Air Pollution, Fires and Health Remedies

I sit here at my desk a few days after the town of Paradise burned down in Butte County, Northern California and is still on-going. It’s time to put on my air mask, which now sits hanging with my housekeys for days like this. California Governor Brown has said this is the “new normal” with global climate change. People are managing in their own way. My brother in San Francisco says he ran 8 miles in his living room yesterday and some friends have left for Tahoe or Carmel for cleaner air.

The math of this is immense:  118,000 acres, 6,000 structures burned from Butte County Northern California and 100,000 acres in Malibu in Southern California plus the Hill fire with 10,000 acres the death toll is around 42 for Butte County and 288 are still missing.  This fire was fast and furious burning up to 80 football fields per minute.  The air quality index is at 168 ppm and 1-50 is considered good!

What’s the best approach for your health?


Wear a 3M- N95 mask when you go outside, a cloth bandana across your face won’t cut it. 

Don’t go outside to exercise and stay indoors as much as possible. Track the air quality to see when it’s safe at Air Now, a website by the EPA. 


At the clinic we carry a great homeopathic called Bronchi-Pertu, which helps clear particulate matter from the lungs. 

Consider high doses of Vitamin C. Start with 2,000 mg a day.  If you get diarrhea back down and drink plenty of water because excess Vitamin C can cause kidney stones.

You can also get some Peppermint oil or Eucalyptus oil both of which clear your lungs and help your breath as well as provide anti-oxidant powers.  My favorite company is Young Living because of the pureness of the quality of their products. I have visited their farm twice in Utah and they have the highest standards of purity in the world.  As the air gets more polluted the plants produce more oils in response and this is a key advantage to using aromatherapy oils. These oils not only help dilate the alveoli in the lungs they also help balance emotions.  They have a product called Breathe Again Roll-on. Try peppermint, lemon, cedarwood or thieves oil to name a few for freshening the air.  If they ask you for a member number, you can give them mine and get a discount:  2327399. They have an assortment of excellent aromatherapy diffusers and if you get the Cyprus or Black Spruce oil your home will smell like a fresh forest in no time adding back negative ions to the air, clearing the nasal passages of toxins and balancing the emotional or limbic system of your brain within four seconds of smelling it.

If you’re really struggling, consider booking an appointment at Marin Natural Medicine Clinic for an IV of glutathione, which can be excellent for the lungs.

What to eat?

Well believe it or not broccoli sprouts or broccoli itself has components in it that help you detox from air pollution.  If you are a patient, I can point you towards an excellent supplement made out of broccoli sprouts that was studied in China to help protect those from air pollution.


Let house plants to clean your air and give you fresh oxygen!  From an article published by Leah Zerbe, MS, NASM-CPT, NASM-EES February 2016 “The Best Houseplants that Remove Pollution” check out these plants that will clean out the air in your home. One plant per 8 cubic square feet is what’s recommended:

Bromeliad-removes 6-8 VOC’s and stripped more than 80% of these compounds out of the air in 12 hours. It also takes out 92% of benzene from automobile exhaust and toluene from paraffin candles.

Dracaena- removes 94% of acetone from the air which off gasses from particle board, household cleaners, rubber cement and paint.

Spider Plant – removes 80% of ethylbenzene, p-xylenes-o-xylene and acetone found in inks, paints, and fake number.

Jade Plant – removes 80% of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, p-xylene and o-xylene in 70% of cases. 

Make an appointment with Dr. Chan to review your body’s burden of toxins and your ability to detoxify with lab work and supplementation to help maximize your protection not just for now but for life.

Consider a high-quality indoor air purifier such as the ones recommended by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine:

Austin Air Health Mate (full size unit),IQ air, Honeywell, Hi-Tech, Heating and AC Furnace Filter 3M MPR Ultra Allergen Merv 11 Filter (Home Depot, Target, Amazon, Walmart

If you need help but aren’t sure what’s the best way to go about it and have questions schedule a free 10 min. phone consult by clicking on the contact tab in my website and on the purple button "appointment request"

Contact Us


Marin Natural Medicine Center

1100 Larkspur Landing Circle, Suite 255

Larkspur, CA 94939 US

(415) 945-3213

Advanced Hyperbaric Recovery of Marin

1118 Irwin Street

San Rafael, CA 94901 USA