04 March 2015

Smoke inhalation, what to do…

By Christo Lues

As I am writing this short article, the beautiful Cape Town and surroundings are on fire. With hundreds of fire fighters working uninterrupted with great dedication and great personal sacrifice, putting their lives in danger to save citizens and property, many, many people will inhale huge amounts of smoke. For some it’s too smokey to stay in their houses, and need to find a place at friends further away to alleviate the symptoms of the smoke, dust from ashes etc.

Here are some pictures of the disaster as it currently stands...

Picture by the Tattoo Lounge

Picture by Goldfish

What do you do, naturally?

For Fire Fighters:

The biggest danger for our brave men and women directly in contact with the fires are dehydration and exhaustion.
Huge amounts of water is a life saver, not only to put out the fires, but to relieve some of the effects of smoke and heat inhalation.

The big issue is that the mucus membranes of the nasal passages gets overly dry, causing great discomfort, burning and pain. In order for the body to make enough mucus to keep the mucus membranes moist, WATER is needed. 

If these fire fighters drink huge amounts of water that is low in mineral content, they run the risk of upsetting their electrolyte balance. This in turn leads to whole lot of secondary problems.
So if you drink huge amounts of water make sure to put Concentrace minerals in the water or buy Still Nestle bottled water. The reason being that Nestle water has a very high mineral content and a pH of above 7, making it easier to absorb the minerals from the water.

Another great drink  (while fighting fires) is to drink milk. Now I am generally against consuming milk, reason being that it creates a lot of mucus that usually leads to respiratory and sinus infections. In this instance however, I do recommend drinking milk. It has both an alkaline pH, making it soothing on the membranes, and it causes the formation of mucus in the nasal passages. So the reason we usually avoid consuming dairy, becomes the reason we want it for dried out passages  - to produce more mucus.

Fruit is great as a snack and to help with quick energy. Bananas are of particular benefit because it helps with energy, contains vital minerals and has a mild mucus stimulating effect on the membranes.

Picture by Nicola Williams

For the people who suffer from smoke inhalation:

As mentioned above, water is of great help, in any situation. If you inhale a lot of smoke, taking in copious amounts of mineralised water with a pH above 7 (Nestle still water) is particularly beneficial. For an adult, make sure you drink at least 3L of water in 24hours. This helps the body to get rid of toxins that was inhaled.

Picture by Marilyn Coldrey

Helpful supplements for all

Rinse eyes with milk or Silvermax. This helps the irritation. Similasan makes a range of natural eye drops and nasal sprays that helps relieve symptoms of the nasal passages and the eyes.

You would need to help the body detox from all the smoke (actually burnt matter) and here I would suggest the following

A strong anti-oxidant and cleanser like Vitamin C it also helps the body recover and strengthen the immune system, you may also try Activ 8.
A mineral and enzyme complex designed to aid in elimination of toxins -  I like Assimil 8;
Water to help the body correct an acidic pH and thus speed up toxin elimination, if possible add Coral Calcium Sachets.

For stress, anxiousness and sleep problems, try Rescue, Neurexan, Mindset and Omega SLO

Vitamin C - helps the body recover and strengthen the immune system. 

There is a whole lot of homeopathic remedies that will aid in a situation like this. Homeopathic remedies can be quite specific to your symptoms, so see what will suit you best.

Arsenicum - For smoke exposure with anxiety. Eyes burn and stream. Nose burns and streams. Cough is dry and worse at night. Tremendous anxiety especially about what is going to happen—and restlessness.

Bryonia - Soreness in larynx and trachea. Hoarseness, Worse in open air. Dry, hacking cough from irritation in upper trachea. Cough, dry at night, must sit up. Worse after eating or drinking. Frequent desire to take long breath; must expand lungs. Difficult, quick respiration. Heaviness beneath the sternum extending towards the right shoulder. Worse going into warm room.

Carbo Vegetabilis-Wheezing, cough with burning in chest. Short of breath. Oxygen starvation. Must be fanned. Hoarseness. Cough with itching in larynx. Sore and raw chest. Rattling of mucus in chest. Exhausted, weak. Cold clammy skin, cold breath. Better: cool air. Worse: evenings, open air, warm damp weather.

Euphorbium officinarium - Breathing oppressed, as if chest were not wide enough. Spasmodic dry cough, day and night, with asthma. Violent, fluent coryza, with burning cough. Constant cough, with stitches from pit of stomach to sides of chest. Dry, hollow cough. Warm feeling in chest.

Euphrasia - For simple smoke exposure with irritation to eyes and possibly nose and no other symptoms. Eyes stream and burn—lids are red, swollen, and sensitive. Nose streams but doesn’t burn. There may be a little daytime cough. The eyes stream on coughing.

Kali bichromicum - For more serious smoke exposure with irritated sinuses and/or lungs. Nose is blocked—nasal discharge is dry or comes out in sticky or stringy “plugs.” Sinuses are sore, raw, irritated, and painful. Cough is painful, and chest is sore. Mucus is coughed up with difficulty and is scanty, sticky, or stringy.

Silica - To help the body eject inhaled particles. Nose dry and blocked—no sense of smell or taste. Sinuses stuffed up and painful. Dry, irritating cough from inhaled particles. With lumpy, yellow mucus.

For bruises, apply Arnica ointment or Traumeel S ointment
For burns apply bum cream or Squaline to the areas, this aids in the repair and prevents scarring
For cuts and wounds, clean with colloidal silver to prevent infection before covering up - I like to use Silvermax

Once you are at the end of the day and put your little aspiring fire fighters to bed, make sure to take a bath with 2 cups of Epsom salt. Soak in the bath and relax while the epsom salt gently detoxes your tired body.

I salute all that are doing something to help in this terrible disaster.
Lets pray the fires are brought under control soon!

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