Quitting Smoking Naturally – Tools from Western Herbalism
The results are in. Tobacco use is killing thousands of people a year, and to this day remains one of the leading causes of preventable deaths to humans. As global warming becomes more and more a reality in our daily lives: gracing magazines, newspapers and the television, so too were the dangers of tobacco released upon an unsuspecting world years ago.
But still to this day, smokers make up a large percentage of the population and many are stranded somewhere between dissatisfied addiction and the struggle to finally “kick the butt”. Tobacco use has been found to be the cause of a number of forms of cancer, as well as a variety of lung, and circulatory diseases.
Though laws are perpetually changing in countries around the globe regarding consumption of cigarettes in public, they still remain a vital presence in the lives of everyone; from the characters in the latest blockbuster movie or the friends we meet at the local pub.
Since the dangers of tobacco became apparent to the public, tools to help people part with the drug have been on the market in the form of books, tapes, personal counselling and nicotine replacement therapies (gums, patches, etc.) Tools and practices for quitting smoking can also be found in such traditional practices as Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. As well as these eastern traditional practices, western herbalism has many tools to help those who are wishing to quit.
Helpful Herbs used to Quit Smoking
- Lobelia – A genus of flowering plants that consists of over 200 species, though the species Lobelia inflata is most commonly utilized in modern herbalism. Lobelia is also known as Pukeweed or Vomitwort, which ought to give some insight into the vomit inducing qualities of Lobelia. As the plant is closely related to the tobacco plant, it is thought that Lobelia might have an effect on the body in regards reducing nicotine cravings in the body. Lobelia is contraindicated during pregnancy as well as those who easily vomit. It is a recommended addition to herbal combinations in regards to quitting smoking, but shouldn’t be self administered.
- Plantain – An incredibly common herb that is found throughout most of North America. As well as being used externally for all sorts of ailments, Plantain is a well known edible herb full of the nutrients the body needs to rebuild from the damaging effects of cigarettes, as well as being an invaluable cleanser to help eliminate toxins.
- Alfalfa – As well as being an incredibly nutritious herb, this plant is also very alkalizing in the body. As cigarettes are thought to have an extremely acidic effect on the body, the strong alkaline quality has a balancing effect. This herb is a well known detoxifier and is extremely safe to take on a regular basis.
Helpful Herbal Remedies for Oral Fixation associated with Smoking
For many people the most difficult hurdle while quitting smoking is parting with the physical action of smoking. There are many herbs that are safe to smoke and can temporarily replace the physical addiction that many have to cigarettes. some of these herbs also have the added benefit of acting as an expectoriant, cleansing the lungs of mucous and “clearing the air” so to speak.
Although smoking cessation exercises and tools are often helpful, it is important to remember that the most important factor to effectively quit smoking is addressing the psychology behind the addiction.
This Article is purely educational. All use of herbs should be well researched, and the assistance of a Herbalist or Naturopath is strongly recommended before self administration.
This article was originally published at Suite101.com on July 3, 2007 as Quite Cigarette Smoking Naturally
Trevor Ellestad is a writer, an herbalist, and an ex-yoga teacher who spends his days creating plant-based magic at Vega. Trevor keeps a tidy home with his partner and their as of yet un-named spider monkey of a kitty cat in Vancouver, BC. At night, Trevor likes to surround himself with plants and obsess over the seemingly simple lives of cats and robots.