Chronic InFLAMEation

Written by Rachel B November 21, 2018

Living in California is like living with a dragon. It is only a matter of time the dragon breathes and the fires come.

We are in a perpetual state of in-flame-ation. Our chronic wildfires mirror the chronic inflammatory conditions of our culture, our bodies.

Inflammation is the brilliant way our bodies mobilize immunity, bringing white blood cells to an area that has faced one rupture or another. Inflammation has a critical place in the healing process; so long as it is part of a process which allows time and space for resolution.  Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is a counterproductive, hyper vigilant state that degrades and exhausts the body. Chronic inflammation is the out of balance medicine: the medicine at too high of dose, becomes poison.

These fires are the same out of balance medicine, they rage because the have been suppressed.

Bringing F&M toiletries to the fire relief in Chico yesterday felt like a drop in the bucket. Two of us had lost our homes in fires, we knew the need for all the things we take for granted, intimately. Yet both of us had communities, places to go after our homes burned down. What we were confronted with in Chico were people who didn’t have that safety net; their option after disaster was camping in a Walmart parking lot.

Disasters show the weakness in our social structures, they emphasize disparity. In the face of one problem that magnifies so many others, how do we lend a drop to the bucket and feel like it counts?

If you are living in the smoke laden parts of Cali, here are a few ways to soothe inflammation.

Lavender- A profound yet gentle nervine who knows how to flourish in dry, hot landscapes. Lavender teaches us how to be calmed by our capacity to expand. Lavender helps us to feel possibilities when we feel otherwise backed into a corner. Drink and apply topically as a tea, or diluted tincture, or hydrosol.

Marshmallow- during this time of external assaults in the form of toxic smoke, dryness, and particulate- let us nourish the wise and generous membranes of the bod who are our filters. Marshmallow supports our juiciness. Drink and rinse your skin with tea made decocted with Marshmallow.

Apply a bit of salve to the insides of your nose, as well as your lips to keep that all important mucosal lining supple.