According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) There are more than 7,000 chemicals, including over 60 carcinogens that are known to cause cancer in tobacco smoke.
The Tobacco leaves used in the production contains radioactive materials that can build up in the lungs overtime and result in a high percentage of radiation and may cause cancer.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports approximately 6 million people are killed by tobacco each year, with 600,000 deaths from exposure to second-hand smoke.
Whether you smoke or not, you are breathing tar and poison gases – carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide into your lungs. However, best bet is not to smoke, and if you do here are some natural ways you can quit smoking.
Acupuncture ~ Can provide relief for the symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal such as, the jitters, restlessness and irritability. Withdrawal symptoms are worse within the first week of quitting and the intensity of the symptoms drops over the first month says The National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Hypnotherapy ~ Is a form of psychotherapy, is a powerful way to let go of bad habits, get to the core of triggers that can be affiliated to your emotions and explore your consciousness. Through guided meditation, visualization, relaxing music and deep breathing this form of therapy will put you in a state of trance says Mayo Clinic. Your hypnotherapist will talk to you through this process that will transmit to your subconscious to increase your motivation for quitting and change your previous smoking habits.
Meditation/Yoga ~ The practice of meditation can provide a way for an individual to access themselves in a cool, calm and collected state. The psychological distress and stress that former smokers undergo during the first few weeks of withdrawal can be controlled through meditation. Mindfulness meditation is a moment-by-moment process of actively and openly observing one’s physical, mental and emotional experiences says the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC).
Massage ~ A simple self-massage in the ear or hand can reduce nicotine cravings for smoke. Touching your ear or hand can help calm the mind and eliminate the craving because they are microsystems that represent the whole body. For example, a medical condition that is in your body can be treated by using several points in one microsystem, either your ear or your hand.
Exercise ~ Any form of exercise is good to do when trying to quit smoking, it gets the toxins moving and is good for you overall. So, get moving!!!
Here are some Herbs that may help with cravings and withdrawals:
St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is used primarily for depression, there is some preliminary research on this herb to help people quit smoking.
Ginseng has been shown to prevent the prevent the nicotine-induced release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine is what makes people feel good after smoking and is part of the addiction process.
L-Theanine and Passion Flower have been clinically proven to boost GABA and serotonin levels in the human body. They make you more relaxed, worries don’t seem as big and Anxiety disappears over time.
Calamus (Acorus calamus) ~ Otherwise know as Sweet Flag, helps to eliminate excess mucous and clear congestion in the bronchioles. It is traditionally used to treat asthma, bronchitis, and whooping cough, but is also of great use in clearing out the residual toxins in the lungs from cigarette smoking.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) ~ Catnip excites cats, but it calms down humans. Catnip reduces anxiety and can help those suffering from insomnia. Since catnip is calming to the mind it can help take the edge off the first few days after quitting.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) ~ Licorice is an expectorant and demulcent herb. It has been traditionally used to soothe irritation in the lungs caused by asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory ailments. It is also an adrenal tonic, and can help to balance cortisol levels, reduce fatigue and restore energy. Cautions: Do not use licorice for more than 4-6 weeks. High doses or long-term use may cause potassium depletion, edema, or high blood-pressure.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) ~ Passionflower promotes relaxation and calmness. Its calming effect can help those experiencing insomnia and restlessness experienced during the withdrawal period. Passionflower eases symptoms of anxiety and irritability and may also help to reduce nicotine cravings.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) ~ Skullcap has nervine properties, it calms, tones and renews the central nervous system. Used to treat nervousness, anxiety, and insomnia, skullcap can help one experiencing increased tension or stress while quitting smoking. Skullcap is a calming herb which, increases awareness, however, it may cause drowsiness to some.
Valarian (Valeriana officinalis) ~ Valarian works as a mild edative and muscle relaxant, it will help you sleep if you are experiencing insomnia or nervous sleeplessness related to quitting smoking. Can also help ease the stress, anxiety, irritability and nervous tension that are experienced when quitting smoking. Cautions: Valarian may cause drowsiness, so use it only in the evenings and do not drive or operate machinery after taking it.
Note: Valarian may interact with certain medications. Do not take it if you are taking barbiturates and benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Ativan, or Valium. Also avoid using valarian root if you have a weak liver or liver disease.
It is also essential to take vitamins when you are trying to quit smoking. Here are some the recommended vitamins:
Vitamin C to help repair and heal the lungs and according to the researchers, it has the ability to reduce the damaging effects of cigarette smoke. This vitamin is also found in foods such as oranges, lemon, sweet lime, is one such vitamin. . Higher doses of vitamin C may also lessen nicotine cravings and is an essential nutrient in the quit smoking process.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps to keep your arteries and lungs free of toxins. It is considered to be important in preventing heart attacks. Because of the increased stress to the heart caused by smoking, the heart attack prevention that vitamin E provides is especially important to smokers. It can also help to diminish damage to the respiratory system
Vitamin A is good vitamin to take during smoking cessation because it’s believed to shield the cilia (the hair-like structures that keep the lungs dirt-free). It is also responsible for the health of certain cells found in the lungs. These cells secrete mucus that acts as a barricade against germs coming into the lungs.
Vitamin D is another vitamin that may help you to quit. It is connected to reduced levels of many forms of cancer, including lung cancer. In his book, “Quitting Cold: A Guide to Quit Smoking,” Carling Kalicak, notes that vitamin D is also good for reducing depression and stress, which can crop up as a result of cessation, particularly in the first few days. Kalicak ,therefore, advises smokers to start taking vitamin D supplements 7 to 14 days before they put out their last cigarette.
Beta Carotene boosts the immune system, helping to keep you healthy during nicotine withdrawal, smoking is bad for Beta carotene. Natural beta carotene that comes from foods such as green leafy vegetables, orange or yellow fruits and vegetables are more beneficial than beta carotene taken in pill form.
Note: Care must be taken in the consumption of Beta carotene in supplemental form as studies say it can increase the risk of lung cancer among current smokers.
Disclaimer: The information on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please always consult your healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for your own situation or if you have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.