesitate to reach out or book an appointment. I'm always here to help.