From Kenneth R. Kafka, M.D. Integrative Medicine (Ojai)
I hope you are safe. Just spoke to an old neighbor of mine who is back home in Ojai. As I imagined the beloved little town of Ojai has very hazardous air quality and is covered with ash in different places, some visible and some not. It has been hard for me to imagine what this past week must have been like for all of you there, in Ventura and some areas of LA as well.. My heart has been with you as I’ve been in touch with many of you through text etc.
Someone asked me for some general medical advice and I thought I’d share what I wrote to her with all of you:
First off, if you have a history of respiratory problems or are generally frail and vulnerable, please wait as long as you can for the air quality to improve before going home. Be careful with newborns or very young children as well.
Don’t exercise outside. Of course if you have to exert yourself to tend to your property, the environment etc, then please wear a mask. The most effective mask is the N95 mask which they hopefully have at ACE, True Value, Lowes or home Depot. Any mask, even a surgical mask will help a little but the N95 filters out particulate matter very well. Stay extremely well hydrated, more than usual. In addition to the ash both visible and microscopic, there is undoubtedly an increase in chemicals from the various structures that have burned.
The main supplements to take are Antioxidants; Vitamin C 1-3000 mgs per day in divided doses, Vitamin E at least 200 IU’s, Alfa Lipoic acid 2-600 mgs, n-acetyl cysteine (NAC) 4-600 mgs twice per day (especially good for lung mucus), lots of greens, green powders and berry powders and any other antioxidants you have at home. Add 10,00 units of Vitamin A as well and maintain adequate levels of vitamin D for your immune system. Gargle twice per day with either salt water or any oral antiseptic mixed with warm water and rinse your sinuses with a neti pot or a Neil Med nasal rinse (can purchase at any drugstore and probably Vons) twice per day.
Drink plenty of green tea if you like it. It is rich in antioxidants.
For your eyes, the best thing I can think of is Pleo Muc eye drops (which you can purchase online through Amazon). This is a great anti-inflammatory homepathic remedy from Germany. Other homeopathic drops such as Similasan would be very helpful. Traditional otc drops like Visine eye drops will also decrease inflammation and be a good lubricant
Some herbs that can be protective for your lungs are mullein, osha, eucalyptus, lungwort, oregano and so many others. Reishi and Cordyceps especially (mushrooms) are very supportive of lung energy. I would recommend going to your local Health food Store and getting any herbal lung tonics they offer. If you know a chinese herbalist in town and have breathing problems by all means seek their advice. Chinese medical formulas make some terrific lung tonics. I’m sure there are some at Rainbow Bridge, Lassens, Erewhon or Whole Foods etc.
Everyone is emotionally impacted and stressed by these circumstances so take a mineral supplement for your adrenal glands and any herbs for anxiety such as lemon balm, valerian, passionflower, lavender oil etc. 5-HTP 50-100 mgs or L-Tryptophane 500mgs can help you sustain your serotonin levels to help with your mood. These can be taken in the evening. L-Tyrosine 500-1000mgs can also help with your mood and should be taken in the morning.
These are all generic recommendations that of course need to be personalized. Use you instincts and good judgement.
These are such stressful times for all of us on so many levels. I hope you have a home to go home to and many friends in your community to lean on. If ever there is a time to connect to a sense of community, this is it.
In Health and Light,