Air pollution

Air pollution

‘Fresh air is a must for good health and vitality. Yet, unfortunately, it is often taken for granted. There is no doubt in my mind that many ailments, such as allergies, poor immunity, skin problems, and even mood disorders are due to the lack of fresh air.’
Excerpt from book Leaf to Life

The environment is so important to our well-being that I listed it as one of the 7 Sacred Letters of Wellness in my book Leaf to Life.

There is no doubt that we are now living in a ‘toxic’ environment. This is especially so for those who live in the cities. Even without any haze, we are constantly exposed to smoke, vehicle exhaust, dirt, cleaning chemicals used in the home, painting, cooking oil (often rancid) and radiation emitted from electronic devices, building materials (construction materials), air fresheners etc.

Constant and long term exposure to air pollution can cause an increase in oxidative stress and stress hormones, which are associated with brain damage, memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease. Chronic oxidative stress is believed to be the root cause of almost all diseases – autoimmunity, cancer, diabetes, etc.. Air pollution affects children’s learning ability and respiratory health. It increases the risk of lung conditions such as pneumonia, anxiety and depression.

Taxi drivers and cyclists and joggers are particularly at risk. Particulate matter (PM) as found in the haze can cause significant oxidative damage in the tissues and organs and can cause the development of fatal heart and lung diseases because they get absorbed deep into the lungs and the bloodstream. PM involves particles invisible to the eyes.

How can we protect ourselves from these ‘toxins’?

The key is to enhance your glutathione (GSH) level. Glutathione is the most powerful and important antioxidant produced by your body to prevent cellular damage from oxidative stress.

Here are some natural remedies to enhance glutathione and elimination of toxins:

1. Increase intake of foods such as avocado, oranges, watermelon, cauliflower, asparagus, onions and broccoli to enhance GSH (check for food intolerance).

2. Ensure adequate dietary protein levels as protein is needed for liver detoxification. You need around 20% of protein in every meal. Always eat the protein of the meal first.

3. Herbs such as Amla berry as in Phytolec™, St May thisle, rosemary and schisandra are clinically found to increase GSH. These herbs also enhance elimination of toxins such as heavy metals found in air pollution. They act as a powerful antioxidant with heat resistant Vitamin C (properties not found in any synthetic Vitamin C or fruits). Find out more about these herbs in my book Leaf to Life.

4. Cold water shower or alternative hot and cold shower.

Additional immune support:

1. Promote elimination of toxins with herbal tea such as nettle, green tea, fennel, calendula, sage and violet. A diet rich in potassium is an important factor in lung protection. The herbal tea blend Phytocel™ contains all the safe herbs for liver and kidney detoxification and has high potassium content. This may explain why it is effective for treating high blood pressure.

2. For those of you who are prone to cough and have a history of weak lungs, take hart tongue elixir. This elixir also protects from liver problems.

3. Pyrethrum root, or Bertram in German, protects the lungs from tuberculosis and pneumonia and other bacterial infection.

4. For children and the elderly, rub some garlic juice on the soles of the feet for added immune support.

5. The haze may affect the eyes and increases oxidative damage and may in the long term lead to symptoms such as floaters, cataract, macular degeneration, light flashes etc. Use the fennel tea eye bath method. Please refer to my book Leaf to Life for instructions.

About Sebastian Liew

Matthew Wood, the renowned American herbalist described Sebastian as ‘one of the most unique and talented practitioners of natural healing and herbalism.’ The New Paper (Singapore) called Sebastian Liew 'The Medicine Man'. Indeed, Sebastian is a qualified and registered Medical Herbalist (accredited by the National Herbalists Association of Australia), with a Master's degree in Herbal Medicine from the University of New England, Australia. He is the first medical herbalist in Singapore and is known to popularize phytotherapy (Western herbal medicine), European traditional medicine, and St Hildegard medicine (Germany) in Singapore and probably in Asia. Sebastian has 20 years clinical work experiences and treated numerous patients with different medical conditions from all age groups in his Singapore clinic. Sebastian authored the book, Leaf to Life: The Natural Approach to Slow Down Aging and Living a Healing Life, which set the fundamentals for healthy aging and the prevention or treatment for almost all diseases. Please visit website
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