It is no secret that smoking is toxic for your health. The statistics back up the anecdotal evidence of a smoker’s cough and yellowing teeth. 20% of all deaths in the US are caused by smoking and in the 20th century, over 100 million people died as a result of smoking. As it stands, the numbers are only likely to increase as there are now over 1.1 billion ‘regular’ smokers on the planet. The need to find ways to quit has never been more important.
One solution that has been widely used over the last couple of decades is the nicotine patch. The theory behind the patch is that rather than go ‘cold turkey’ you can wean yourself off nicotine gently, without having to smoke at all. However, nicotine patches still distribute toxins through your body which can lead to all manner of side effects from headaches and nausea, to vivid and disturbing dreams.
To avoid the continued release of toxins into your bloodstream, this list of eight proven natural treatments will help you find a solution to your smoking dilemma.
A study by the Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand, tested the effects of lime juice on people who were quitting smoking, in comparison with those who used nicotine gum. The group who drank lime juice throughout the trial were found to have greater success in quitting. The effectiveness of lime juice to help you quit smoking is also backed up with other additional health benefits that limes possess, such as high levels of vitamin C and aid with digestion.
The aim of acupuncture is to use the needles on your skin to stimulate the flow of qi energy. One of the biggest issues people face when they look to quit smoking is feelings of anxiety and tension. They assume they will lapse back into their old ways and ultimately become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Acupuncture replaces the relaxing sensation that you get from a cigarette and allows you to feel the power of your body’s energy instead.
Exercise has a surprisingly similar effect on the body as smoking, without any of the negative health issues. Running or playing sport releases endorphins which act as a strong natural stress reliever. By exercising, you are replacing your addiction to the relaxed feeling that cigarettes give you, while simultaneously boosting your confidence. Even starting with just 10-15 minutes of exercise a day will limit your cravings.
According to one well-known hypnotist, Garry Johnson, ‘86% of my (his) clients stop in their first session.’ Although this claim is a bold one, there is gathering evidence that hypnosis can help you quit smoking. Rather than tackling the side effects of addiction, such as cravings, hypnosis allows you to address the root of the problem, in order to readjust your mindset and turn off your desire for cigarettes.
Black pepper oil
Nicotine patches aim to negate the cravings that you will have for cigarettes whilst you try and kick your addiction. However, one group of researchers from the Nicotine Research Center, Durham, have discovered that inhaling black pepper oil can act as a much stronger cravings suppressant. The study tested the effects of black pepper oil on 48 people and found that it is necessary to replicate the respiratory tract sensations of smoking to eliminate withdrawal symptoms.
Most treatment plans for quitting smoking focus on the effects that the activity has on your body. However, scientists have found that practising the art of mindfulness has greater benefits than standard treatments. In the study, half of the participants were given standard quit smoking sessions, and the other half were given mindfulness courses. Four months after the study the mindfulness group had a 31% success rate for completely stopping, whereas the standard group were at just 6%.
Severe withdrawal symptoms can lead you to feel unwell and depressed. To help yourself out of a craving stupor, it has been found that self-massage of your hands and ears can help with smoking-related anxiety, as well as improve your general mood.
This traditional Chinese medicine has been used for centuries to reduce fatigue in stressful situations, particularly in battles. Scientists are now beginning to show just how effective it can be in the fight against cigarette addiction. A study on mice found that symptoms of nicotine withdrawal were eradicated by administering Rhodiola Rosea.
No matter which method you attempt to quit smoking, the act takes a great deal of self-discipline. Cravings and other adverse side effects of withdrawal will influence your mood and make you feel like you’re less healthy than ever. These natural remedies will help manage how extreme these symptoms are but there is no sure fire way to remove them altogether. In those moments when the symptoms of withdrawal feel too tough to get through, just remember that you’ve taken a huge step towards a longer, healthier, and ultimately happier life.