Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Butt Stops Here: Quitting Smoking the Natural Way

Get a fresh start and leave the cigarettes behind you forever. People do it every day and feel fantastic, totally energized and reborn. If you smoke, then you can quit too. Read on to find out how nutritional supplements and herbs can help you to quit...

Smoking - it makes you sick and kills you. It also makes you stink and turns your teeth and fingers yellow. Not only that, it can make people around you sick and die, too. If you smoke, the time to quit is now. No excuses. No more putting if off until next week when there isn’t so much stress. Do it right now. Make that the cigarette you smoked your last… FOREVER.

It is widely known that smoking is detrimental to your health so it is not necessary for this article to describe the multitude of diseases that you become susceptible to due to tobacco use. Instead, this article will focus on how natural therapies can help you to quit smoking and rebuild health.

Smoking is both physically and psychologically addicting. Nicotine is a chemical that increases levels of pleasure inducing brain chemicals. It also raises heart rate, blood pressure, metabolism, body temperature, muscle tension and hormone levels. Withdrawal symptoms include irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, increased appetite, headaches, stomach cramps, decreased heart rate, increased blood pressure and cravings for nicotine. Physical withdrawal symptoms last only a few weeks and can be decreased by using natural therapies.

Psychological addiction to smoking accounts for long-term cravings. It can be much more difficult to deal with because smoking is such a part of the daily routine. Many people find that substituting another activity for smoking can help to break this habit. Hypnosis or behavioural counselling deals with the psychological addiction of smoking.

Conventional smoking cessation programs involve alternative nicotine delivery systems like patches, gum, nasal spray or inhalers. They help to gradually decrease the amount of nicotine in your system and break the habit of smoking.

Prescription medicines, like bupropion or methoxsalen mimic the effect of nicotine or alter nicotine metabolism to help one quit smoking.

The natural supplements that can be used in your war against the weed address three main concerns when quitting:

-Reducing initial withdrawal symptoms and cravings
-Maintaining a healthy mood and reducing stress
-Cleansing the lungs and liver
-Reducing withdrawal symptoms can make a big difference for your success.

The herb lobelia has a naturally occurring substance in it that bonds to nicotine receptor sites in your brain, actually fooling it into thinking that you’re still smoking. Withdrawal symptoms are then subsequently reduced.

You can help yourself maintain a healthy mood and reduce stress when you’re quitting smoking with herbs like St. John’s wort and Passionflower. They have been clinically proven to elevate mood and decrease symptoms like anxiety. Melatonin can be used in cases of insomnia. The B complex vitamins are absolutely essential for your body to cope with stress effectively; taking a supplement while you’re quitting can help to take the edge off.

Detoxifying the body is an essential part of quitting smoking. Toxic chemicals must be moved from the different tissues in your body where they are stored, and then out of the body through the natural processes of elimination. The herb milk thistle can be used to help clean out toxins from your liver. The amino acid NAC (n-acetyl-cysteine) cleanses mucous from the lungs.

Cleansing the blood is important, too. You can use the herbs red clover, burdock and dandelion.
Dietary suggestions for smoking cessation involve providing the body with nutrients to support detoxification and to rebuild damaged tissues. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, especially vegetables in the cabbage family because they provide liver detoxifying nutrients. Eat yellow and orange fruits and vegetables because they contain vitamin A, which heals lung tissue.

Drink lots of water and fresh vegetable juices to flush toxins from the body. Do not consume junk food, processed foods, saturated fat, unfermented dairy products, peanuts, salt, sugar of any kind, white flour, alcohol, coffee or black tea.

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This article is part of a series of health articles available at www.nationalnutrition.ca

2 comments:

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