The 2020 wildfire season in Colorado has been one of the worst on record. As numerous fires continue to burn throughout our entire state, the air quality continues to be a hot button issue in the healthcare industry. What’s more, the record high temperatures are making it nearly impossible to escape the bad air quality — even when staying indoors. The ash-infused air enters into our homes through open windows, vents, and air conditioning units negatively affecting our indoor air quality as well. Add in the pollution we experience here in Littleton and throughout Denver and respiratory issues are immensely intensified.

5 Tips For Cleansing Your Lungs During Wildfire Season

While some days aren’t as bad as others, the lingering smoke in the air is causing intense breathing issues for everyone ranging from people who are healthy to those who suffer from respiratory issues. If you’re looking for ways to find relief and cleanse your lungs and sinuses from the smoke this summer and fall, keep reading to learn some handy tips from your friends at Arne Wellness Center. 

Steam Therapy

Steam is an excellent way to help cleanse your sinuses, lungs, and respiratory system to reduce the symptoms of breathing smoke-filled air. One of the easiest ways to do this is to boil water in a pot and infuse the water with about five or six drops of eucalyptus oil. Once the water boils, remove it from heat and carefully place the pot on a hot pad. Put your head over the pot and use a towel to cover your head to trap the vapors from the steam. Take several deep breaths through your nose and your mouth, alternating between the two. Do this for a few minutes to allow the steam to loosen up mucus in the lungs. The steam will also help open up your airways, allowing for better respiration. Do this as often as needed, or at least once or twice daily, especially on days when there is extremely poor air quality, or after spending time outdoors.


Essential oils are especially helpful for your respiratory health. Whether you have an oil diffuser running next to your desk at work or next to your bed at night, you infuse your bath water with essential oils, or you apply the oils topically to your chest, nose, and temples, aromatherapy is a great way to reduce the symptoms you’re experiencing from the smoke in the air. 

Typically, when you have sinus and respiratory issues, these can cause secondary symptoms like headaches and muscle aches to develop. Here are our top picks for essential oils that may help cleanse your sinuses during wildfire season:

  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Wintergreen
  • Rosemary
  • Tea Tree Oil  

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Breathing in air that is packed with ash and smoke can do a number on the tissues that line your sinus cavity, throat, and lungs. That being said, maintaining a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods is great for your bones, joints, and tissues. Additionally, an anti-inflammatory diet can also help reduce inflammation and irritation in the tissues of the sinuses, throat, and lungs. This wildfire season, make sure to include plenty of the following foods in your diet:

  • Berries
  • Cherries
  • Leafy Greens
  • Broccoli
  • Avocados
  • Fatty Fish
  • Peppers
  • Turmeric
  • Olives and Olive Oil
  • Walnuts
  • Beans
  • Lentils

Want to learn more about these health-wise foods? Explore our recent blog posts that take a deep dive into several anti-inflammatory foods, and how they can benefit your whole-body health and wellness:

Drink Plenty of Green Tea

Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink! Because it is jam-packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, green tea can quell the respiratory symptoms you’re experiencing from breathing in so much smoke. Not only that, when you sip hot green tea, it can calm and soothe irritated tissues in the sinuses. Along with green tea, your chiropractic internist also recommends working plenty of other anti-inflammatory herbs into your diet that can benefit the lungs, including:

  • Echinacea
  • Mullein
  • Elderberry
  • Licorice root

Lymphatic Massage

When you continuously breathe in air that’s been contaminated with smoke and other pollutants, it can cause fluid to build up, which triggers swelling, congestion, and discomfort. That’s where your lymphatic system comes into play. Draining the lymph nodes — the small structures located throughout the body that function as filters for toxins and pollutants — can help reduce your respiratory symptoms. By gently massaging the lymph nodes in the areas near the respiratory system, you can reduce swelling and help eliminate built-up fluids and toxins from the body.

Lymphatic massage is a gentle healing touch technique that encourages healthy movement and circulation of the lymph fluids in the body. Try massaging the lymph nodes in the neck, shoulder, and chest area, focusing specifically on the nopes located under the collar bone, in the neck, and in the armpits to help calm your symptoms. You can also reach out to our wellness center to schedule an appointment for a lymphatic massage to help reduce your symptoms.


Find Natural Relief from the Smoke

These are just a few ways to help you find relief from the intense smoke and poor air quality. As your partners in health and wellness, we offer a range of treatments that may help manage some of the respiratory symptoms you’re experiencing from the smoke. We offer everything from chiropractic care and acupuncture treatments to natural medicine and massage therapy in Littleton. Visit our site to explore our services, and get in touch with us today to arrange your appointment. We’re here to help you feel better.