Can Herbal Remedies Help You Quit Smoking?
Most smokers want to quit smoking, it’s true - 68% of smokers want to stop smoking, while over half (55%) say that they have made an attempt to quit in the past year.
Despite being a challenge, it is possible to quit smoking. And there are several quit smoking aids that can be used to help you along the way.
From nicotine patches to counselling to herbal remedies, many of these methods have been shown to help those who are trying to quit smoking for good. What works for one person might not work for another, but it’s always worth giving a few of these methods a go before you give up on your smoking cessation journey.
Some of the most popular methods are herbal remedies, many of which originate from Eastern medicine. These approaches focus on natural remedies to quit smoking as opposed to artificial methods and medications that originate from Western medicine, and they are showing promising effects in helping people to quit smoking for the last time.
So, what exactly are these herbal remedies? Are natural remedies the best method to quit smoking? Which herbs are the most effective for smoking cessation?
What Are Herbal Remedies?
Herbal remedies refer to those that are derived from plants. They are used in a similar way to modern-day medicines to prevent, treat, or cure a variety of health conditions and diseases. They can also be used to reduce the length or severity of symptoms.
It’s important to note that, although many people have experienced great success in using herbal remedies to treat their conditions, herbals are not regulated in the same fashion as over the counter and prescription medications are.
Herbal remedies come in a variety of forms, including oils, balms, creams, capsules, liquid drops, and teas. Many of these natural remedies that are available on the market contain a mixture of several herbs to maximize their efficacy.
The most common herbal remedies that are used as quit smoking aids are the following.
- Lifestyle Changes
Can Herbal Remedies Help You Quit Smoking?
To put it simply, herbal remedies can definitely help you quit smoking. One of the hardest parts of smoking cessation is getting past the intense cravings, especially those that come along in the first week or two of quitting.
Herbal remedies have been shown to help reduce cigarette cravings and lessen the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, such as headaches, irritability, and mood swings.
There are a huge variety of different herbs and techniques that can help to reduce or reverse the negative health consequences that smoking cigarettes causes.
However, it’s important to consider trying out a range of techniques and tools when you’re trying to quit smoking. Everybody is individual and each person goes through their own journey when they’re trying to quit cigarettes.
Natural quit smoking products might not be 100% effective for you, but it’s worth giving them a go. They have no negative side effects but they could be the solution you’re looking for!
Which Herbs Are the Best to Help You Quit Smoking?
With the huge array of herbs that are available nowadays, it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which ones are going to be the most effective in helping you quit smoking.
To help you out, here are a handful of herbs that are recognized as being the best natural quit smoking products. For maximum effects, try a few of these products in combination and see which ones work the best for you.
Green tea is one of the most common natural remedies to quit smoking that many people enjoy throughout their journey and beyond. Alongside its benefits for weight loss and detoxification, it may also help to reduce cravings and help people get through their smoking cessation journey.
There is evidence to show that green tea can help to repair the damage caused by cigarette smoking in the tissues due to its polyphenol (flavonoids and tannins) content. It may reduce the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in older adults who have previously smoked.
Polyphenols act as antioxidants to reduce oxidative damage in your cells and tissues, which reduces the risk of organ damage or cancer.
Green tea is found in most grocery stores or health stores, and you can also buy it online. It is usually sold either in tea bags or loose-leaf options.
Despite its name, catnip isn’t just for cats! It can be used by humans too, and it has been recognized as one of the best herbs to quit smoking.
Catnip is a popular herb that can help to reduce the irritability, anxiety, and fatigue that comes along with nicotine withdrawal. It’s also been shown to reduce the severity of dry coughs and headaches due to its antispasmodic and antibiotic properties.
You can take catnip as a tea or in any hot drink alongside a drop of lemon juice or honey to sweeten the taste. Alternatively, you can place a few drops under your tongue to reduce your cigarette cravings.
Black pepper is an essential oil that is often used in aromatherapy, commonly alongside angelica oil. Black pepper oil can reduce the severity of nicotine cravings and angelica oil can extend the time between cravings, so they make the perfect combination to target some of the negative side effects of quitting smoking.
Black pepper essential oil is best used in an oil diffuser. It can also be added to massage oil or used in other essential oil cosmetic products.
Hyssop is a strong decongestant that works by increasing the secretions in the lungs and stomach.
It can help to clear the lungs, reduce mucus in smokers, and reduce the risk of lung infections due to its antiseptic properties. It helps to open up the airways, improve circulation, and enhance digestion too.
It also has calming effects that can reduce the irritability and nervousness that comes along with quitting smoking. You can take hyssop in a capsule or tincture.
Lobelia, also known as Indian tobacco, is a herb that is commonly used as a substitute for tobacco as a natural remedy to help people quit smoking cigarettes. The active component found in the herb, lobeline, has nicotine-like effects, but it is not as toxic to the body as nicotine.
A lot of people find that keeping their hands busy is an effective way to reduce their urge to smoke, so using a lobelia-based substitute may be a great option.
It has been used for centuries and is known as a ‘lung cleanser’. It may reduce symptoms of asthma, including shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing. Lobelia can also decrease tension in the muscles, helping you to feel more relaxed on your smoking cessation journey.
This herb is best taken in a tincture, but it is not recommended to everybody. Before you take lobelia, you must consult a healthcare professional as large doses have the potential to be toxic.
It is not suitable for those with cardiovascular disease, seizure disorders, or tobacco sensitivity. It’s also not recommended for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is a herb that has been used for centuries and has sedative and mood-stabilizing effects. For this reason, it is commonly used to treat a range of mental health disorders, including OCD, ADHD, anxiety, and depression.
It is effective as a quit smoking aid due to its ability to relieve nervousness, irritability, restlessness, and muscle tension, all of which are common symptoms of nicotine withdrawal.
It is best taken in a capsule or tincture form. It is not recommended for use during pregnancy or breastfeeding, and you must talk to your doctor before using it as a herbal supplement.
Valerian is another essential oil that is used in combination with other oils in aromatherapy.
This oil has been used for years and years, and dates all the way back to Ancient Rome and Ancient Greece. It can reduce headaches, heart palpitations, tremors, fatigue, and irritability due to its calming effects, and may help to treat insomnia caused by nicotine withdrawal.
Valerian essential oil is best taken as a capsule just before bed to help you drift off to sleep. Because of its sedative effects, it should not be taken with alcohol or other sedatives.
If you’re considering using herbs to quit smoking, you should first consult your doctor to ensure it is safe for you to do so. They aren’t appropriate for everybody and can be a cause for concern in those with particular health conditions.
Herbal remedies can be very effective in helping you quit smoking when used correctly so it’s worth giving them a try!
Quitting smoking is never going to be an easy ride but it can be much easier when you have great tools and the right kind of support around you. Use the resources that you find helpful and be patient! It takes time to quit smoking for good, but it’s completely possible.