Smoking, for many people begins as a simple habit to unwind and relax, but potentially morphs into a gripping addiction that most smokers have to deal with all their lives. This addiction not only predisposes you to poor health, it also lowers the quality of life. One of the most common results of heavy smoking is lung and throat cancer. To a great extent, quitting smoking is one of the ways to deal with these preventable deaths. Quitting, however, is easier said than done.
In light of these adverse effects, it is important to put in efforts to quit smoking. Different approaches have been fronted in past years, ranging from going cold turkey, to using nicotine replacement therapy and prescription drugs. The good news is that there are a number of natural approaches that you can take to aid you in your choice to quit smoking. Many of these simple remedies have little or no side-effects, making them an ideal way to compliment your existent quitting plan.
1. Cayenne Pepper
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder and a glass of warm water. You may also use fresh pepper in place of the powder.
Cayenne pepper works for people who want to quit smoking because it has been shown to reduce the sensitivity of the respiratory system. This is very important because over time, a smoker’s respiratory system is affected by the tobacco present as well as the array of chemical substances present with every puff. Cayenne pepper is also recommended as a home remedy because it has a rich concentration of antioxidants whose presence helps make the lungs stable, which in turn helps prevent damage to the membranes that line the lungs.
- Place the teaspoon of cayenne pepper in the glass and pour the warm water over it.
- Stir the solution to ensure you have even distribution and sip on this daily.
- The best time to use the cayenne pepper remedy is when you feel the intense urge to smoke.
2. St. John’s Wort:
Time Required:10 Min
What You Need: St. John’s Wort capsules.
St. John Wort’s is a popular remedy for a host of conditions, and this includes its action as a remedy for people who are looking to quit smoking. The herb has calming properties that help individuals get through the stress of quitting the addiction. These properties keep individuals from the nervousness of one’s decision to quit the addiction once and for all. This is key because quitting smoking, like any other addiction is sometimes accompanied by depression-like symptoms.
Note that St. John Wort’s is not recommended for pregnant women, lactating moms as well as anyone taking any other medication. For this reason, it is important to consult with your doctor on the way forward before taking on St. John Wort’s in your efforts to quit smoking.
- Simply use the dosage of the St. John Wort’s herb as advised by your doctor.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Licorice root or dried licorice and a cup of hot water that you can use to prepare tea.
Licorice is a herb that you can use to help you quit smoking. This herb has rich expectorant properties that help manage the detriments of smoking. In addition, is demulcent or soothing properties go a long way in assisting smokers quit naturally. Licorice has a distinct naturally sweet taste that comes in handy in eliminating the urge to take a puff or two. Other benefits of using licorice include its ability to eliminate fatigue (usually one of the symptoms of quitting smoking), its ability to provide relief from smoker’s cough as well as how it balances the levels of cortisol in the body.
NOTE: Licorice is not to be used by people with any of the following conditions as it can potentially cause aggravation: hypertension, disorders affecting the kidney and/or liver and diabetes.
- Chew on the licorice root whenever the urge to smoke comes in.
- Alternatively, prepare licorice tea using the following steps:
i) Clean the root well and peel it before chopping it into small pieces.
ii) Steep the chopped licorice root in hot water and cover.
iii) Allow the root to steep in it for 15 minutes to get the tea.
iv) Strain the mixture and sip on it at least thrice daily.
4. Ginseng Herb:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of ginseng powder a small amount of dried ginseng.
Ginseng herb, one of the most popular ancient Chinese remedies, is recommended for the ease of dropping smoking addiction because it plays a key role in managing the cravings and urges to smoke. As an adaptogen, the ginseng herb also helps the body settle into the new state in the absence of nicotine. This goes a long way in balance restoration thus making withdrawal symptoms far much easier to deal with.
NOTE: Ginseng is not recommended for people with the following conditions: diseases affecting the [immune system, hormone-related disorders, diabetes as well as conditions of the heart.
- Add a teaspoon of ginseng powder to your morning breakfast or cereal bowl or even glass of milk.
- The other way to enjoy ginseng is to simply chew on the dried ginseng.
