The Eagle Creek fire is bad enough – destroying our amazing, beautiful Columbia River Gorge. But the heavy smoke, ash and unhealthy air conditions add insult to respiratory injury.

We’ve asked our fab instructor Whitney Hull-Benson to give us the 411 on some herbal solutions and simple self-care to keep your lungs clear and your eyes from burning.

Here are Whit’s 12 tips to stay healthy when the air quality is poor:

  1. Don’t exercise outside. Instead, book a class at Firebrand and sweat in the AC!
  2. Use the recirculate option in your car.
  3. Treat yourself to a saunas or a HOT shower to move out toxins.
  4. Dust off your Neti Pot! Afterward moisturize the inside of your nose, using a cotton swab with coconut oil or vainly ointment.
  5. If you have clean air (i.e., air conditioning) in your home, practice deep breathing exercises.
  6. Avoid foods that intensify congestion: dairy, citrus and excessive wheat.
  7. Incorporate respiratory-friendly foods like onions, pears, apples, radishes, peppers and broths. These foods help keep the secretion thin, and your respiratory system running smoothly!
  8. Try Mullein or Peppermint hot tea. Yes, hot tea in warm weather is a fantastic idea, drink up!
  9. Wear eyeglasses outside, not contacts.
  10. When you get home, relax with a warm compress on your eyes for few minutes and finish with cool cucumber slices.
  11. Mix 1 – 3 drops of Peppermint essential oil or Tea Tree essential oil with one tablespoon of your favorite carrier oil (e.g., coconut oil, jojoba oil, apricot oil). Apply it to your chest to relieve congestion and help open the lungs.

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