Smoking is a very common addiction. Around 30% of adult women and over 45% of adult men in America are addicted to it. Smoking can lead to serious diseases and health disorders, such as diabetes, respiratory infections, heart disease and even cancer. In pregnant women, it can result in miscarriage.
Smokers actually inhale nicotine, which makes the body so addicted to it that it becomes very difficult to quit smoking even if a person wishes to. Besides strong cravings for cigarettes, withdrawal symptoms can also include restlessness, depression, irritability, insomnia and anxiety. Fortunately, there are lots of herbs that can help you quit smoking without such symptoms.
Best Herbs To Quit Smoking
The main active components in valerian include valepotriates, valerenic acid, valerenal, valeranone, beta-caryophyllene and bornyl acetate. The combined effect of all these natural components has been found to be very effective in reducing the body’s dependency on nicotine, which eventually reduces cravings for cigarettes.In addition to that, valerian also reduces stress, muscle tension, anxiety and even insomnia, which are all some of the most common smoking withdrawal symptoms. However, it is important to note that valerian also contains sedative features. So, overdose of it should strictly be avoided. Those who are taking anti-depressants and women who are pregnant should not use this remedy.
St. John’s Wort
The active components in St. John’s Wort include hypericin and hyperforin. Both these components have been found to be very beneficial in improving the functions of serotonin, (a brain chemical or neurotransmitter) that regulates mood and send signals to nerve cells.Your body reacts according to how serotonin is performing. Nicotine dependency reduces the productions of serotonin that results in stress, depression and anxiety. Improved performance of serotonin keeps you in a happy and relaxed mood and reduces the symptoms of smoking withdrawal. However, you are advised not to take this herb with other antidepressants.
Astragalus is a traditional Chinese herb that belongs to the bean family. It contains powerful antioxidants properties that have been found to be very helpful in reducing the oxidative damage caused by smoking. The reduction in the oxidative damage in the body reduces the body’s dependency on nicotine. Astragalus also reduces the quantity of nicotine already present in the body.
The 2005 issue of “The American Journal of Chinese medicine” published a report of a study conducted on 100 smokers. It was found that those who used to drink a herbal tea made of astragalus two times daily showed fewer cigarette cravings and significantly reduced symptoms of smoking withdrawal. Moreover, 38% of them also succeeded in quitting smoking completely within 2-3 months. However, astragalus should not be taken with immunosuppressant drugs.
Lobeline tastes like nicotine but without causing any harmful effects that nicotine does. Therefore, if you use Lobeline in place of nicotine, it will continue to give you the pleasure of smoking without causing you to get addicted to it. Once your body’s dependency on nicotine is finished, you can stop smoking at all. However, Lobeline must be taken under the strict guidance of an experienced herbal practitioner. Excess use of Lobeline can cause some side effects, such as drowsiness, vomiting and even weak pulse.
The root bark of mimosa hostilis can be used to prepare a herbal tea, drinking which does not only reduce smoking withdrawal symptoms but it can also help you to quit smoking altogether. Drinking one cup of mimosa tea daily can be very useful in reducing your body’s addiction for nicotine.In addition to that, it also reduces the feelings of anxiety and restlessness, relieves headaches, calms down your nerves and works effectively against most of the symptoms of nicotine or smoking withdrawal. The best thing about this herb is that it is not addictive and does not carry any side effects.
Medically termed as Avina Sativa, oat straw is one of those herbs that are well researched and proven for their effectiveness not only in reducing smoking withdrawal symptoms but also in quitting smoking completely. There are two active components in oat straw – avenine and avenine glycosides. Both these substances have the natural ability to increase blood flow, to improve the functions of the central nervous system and to decrease the dependency of your body on nicotine. This way, when you take this herb, you will not feel any restlessness, stress or anxiety even if you are not smoking as frequently as you were previously addicted to.
Though the above herbs are very frequently used in herbal formulas to quit smoking, you are strongly advised to consult your doctor first. You might be allergic to some of these herbs, depending upon your specific health condition. Therefore, consult a good herbal practitioner and follow the herbal remedies as prescribed by them.