As I watch a hazy sunrise from Northern California, I want to check in with you. At this point, my clinic remains closed until the air quality is no longer hazardous, especially to young children (fingers crossed, sometime next week!!)
I deeply apologize for the inconvenience. Please let me know if you need a re-fill of herbal prescriptions, and I will have herbs shipped to you ASAP, or guide you where to pick them up wherever you are. If you would like a referral for another practitioner in my absence, or in the town you have evacuated to, please let me know and I will arrange that for you.
Before my air safety litany, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the personal and collective trauma that our community is experiencing. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you need extra support right now. I encourage you to do what you can to continue your self-care practices, and take your herbs. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
AIR QUALITY SAFETY
I encourage you to be acutely aware of the air quality. I am talking about particulate matter. There are two measures, both large and small particulates. The large particulate matter is the stuff you can see. It is the large pieces of ash that we see falling from the sky. At this point, you have most likely noticed a decline in large particulates.
But the small particulates are what we need to be most concerned with. This is the tiny stuff you can't see. This is mostly what is making the sky "hazy" and the sunlight look orange or red. These mico-particles are what get into the micovilli and tiny folds in your lungs, causing permanent and long-term damage. This is the stuff to be highly cautious of, and be sure to protect yourself from.
Here is a great site that updates HOURLY with the particulate levels. Anything over 100 parts per million is hazardous to our health. Please be sure to wear a well-fitting N95 mask outside at ALL times- even if you're just running to your car to grab something.
On a positive note, we are expecting to see an increase in air quality over the weekend. I am sure you are all aware that this particular fire has brought significantly more hazardous air than fires we have previously encountered. This is due to the location of the fire, and wind directions. As the fire moves up into the mountains, less smoke will be blowing directly in to Santa Barbara.
I continue to urge everyone to leave town if your are able to. Even if you are only able to get away for a few hours during the day, this will make a difference. If you are not able to, make sure to wear your N95 masks outside. Change your house air filters (if you have them), go get your car air filters changed, and even if the sky seems clear, please check the particulate matter, and DO NOT exercise outside.
Many folks have asked about in-home air filters. Here is a basic overview:
There are two main types of filter. Those that filter out particulate matter, and those that filter out VOCs (hazardous chemicals and off-gassing).
For particulate matter, the best filter on the market is the AIRMEGA. There are others on the market that work great as well. I like this one because it is quiet and fast.
For VOCs, I recommend the Austin Air purifier. This is the filter they used at ground zero after 9-11.
If you are looking for a filter on a budget, there are two effective options.
The first is this filter which is loud, but very effective for VOCs, and somewhat effective for particulates is this one found on amazon.
In addition, you can always get a hepa air filter (for air-conditioning ducts) and attach it to a box fan, which works very well, but takes some time, and is also loud.
All of these filters will work on both VOCs and Particulates, but each has it's own areas of strength. If you'd like to start some of your own research on air purifiers, this is a good place to start.
There are things you can do beside air filters and staying out of the smoke. Turkey Tail Mushrooms are highly effective at repairing lung tissue and improving lung health, as well as strengthening your immune system. You can find capsules at Lazy Acres,Whole Foods, and on Amazon.
The smoke and particulates will weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick. Coryza is a great immune support, and I would increase your daily dose to keep your body healthy. Please let me know if you need more, and I can work out getting it to you.
In addition, I really like Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat Tea, as well as their Breathe Easy. These are two effective formulas that you can also buy at the local natural grocery store, or online.
I will be back in town as soon as I feel it is safe for my family to be in Santa Barbara. Please do not hesitate to reach out or ask questions at anytime. I look forward to connecting to all of you soon
In Good Health,