Herbal and nutritional support during and after bushfires – Part 1

Since September 2019, Australia has witnessed devastating widespread bushfires that have taken lives, billions of wildlife, thousands of livestock, houses, properties, bushland, national park and threatened the livelihood of thousands of Australians While Australians rally around those heroes that are bravely fighting the fires as well as our first responders, and all organizations supporting wildlife and relief efforts, affected people need a professional help. I do not only mean a counselor.  Naturopathy, herbal medicine can support those individuals that have been impacted by these fires.

How naturopath can help?

Smoke and Toxin exposure:

The poor air quality caused by widespread bushfires and smoke poses a serious risk to the health of all our communities. Smoke haze has been affecting the air quality for millions of people, including those living in large cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. Air quality in Canberra recently reached more than 22 times the hazardous rating, while in Sydney during December the air quality was more 10 times the hazardous amount.

According to the NSW Environmental Protection Agency, certain sites within the Sydney Basin have recorded over 600 micrograms per cubic meter of air particulate matter compared to an average of six to eight micrograms normally experienced. Usually bush fire smoke is a mixture of different sized particles, water vapor and gases, such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide. Studies are needed urgently to test what else is the ashes of the 2019/2020 bushfires, as asbestos dwellings and outbuildings had burned down.  Further, a large, odd-shaped, weird colored hail-stone was tested and has revealed an elevated high level of lithium, aluminum, strontium and barium (Higgins Storm Chasers, 30 April 2019).*

Large amounts of fines particles, known as particulate matter, are also released into the atmosphere and contain organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles-the size of the particle is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. For example particles rat re 10 mcg in diameter or smaller may pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs. One inhales, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects.

Herbal medicine has a wide range of antioxidant herbs just to mention a few  like Green tea, Japanese knotweed or Holy Basil,  which protects the body from free radical damage.  Also, Zeolites are good binders of heavy metals and should be taken on an ongoing basis.

How to protect respiratory system?

Gingko biloba is one of the medicinal plans with antioxidant properties

Urban air pollution, including particulate matter, has been associated with a wide range of health effects, including exacerbations of respiratory symptoms, the decline in lung functions, asthma attacks, emergency hospital visits and premature death. The recent bushfire emergency has seen hospital presents ions increase of people suffering asthma and breezing problems in areas worst affected by the first he fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations because of elevated susceptibility to several respiratory diseases like acute respiratory distress, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer. It is clear that individuals who are impacted by bushfires some, those who are fighting fires, live in the city will require to address any acute respiratory illness and to prevent chronic respiratory disease.

Herbal medicine provides a wide range or lung-protective herbs like Elecampane, Gingko biloba or Lomatium and many more. Demulcent herbs containing mucilage with soothing inflamed respiratory system while expectorant herbs like Grindelia or Pleurisy root and many other will improve the clearance of excess mucus from the lungs. If you have a painful and inflamed sinuses Amber tincture will reduce your symptoms.

In part 2 I am going to write about the mental and adrenal health support during and after bush fires.

If you would like to know more about how the DH-Natural Medicine Clinic can help you,  please call us now on (02) 4854 0205 

Danuta Hulajko is a holistic practitioner, international speaker and the founder & practitioner at the DH Natural Medicine Clinic and www.healingremedies.com.au in Sydney.

Danuta specialises in Allergies, Anti-Aging, Auto-Immune Conditions, Cardiovascular Conditions, Female Reproductive, Menopause, Mould Toxicity, Skin Conditions, Stress and Insomnia and Thyroid Dysfunction.

For more information please go to our website. You can also follow Danuta Hulajko’s work, events, seminars, expos, latest health research, her health tips and advice on FacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.


*Data from the analyses by Higgins Storms Chasers, 30 April  2019  of a  large sample of hailstone.

“The therapeutic range for LITHIUM has been established at 0.6 – 1.2 mg/L. Within this range, most people will respond to the drug without symptoms of toxicity.

Our result 0.5 !!!!!! Only 0.1 mg/L LESS than a medicated dose of Lithium ?!?!?!?!

-hand tremors,
-increased urination,
-mild thirst,
-muscular weakness,
-lack of coordination,
-blurred vision, and
-ringing in the ears.

The federal SMCL for ALUMINIUM is between 0.05 to 0.2 mg/L, which means AT or above these levels certain aesthetic effects, specifically the coloration of water, could occur.

Our result 0.11 !!!!!!!

-severe stomach pain or constipation,
-loss of appetite;
-pain when you urinate;
muscle weakness,
-extreme drowsiness;
-bloody or tarry stools,
-coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.

There is not federal drinking water standard for STRONTIUM at this time. The EPA has set a health reference level for strontium. As of October 2014 the health reference level for strontium was listed as 1.5 (mg/L).

Strontium had more severe effects on bone growth in young animals than in adults. It is not known whether stable strontium affects reproduction in people. … Since radioactive strontium is taken up into bone, bone itself and the soft tissues nearby may be damaged by radiation released over time.

Strontium reacts with water slowly, generally to strontium hydroxide and hydrogen gas. It reacts with water quicker than calcium, which is placed directly above strontium in the periodic chart, and slower than barium, placed directly below strontium. Strontium is water-insoluble, but it does react with water.

Our result = 0.17

BARIUM may cause a person to experience breathing difficulties, increased blood pressures, heart rhythm changes, stomach irritation, muscle weakness, changes in nerve reflexes, swelling of brains and liver, kidney and heart damage. Barium has not shown to cause cancer with humans.

For drinking water the maximum contaminant level set by the EPA and used by the PADEP is 2.0 mg/L.

Our result = 0.15. So a lot less than the maximum level allowed in our drinking water. BUT still quite a high level for our Hail-Stone // Rain-Water sample.”

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