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Lobelia tincture
Difficulty: Moderate as the dosage has to be regulated under the guidance of a medical doctor.
Lobelia, also known as Indian tobacco, is a herbal remedy that can be used by anyone who needs to quit smoking. Do not be fooled by the name ‘ Indian tobacco’, however, because unlike the cigarettes that you are addicted to, this tobacco is dispensed in the form of tablets and tinctures, and will occasionally be inhaled through a vaporizer.
The herb works because it contains lobeline. Lobeline is one of the alkaloids present in the herb, and whose structural makeup mimics that of nicotine. Its mode of action helps reduce the effects of nicotine, and more specifically the production of dopamine, a chemical compound involved in communication within the nervous system.
It is important to note that the herb only works for those who are truly committed to quitting smoking. At the onset, start with a lower dosage, say 3 drops of the tincture and work your way upwards under the guidance of your medical doctor.
NOTE: Lobelia is potentially fatal if doses are exceeded, and so it is advisable for you to use the herb alongside the help of a medical doctor.
- Follow the directions provided by your doctor. At the onset, take about 5 drops of the tincture and increase this steadily, all the while decreasing the number of cigarettes that you smoke on a daily basis. This steady but gradual system of introducing Lobelia to your body and decreasing the number of cigarettes helps ease the withdrawal symptoms and increases the chances of success.
Time Required:10 Min
What You Need: Valerian tincture.
Difficulty: Moderate as the use of the herb needs to be guided by a medical practitioner.
Valerian, just like Lobelia, must be used under the guidance of a medical doctor. The herb is considered quite helpful for anyone who wants to quit smoking as it acts as a herbal sedative and helps reduce the anxiety that plagues such individuals. The herb’s mode of action revolves around its interaction with the brain’s GABA receptors. The result is a sedating and calm effect that helps the body wean off its strange and sometimes debilitating cravings for a cigarette. Other benefits of using valerian include its ability to ease withdrawal symptoms while enhancing a state of rest and easy transition.
- Use the Valerian herb as directed by your personal doctor.
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: Fresh ginger root, a cup of boiling water and honey to sweeten.
Ginger is recommended as an ideal home remedy for quitting smoking. One of the accompanying symptoms for anyone trying to kick smoking is the persistent nausea that is triggered with a dip in the amount of cigarettes per day. To deal with this and make the process seamless, it helps to take ginger, preferably using the fresh root. This not only calms your stomach, it also gives you a moment to ponder over the need to get back to cigarettes to provide relief from the urge.
- Peel and clean the fresh ginger root before chopping it into small pieces.
- Grind it using a pestle and mortar in order to get a paste-like mixture.
- Add the ginger paste to the water and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
- Pass the mixture through a sieve and sip slowly to ease the nausea.
8. Stay Hydrated:
Time Required: Staggered through out the day.
What You Need:Enough water.
One of the reasons why smoking easily causes addiction, and is difficult to quit (not impossible), is because nicotine present is a toxin that seeps into the body and fills the body’s cells. One of the ways to get rid of these toxins is to drink enough water through out the day. Water not only helps you stay hydrated, it also helps to purge the body and get rid of the accumulated toxins present. While this in itself does not mean you will quit smoking immediately, it does go a long way in helping ease the process.
- Simply stagger your water intake through out the day, all the while reducing the number of cigarettes that you smoke daily.
9. Grape Juice:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Fresh grape juice.
One of the biggest challenges for people who would like to quit smoking is dealing with the withdrawal symptoms that come along with kicking the habit. These symptoms, if not well-managed, may result in a relapse which pretty much causes individuals to slump right back to the place where they began, or even worse in some cases. Drinking grape juice helps manage these withdrawal symptoms, thus making the process of quitting far much easier. In addition to this, the juice is a natural way to detox the body and rid the body of nicotine.
- Sip on fresh grape juice daily to cleanse your body.
Other home remedies that you may need to look up include honey which is nutrient-packed and which helps deal with the craving for cigarettes, herbal cigarettes which have absolutely no nicotine in them as well as multivitamins. Remember, as with any other habit, quitting cigarette smoking requires you to be in the right frame of mind, and actually believe that you can drop the habit.