Smoking

Smoking is a serious health concern and the habit has severe implications for the health of the individual, even though it is not an illness by itself. Physiological reactions to cigarette or cigar smoke include the rise in the blood pressure and the pulse rate within minutes of smoking, along with these two events, the oxygen levels within the body begins to fall below normal ranges. Physical symptoms such as a chronic cough, the congestion of the sinuses, a persistent physical fatigue, a shortness of breath, and other problematic symptoms can develop in the individual, within a few months spent smoking on a regular basis. Serious illnesses such as cancer, many forms of chronic lung disorders, problems like heart disease, and stroke can eventually appear from long term use of cigarettes or cigars.

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If all these health risks exist, then the question to ask is why so many people persist with the habit. The powerful addiction arising from the nicotine present in tobacco is the main reason, why it becomes so hard to quit smoking. The main addictive substance nicotine is an alkaloid compound abundant in the tobacco leaves; this compound induces physiological effects throughout the body of the individual. The compound also finds its way straight into the brain of the person, it induces chemical reactions that can temporarily soothe anxiety and result in relief from stress. Anxieties developed in the person are also calmed by many of the social rituals that accompany lighting up cigarettes and cigars. Nicotine levels in the body immediately begin to fall, when a person stops smoking, this lack of the compound now induces jittery feelings along with a range of physical complaints which are said to be withdrawal symptoms-they go away when the person smokes again.

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Supplements and herbs

The continuous use of many of the herbs and supplements given here can aid in soothing the symptoms of withdrawal from tobacco smoke - these include frazzled nerves and the sudden powerful cravings for a smoke that arises in people trying to stop their habit of smoking. The sudden withdrawal from tobacco is very tough for smokers and these supplements can be used for several weeks or months at a time to help smokers live through this tough period of life. The positive side of the supplements is that, they can be used along with the other aids for quitting the habit - such as the nicotine patch or the nicotine gum. The supplements can also be used under the supervision of a doctor, with antidepressant medications often used by many ex-smokers.

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The levels of the nutrients such as the essential B vitamins and the vitamin C are often depleted in smokers and supplements must be taken to correct this deficiency of nutrients within the body. Anxiety levels are reduced by supplements of the vitamin B complex - in addition the supplement will also promotes healthy nerves and recovery from cellular injury. Use the compound called niacinamide, which is another supplemental form of the B vitamin niacin of feeling of anxiety persists even following initial supplementation. Excess free radicals flowing around in the body are cleared up by the antioxidant actions of the vitamin C. These free radicals are produced in the body by cigarette smoke in large amounts - the use of the supplements will ease cravings for tobacco and reduce other withdrawal symptoms which can come about in the person.

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Persistent cravings for tobacco can be eased by using a number of additional nutrients - these substances can be used singly or in a combination forms. Short term relief from the withdrawal symptoms may be provided by the use of baking soda-mainly the chemical sodium bicarbonate. This compound leads to an increase in the pH of the urine, and studies show that this slows the elimination of the nicotine already stored in the body - the result is that cravings for additional nicotine is reduced and the person does not have a strong desire to smoke. Another interesting possible cure for the withdrawal symptoms is the use of the herbal oat extract; this is an herbal remedy which healers in India have traditionally used in the treatment of opium addiction for centuries. A recent study conducted using this extracts, showed significant reductions in the craving for cigarettes displayed by the test patients, these good effects lasted even two full months following the use of the extract. The extract works possibly by directly affecting the levels of some of the neurotransmitters in the brain - it may suppresses the center of addiction in the brain.

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Jitters and anxiety present from the withdrawal symptoms can also be treated by the use of an anti-anxiety herb called the kava, when left to themselves the symptoms usually disappear within a month from the date of quitting. Supplements of the anti-stress B vitamin known as the pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) may also benefit all individuals interested in quitting smoking, this substance increases the synthesis of the anti-stress hormones produced in the adrenal gland and can act to suppress stress in the smoker.

Aromatherapy

Commonly used essential oils for smoking:

Additional things you may do

You must also try using some antidepressant medications such as bupropion, alternative methods such as acupuncture treatment, or even hypnosis may help; nicotine patches and gums are also used to great effect by some individuals who want to quit smoking. The use of all of these methods can lead to a significant reduction in the cravings for nicotine. Stress can also be beaten back by daily exercise - indeed, physical exercise is the greatest way to deal with persistent stress. Intense cravings can be reduced in intensity by a brisk walk; this intense craving will usually last for only a few minutes in any case - plan you actions and try to do something else other than smoke.

Usual dosage

  • Kava, 250 mg thrice daily.
  • Oat extract, one tsp. oat tincture four times daily.
  • Vitamin C, 2,000 mg thrice daily.
  • Vitamin B complex, one pill two-times daily with meal. Look for a vitamin B-50 complex with 50 mcg biotin and vitamin B12; 400 mcg of folic acid; and 50 mg of all other B vitamin complex.
  • Pantothenic acid, 500 mg two times daily. Use the least expensive form - calcium pantothenate.
  • Baking soda, one tsp. of baking soda in a glass of water two times daily. If you have to restrict sodium or have ulcers, do not take it.
  • Niacinamide, 500 mg two times daily between food. Long-term use of niacinamide can cause damage of the liver and other side effects.

Other beneficial herbs

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