Just when it feels like fire season has come to an end in California, two major fires have ravaged our state this week. When the air is thick with smoke many folks are wondering what they can do to help protect themselves against the risks and discomforts that can arise from the harsh air quality.
Today we are going to talk about 3 all-star herbs that are pregnancy safe and can help relieve some of the discomfort that can come from spending even a short while under smoky skies.
#1 Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra)
Part used: Inner Bark
Slippery elm, like the name suggests, is a "slippery" or demulcent herb. It is a great herbal ally for sore throats, dry coughs, and even heartburn!
It can be found in most health food stores in the bulk herb section. It is mostly found in it's powdered form which can be mixed into food or made into tea. It can also be purchased as a prepared lozenge. Thayers is a popular brand.
A normal dose of Slippery elm is 2-5 grams of powdered herb up to 3 times a day, or 2-4 lozenges as needed throughout the day.
#2 Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)
Part used: Root
Marshmallow root is another demulcent herb that becomes slippery when wet. It is rich in polysaccharides which were once used to flavor the marshmallow candies we all know and love. Like slippery elm, it is an excellent ally for soothing irritated mucous membranes. It can be found as either a dried root or powder and is used as a tea.
A typical dose of marshmallow is 2-5 grams of dried root, up to 3 times per day.
# 3 Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus)
Part used: Leaf
Mullein is another demulcent and anti-inflammatory herbs that has an affinity for the lungs and is often used for respiratory ailments such as asthma.
Mullein is often used as a tea, with a typical dose being 1-2 grams up to 3 times a day.
These three ultra-soothing herbs combine nicely as a tea and the ingredients are readily available at most natural food stores that carry bulk herbs.
In a clean and dry mason jar combine 1/3 ounce of each:
To prepare a cup of tea:
Steep one heaping tablespoon of herb blend in 8 ounces of boiling water, covered, for 20 minutes. Strain herbs and sweeten with honey to taste.
Enjoy Up to 4 cups per day.