Between California fires and COVID-19, we need to talk about lung health!
Did you know your lungs are actually considered an excretory organ? When your cells metabolize nutrients, they create waste products – one of which is carbon dioxide. Your blood transports this CO2 to your lungs. Once you breathe out the carbon dioxide and inhale oxygen, your red blood cells soak it up and bring it back to your cells.
Your lungs are essential for life and health. What goes in through your lungs can impact your entire body. With the California fires burning things that are not meant to be burned, there is a whole mixture of toxins in the air. Even if you don’t live near the west coast, air pollutants aren’t reserved from just wildfires (even though the wind can carry the debris all over the country). With the added respiratory viruses these days, 2020 may just be the year to focus on your lung health (and immune health)!
Here’s the ultimate resource on how to support your lungs:
Foods to Assist the Lungs
As you bring in these foods, I would highly recommend also omitting or minimizing foods that burden the lungs. Lowering your intake of mucus-forming foods such as dairy, soy, beans, legumes, animal products, eggs, and gluten will also greatly assist your lungs.
HEAVY METAL DETOX SMOOTHIE
This nutrient-dense drink (originally shared by Anthony William) will not only provide a wealth of life-supporting nutrients to your body and lungs, but will also detox out anything that may cause trouble with your health. Heavy metals are present in many areas of day to day life, but they can also enter the body through your lungs by air pollution such as car exhaust or jet fuel falling from the sky. Here’s how to make it and more about heavy metals.
Don’t be fooled by their short seasonal appearance on the menu – or their teeny size. These berries pack a powerful punch against toxins – and also deliver important nutrients for supporting your immune system such as Vitamin C, antioxidants, trace minerals, and many more. See these cranberry articles I’ve written for my favorite recipes and more than you could ever ask to know about cranberries! (Anyone up for another #CranberryChallenge this November??)
GRAPES, BROCCOLI, CAULIFLOWER (etc.)
What do these three foods have in common? They all have a similar appearance to the lungs! Nature speaks to us in many ways – and research backs it up. Studies have found grapes to have a component that is preventative for lung cancer, as well as flavonoids that slow the decline of lung health while aging (helping make your lungs healthier, longer). Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower have specifically been found to lower the risk of lung cancer and strengthen your immune system. Even broccoli sprouts have been shown to rapidly and sustainably detox air pollutants from the lungs. Raw always has the most benefit, but steamed broccoli and cauliflower are also delicious!
Liquids to Assist the Lungs
Why green drinks? The green leaves of a plant are its “lungs” – although their function is the opposite of ours, since they “inhale” carbon dioxide and “exhale” oxygen. Celery juice, parsley water, and cucumber juice are wonderful ways to support your lungs and assist your body in getting rid of any toxins you may have ingested.
ALOE VERA JUICE
Aloe vera is an amazing support for your entire body, but can specifically assist burdened lungs. The incredible healing properties of aloe vera include soothing irritation and inflammation in the lungs, eliminating toxins from the body, purifying the blood (important since your blood regularly visits your lungs!) and assists with circulation. Aloe vera is also alkaline and shifts your body’s acidity away from growing bacteria and illness. Here’s how to make aloe water – otherwise I recommend the brand Lakewood Organics, which is typically available in most health food stores.
CHEMICAL DETOX TEA
Air pollution is a very real thing in certain areas – but even if you just painted your house, moved into a new home or building, or encounter strong air fresheners or cleaning chemicals (common in every public space these days) – detoxing it out is important for preventing long-term damage. The combination of equal parts calendula, chamomile, bladderwrack, & borage (thanks to Anthony Williams for this knowledge!) will help move these toxins right out of you. You can buy these herbs in bulk and mix them yourself (I love going through Mountain Rose Herbs, but many are available from Amazon), or buy them premixed from these vendors:
Bonus – Coltsfoot tea will also greatly support the lungs.
Supplements to Assist the Lungs
These supplements have been fabulously helpful in supporting the lungs, especially during tough times. As always, I recommend working with a health practitioner when using supplements. You can start at or below the recommended dosage and work your way up.
- Oxygen Drops by Dexterity Health (increases the amount of oxygen in the lungs and blood)
- Lung & Bronchial Formula by Dr. Christopher (a marvelous, clean blend of lung-supporting herbs)
- Elderberry Syrup (a well known support for lung health)
Essential Oils To Assist the Lungs
Massaging oils over the lungs will also support their optimal function. There are many oils that can support the lungs, but the following are simple and yet so empowering to the lungs: Combine the carrier oil calendula* with a few drops of one or two of the following oils:
*If you wish, you can use the coupon code amberbodilyhealth to receive 10% off at checkout.
Purify Your Air
There are many ways to naturally purify your air – and honestly, this topic deserves its own article. But air purifiers are an immense help, especially with thick smoke, mold, and/or airborne viruses. After trying out many air purifiers, I ended up with an Air Doctor and love it. I spent so much money on other purifiers that didn’t work that great and wish I had saved it by going with Air Doctor first. On his podcast Heal Thy Self, Dr. Christian Gonzalez gives an in-depth review of a few different air purifiers – not to mention the gold mine of information in the first part of the episode. I highly recommend you to take a listen here.
Essential oils are also an amazing tool for cleaning your air of bacteria. Read more about why and the best oils to diffuse here.
Emotional Healing Assists the Lungs
Major life experiences, intense emotions, and catastrophes impact the lungs the most. Even with the most perfect air and perfect diet and supplementation, sometimes healing the lungs requires healing your emotions. There are many routes to take to do this. SKY Breath Meditation includes a series of powerful breathing techniques that have been shown to significantly decrease trauma and anxiety in a very short amount of time (see also this Yale study and Harvard Study on SKY Breath Meditation). Another technique I have often recommended is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or tapping. Meditation is also an amazing way to process and heal deep-rooted emotions (read more here). Yoga can also be beneficial – and not just emotionally; the slow, intentional breathing during the movements is like a gentle workout to strengthen your lungs.
Empower Your Lungs!
Whether you are dealing with a lung-specific issue such as lung cancer or asthma; are burdened by wildfires or a respiratory virus; looking to improve your athletic performance, or just wanting to keep your lungs in tip-top shape for optimal health – I hope these tips have been helpful. The information is here – now you can use it to take charge of your health!
Ignite the healer within,
P.S. If you’re looking for a detailed detox protocol, check out my online course Radical Healing: A Step-By-Step Guide To Reclaiming Your Vibrance.