There was a time, not so long ago where smoking was considered healthy; yep, you read it correctly – “healthy”. Back in the early 1950′s doctors were supporting this rather unusual habit by recommending certain brands over others (i.e. “number 1 recommended brand” or 4 out of 5 doctors prefer…”) These types of ads were smeared virtually everywhere, convincing the vulnerable, trusting public that cigarettes where in fact not only healthy, but a “cool” things to do.
The act of smoking itself was popularized by cinema and print adds. It became evident that this was much more than a “once in a while” activity; it was literally re-defining our social class structures. If you were not smoking, then you were not considered part of the “in” crowd. To make matters worse, nicotine was added to induce excitement and over stimulate our senses so that we always came back for more; it secured large cigarette companies repeat business.
Since then, we have began pulling away from this popular past time as it is now considered (conveniently) bad for you. Clearly, this was not about making people healthier, it was about making huge profits at the expense of human lives. This is certainly a sad part of our history, but a needed one to help us learn from the mistakes we have inflicted on our fellow brothers and sisters so we may not repeat it again.
Natural Remedies To Help you Quit
Among many other things, cayenne pepper is an excellent remedy to help quell the cravings for a cigarette. It desensitizes the respiratory system to tobacco and chemical irritants thereby thwarting the cravings for cigarettes. Ensure to take the spice daily; add a couple of pinches to your glass of water to really benefit from its effects.
It has been shown to prevent the nicotine-induced release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Of course dopamine is what makes people feel better after smoking which is part of the nicotine addiction process. a teaspoon of ginseng powder added to your breakfast cereal or morning health shake should help alleviate the number of cravings.
St. John’s Wort
Primarily used to treat depression, there is some research that this medicinal herb helps people quit smoking. In one pilot study, 24 people who smoked 1 or more cigarettes a day received St. John’s wort (450 mg capsule 2 times a day) plus smoking cessation counseling. After 12 weeks, 37.5% or 9 out of 24 people had quit.
This herb has been promoted to help people fight the effects of nicotine withdrawal and is found in many anti-smoking products. The active ingredient in lobelia, lobeline, is thought to have similar actions on the body as nicotine. Further research has shown that lobeline may increase levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain similar to cigarettes.
Repairing the Damage
Once you have successfully broken free of the addiction, it is essential to repair the damage that has been caused by smoking. Regardless of what you may hear, the damage is reversible through proper diet, exercise, meditation ,and adequate sleep. Never let this leave your mind, as we all have the power to overcome.
Smoking destroys vitamin C in the body – an important antioxidant. As a result it is important to increase your vitamin C intake to anywhere form 5000 – 20000 mg daily. This will help reduce some of the oxidative stress smoking has caused. Further to this, Vitamin E and A are also essential for repairing the damage done to your cells and mucus membranes. Another important mineral to consider taking is coenzyme Q10. This is yet another powerful antioxidant that helps protects the lungs and heart, while increasing oxygen to the brain.
These are just a few remedies you can take advantage of in your effort quit smoking. Remember, a strong mental constitution along with these remedies will help almost anyone break the habit. Most importantly, believe in yourself!
Kyla Miller, R.H.N.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC