Resources For You To Breathe Easier

Community! Air quality is continuing to deteriorate. Please wear a mask of at least N95 (P100 is best) quality anytime you go outside and stay indoors and near air purifiers if this is at all possible for you. Bay Area residents, even those that have stayed inside, have already been exposed to lung damage similar to smoking daily for a year. Here is a resource document that we have created and are continuing to update. We cannot vouch for all of the information contained, but believe it is important to share.

*We can’t vouch for any posts, but wanted to share what we’ve seen.

Places to access cleaner air

Oakland List -s ays its for heat but also has cleaner air
SF List

Air Quality Tracking
Purple Air

Current Air Quality

Forecast and Air Quality Map

Spare the Air website

U.S. EPA School Guidance

Free Masks

Bay Area Locations Handing Out Free N95 Masks – note how Kelly Moore Paints is doing more than cities
Greenpeace Warehouse 955 7th st oakland CA 94606. We’re here from 10-6:30 Thurs-Sat and have about 150 masks left
Lee Rose is in Oakland giving out some N95 and P100 masks. Kids sizes available (my 9 year old’s little face fits the P100 mask they had). Supplies are limited.

Tips & Resources re: Masks

Kiran Nigam How internalized ableism is a major contributor to the desire to not wear a mask
Where to buy masks locally

Bayanihan Guevara  FB post about differences between N95 and P100 masks*
here’s how to check a disposable respirator for fit and properly put it on/take it off //
• Adult mask modification for kids*
Mask recommendations from World Air Quality Index
Info on how frequently to change masks 

Official list of certified mask/filter manufacturers

Places to donate + volunteer to support mask distribution
venmo @MaskOakland
Mask Oakland Volunteer Form – “We are getting lots of donations and the masks are flowing in – but we need, big time, help with distribution.”

Ways to support houseless folks
Considerations before calling 311 on houseless folks without masks
• Follow and plug in to support The Village

The Village

• St. Anthony Foundation is opening its doors for folks who need shelter. Their address: 121 Golden Gate Ave (in their dining room. This is the correct Info given by St. Anthony)
 San Francisco, 94102.

Places to donate + volunteer to support mask distribution
• venmo @MaskOakland
• Mask Oakland Volunteer Form – “We are getting lots of donations and the masks are flowing in – but we need, big time, help with distribution.”

Reviews of Purifiers

Official list of California certified air cleaners

Reviews of Best Purifiers (of many)

Additional air purifying resources:
air-purifying houseplants and which of those are pet safe

How to make an DIY Air Purifier
Easy DiY Hepa box fan air-filter for $25
More stable DIY box fan air-purifier 

$20 fan filter DIY If you can’t find hepa filters (probably same method as first video link)
More complex? bucket filter

Herbal Support
Herbs for Respiratory Support

Fire Support: Herbs for Lungs and Trauma

Doing Night Steams with Aloe, Marshmallow Root and Echinacea
Luminae Wellness– This is a simple remedy you can make at home to help support the respiratory system: Cut up a few pears including the core, cover with plenty of water, bring to boil and let simmer for 20 minutes, then eat the pears and drink the juice throughout the day. Pears are moistening and soothing for the throat and lungs. For a bonus, you can also add in gan cao (licorice), an herb that helps to clear heat toxin and relieve sore throat.

◦  Local herb stores:

• Lhasa Karnak Herb Co – 2506 San Pablo Ave (X street is Dwight)
• Five Flavors Herbs – 344 40th st, Oakland (X street is Broadway)
San Francisco
• Rainbow Grocery — 1745 Folsom, SF (X street is Division)
• Scarlet Sage — 1193 Valencia, SF

Moistening Respiratory Herbs (Demulcents)
• These herbs will help soothe the irritation you may be experiencing in your respiratory tract… to moisten dried out tissues, including dry scratchy throats and lungs. Some of the best ways I like to use these herbs is the following:

Slippery Elm lozenges (you can buy these pre-made or make your own). Thayer’s is a popular brand. I’ve been sucking on them over the last few days to soothe my scratchy, dry throat. To make your own, simply mix slippery elm powder with just enough honey to make a thick paste. Be careful to go light on the honey as you want to mix it until it just sticks together, then roll into little balls. I like to dry these on a tray for a day or two and then place them in a sealed container to use as needed. The honey in the lozenges also helps to ease a sore throat, but if you are vegan or otherwise avoiding bee products, you can substitute maple syrup or rice syrup.

