by: Gretchen Schempp, Wellness Department
As a smoker for half my life, I ignored the obvious: Study after study showed that smoking increases the risk of heart disease, cancer, and reproductive dysfunction, while weakening the immune system depriving oxygen from vital organs.
What I did notice was the rising price of cigarettes. The latest federal tax hike on cigarettes means a single pack costs between $5 and $6. That means a pack-a-day smoker spends about $2,000 annually!
It’s not easy to quit smoking, but I did it using a combination of supportive supplements, herbs and stress reduction. Here are a few recommendations found in the Wellness Department that you might find helpful when you decide to quit:
The herb, Lobelia inflata, contains a compound, lobeline, which is similar to nicotine and can be helpful for withdrawal. Lobelia also supports a productive cough which can aid in detoxification. Lobelia is available in a liquid tincture or a homeopathic preparation.
Smoking zaps essential nutrients. Vitamin C, for example, gets used up twice as fast by a smoker. Smoking deprives the body of one of the most versatile and powerful antioxidants available. The amount suggested for people smoking or quitting is 5,000-20,000 mg a day, in divided doses. A good multivitamin may also offer other nutritional support.
Relaxation and Irritability
There are many herbs and other supplements to help support the anxiety and nervousness that accompany nicotine withdrawal. One of my favorites is Kava Kava, which has been shown to promote physical and mental relaxation and can help with anxiety. Kava can be taken in capsule form or in tincture. I appreciated the quick action that I got from ingesting Kava.
Bach’s Rescue Remedy Pastilles are comprised of a blend of flower essences and homeopathic remedies for anxiety and stress relief. For me, they also quell the oral fixation side of smoking.
Licorice root sticks: tasty to suck on. Licorice is used to support adrenal function and increase mucous fluidity, which in turn helps the detoxification process.
Dr. Fungi Lung Tonic: a blend of mushrooms supportive to deep breathing, pulmonary health and natural repair.
Boiron Quit Smoking: a homeopathic kit containing lobelia and nux vomica, helpful for irritability and food cravings.
Ridgecrest Herbals Clear Lungs: a blend of Chinese herbs to keep bronchial airways open and mucus levels normal.
Renew Life Smokers’ Cleanse: a three part 30-day program to detoxify and support, reduce desire and relieve stress.