The fires burning out of control around California are taking a vast toll on many right now. My thoughts and prayers to those who have been directly affected, and to those who are giving aid and support. Even those of us living way down here in San Francisco are dealing with some of the worst air quality on record. Here are a few simple remedies to deal with the minor physical aspects from the smoke and dry air currently pervading the area.
Ju hua (chrysanthemum flowers). This herb disperses wind, and clears heat from the surface, and is good for red, itching or irritated eyes Pour boiling water over about 5 or 6 flowers (about a heaping tablespoon), and steep for 3-5 minutes. When cooled the tea can also be used to dampen a cloth and used as a compress over the eyes.
Gou qi zi (goji berries). This herb brightens the eyes, and moistens the lungs. It can be added to the ju hua tea to sweeten the drink (about 10 berries), yet not good if intending to use as a compress, as it is sweet and sticky.
A pear. This seasonal fruit is ideally suited to moisten the lungs, and is also good to help with the general dryness of the fall season that may affect the skin, or contribute to constipation.
Remember, these are just simple home remedies to help alleviate minor symptoms. If the smoke is affecting breathing, a face mask can help, yet those with breathing related illness are advised to stay indoors, and seek medical attention if major symptoms worsen.