Marshmallow root I like to make a cold suspended infusion to capture all the mucilage at its finest. It is the “slime” you receive from preparing a tea this way that is so beneficial to dried out and irritated tissues anywhere in your respiratory (and digestive) tracts.
To make a marshmallow root cold infusion, you need a mason jar, filtered water and a muslin bag with a drawstring.  Fill the bag at least 1/2 way with marshmallow root. Suspend it in the mason jar with the string hanging outside of the jar. Fill with filtered cool or tepid water. Put the lid on. Set it on the counter for at least 8-12 hours. In the morning, squeeze the contents of the bag into the water and sip it throughout the day. This keeps your tissues moistened like nothing else! (You can add another herb to the marshmallow root for flavor such as chamomile or tulsi).

Licorice Root will not only soothe sore throats and irritation, but will also help with stress. Do not take licorice root if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have high blood pressure. It is recommend that licorice is taken in moderation for short-term use only.

Expectorants & Other Lung Supportive-Herbs

Mullein. This herb helps strengthen lung tissue, reducing inflammation and restoring healthy lung function. In addition, mullein relaxes the bronchiles, relaxes spasms and cleanses our lymph. I like to combine mullein with marshmallow for a soothing tea for dry irritated throats and coughs,
Elecampane is a great stimulating tonic expectorant for chronic respiratory conditions where there is congestion and mucus. It is strengthening and cleansing to mucous membranes and helps speed recovery time for lingering lung infections.

Herbs for Allergic Rhinitis – Itchy, Watery Eyes, Runny Nose, Sneezing

Nettle – high in minerals and quercetin. A go to tonic for reducing the inflammatory response causing allergy symptoms noted above. Also a great “alterative” aiding the body in eliminating metabolic waste.
Yerba Santa – decreases mucus secretion in the lungs, normalizing mucus-secreting cells. A great decongestant, and one of my favorite native plants.

Herbs for Immune Support

Reishi mushroom tops the list here as it helps build resilience and deep immunity while offering support for stress, calming anxiety and nourishing the central nervous system. Reishi also has antihistamine qualities making it helpful for allergies.
Elderberry –  Studies have shown that elderberries can be very helpful to help us fend off colds and flu. The syrup is delicious medicine which is safe to use by the whole family from children over the age of 1 to the elderly.

Herbs for Stress & Trauma

Milky Oats & Skullcap combined as a blended tea or tincture is one of my favorite remedies for stress and to calm and soothe the nerves.
Lavender – One of the best herbs for reducing stress fast. It is decompression in a bottle.
Milky Oats is soothing to the entire nervous system without being sedating. It is a nutritive tonic that supports the nerves. If you are feeling hyper-nervous/anxious or sensitive Milky Oats is a balm for the soul.
Reishi  helps the body deal with the external stress as well as the internal stress … smoke inhalation, immune stress due to particulate matter in the air. Reishi also keeps us connected to our inner knowing so we know what we need at any point at time.
Rhodiola is wonderful for increasing the oxygen load in the blood and helps us to use our energy at an even keel so we don’t burnout. *** If there is history of bi-polar in your family lineage please do not take this herb.
Schisandra keeps us grounded within ourselves. This helps us from going into overwhelm and enables us to think clearly when under stress.
St. John’s Wort tea/tincture can help prevent the trauma from settling deeper into the body with the added benefit of reducing anxiety or panic.

Herbs for the Heart

• Hawthorn Berry – Rich, deeply nourishing, balancing and healing Hawthorn Berry strengthens the heart by supporting the physical heart, emotional and spiritual heart. Feelings of the heart breaking dissolve into a space of warmth and love.
Linden flower and leaf can be taken when hearing the news of a loss is a shock to the system. A death, a break-up, loss of job … anything that leaves you reeling. It gives resiliency and moves one out of shock quicker.
Rose – Beautiful rose can soothe any ache that the heart has. Allowing one to take a deeper breath and come back to inhabit the heart space. There is no safer space than the heart.
Cayenne – Surprised? Cayenne is wonderful when you don’t think your heart can take any more. This is when you are completely at the wall and you feel like your heart may give out at any moment. This is where ONE drop of cayenne tincture can help.
Hibiscus – The deep red color of the flowers is like a balm to the soul. A little hibiscus works wonders for the grief of break-ups and relationship endings.
Motherwort is for the times the stress of it all has you feeling like your heart is going to jump out of your chest. For palpitations and racing with a tinge of anxiety Motherwort is your ally.
Tulsi – A plant that instills devotion in the heart. Keeps the heart open with the energy flowing. Alleviates stress and reminds you of the love that you are – that we all are.

Other Tips & Resources
Tips for wildfires
Use the forced air heating (or heating and cooling) system. If hot or cold air blows out from registers around your house, you have this type of system.
(mainstream) organizations supporting relief

◦ North Valley Community Foundation – Camp Fire Evacuation Relief Fund
◦ California Community Foundation – Wildfire Relief Fund
◦ Ventura Community Foundation – Conejo Valley Victims Fund & Hill Fire & Woolsey Fire Sudden & Urgent Needs Effort Fund