Mother Nature has been letting off steam around the world with volcanic activity in both the USA and Iceland. The resulting “Volcanic Atmospheric Pollution” or VOG is creating respiratory health issues which can be very debilitating especially for individuals already suffering from one of the many lung disorders such as asthma, emphysema and allergies.
The following guidelines were developed to reduce exposure and aggravation for those with existing health issues along with some simple self care solutions for all those who may be suffering from the VOG.
- 1. Avoid strenuous or aerobic activities when VOG levels are high.
- 2. Do not run or aerobically exercise your animals during high VOG levels, they too have sensitive lungs.
- 3. If practical, avoid high VOG areas during times of thick VOG.
- 4. Avoid exposure to other air pollutants on the job and at home.
- 5. Don’t smoke, and avoid people smoking or burning trash, especially during VOG periods.
- 6. When VOG levels are high, avoid contact with colds, flu, molds, mildew, pollen, and dust. (Some of the lung clearance and immune functions could be compromised by high VOG.)
- 7. For very high VOG, stay indoors, close the windows, and run an air purifier or air conditioner. Indoor plants (especially spider plants) may help clean the air. You also can try hanging up sheets that have been soaked in a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda to one liter of water (which can help trap acid aerosols and gases.)
- 8. Keep any medications for the treatment of acute respiratory and heart conditions handy. Consult your doctor.
- 9. If you suffer from lung disease, or find you are not recovering after exposure to VOG you may want to test your baseline lung function (after breathing “clean” air one week or more), then get retested if/when breathing becomes more difficult during high VOG episodes. Have your doctor keep records of both your lung function and approximate VOG levels.
- 10. Use natural solution when possible to aid in the symptoms related to VOG exposure.
- Huffing menthol crystals: Directions for Huffing Crystal! Take a few of the menthol crystals from the bag and place them in the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together as if you were cold then dump the crystals bag into the baggie. Cup your hands over your nose and mouth and take a few deep breaths through your nose and then again through your mouth. Leave the crystal residue on the palm of your hands for a few minutes to absorb into the skin, after which be sure to wash your hands so you don’t end up rubbing menthol in your eye or putting it in your mouth.
- Drink lots of fluids to loosen mucus and clear lungs. The following herbs can be helpful for acute respiratory symptoms and can be used in capsule or tea forms:
- Grindelia: has anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant, and mild pain-relieving properties. It was formerly included in the United States Pharmacopoeia as an internal remedy for asthma, bronchitis, and other upper respiratory tract ailments. It is often blended with yerba santa, marshmallow root, licorice, and other respiratory herbs.
- Lobelia ( Lobelia inflata ): also called Indian tobacco, has a long history of use as an herbal remedy for respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and cough. Native Americans historically have smoked lobelia as a treatment for asthma. Today, lobelia is considered effective in helping clear mucus from the respiratory tract, including the throat, lungs, and bronchial tubes. Although few studies have thoroughly evaluated the safety and effectiveness of lobelia, some herbalists
- Mullein Leaf: is also used in India for upper respiratory problems. A high content of mucilage and saponins renders this herb ideal for the treatment of respiratory ailments, from coughs and colds to emphysema, asthma and whooping cough. In addition to the soothing effect imparted by the mucilage, Mullein possesses good antibiotic properties. During the Civil War, the Confederates relied on Mullein for treatment of respiratory problems whenever their medical supplies ran out. Several different and unrelated Indian tribes used Mullein for similar purposes.
- Peppermint: contains volatile oils and other constituents that inhibit and kill many kinds of micro-organisms that, among other things, might create severe digestive problems. A few of these bugs need special mention: Influenza A viruses, the cause of Asian flu; herpes simplex, the source of cold sores; Mumps virus; Streptococcus pyogenes, the cause of sore throat, scarlet fever, rheumatic fever, otitis media, cystitis, cellulites, etc; Staphylococcus aureus, from which we acquire pneumonia, sinusitis, impetigo and endocarditis; Pseudomonas acruginosa, which produces a great variety of superlative and other infections. Altogether, more than 30 pathogenic micro-organisms have yielded to the influence of Peppermint.