You can become addicted to almost anything these days. Just ask Charlie Sheen, Britney Spears or Hollywood hunk Tom Hardy who famously told the world, at the height of his addiction, that he would have happily sold his Mother for a fix. Chocolate, alcohol, sex, and drugs, if abused, are bad for our physical and mental health.
Quitting any kind of addictive behavior can be extremely frustrating and it may sometimes seem easier to give in to the cravings than to continue to fight them.
Zyban is a prescription medication whose active ingredient is bupropion, often prescribed to help people stop smoking. It works by stimulating the release of dopamine – the feel-good chemical – decreasing the craving for nicotine.
Unfortunately it also comes with side effects such as nausea, headache, vomiting and insomnia. There is also a one in 1,000 chance that people taking bupropion will have a seizure.
According to world-leading ethnobotanist, Dr James A. Duke, smoking strikes men in the penis and women in the face. That’s right. Smoking damages the blood vessels that supply the penis, so men who smoke have an increased risk of impotence.
Smoking damages the capillaries in womens’ faces, which is why women smokers develop wrinkles years before non-smokers.
If you are heading on the path to a smoke-free life, the leader of the pack – no pun intended – in alleviating nicotine cravings is the oddly named herb, Jamaican dogwood, also know as Florida fish poison tree or Fishfuddle, was been traditionally used as a sedative to stun fish, allowing them to be caught by hand.
Today, Jamaican dogwood, is used as a herbal tincture as a nerve sedative alleviating the withdrawal symptoms of stopping nicotine.
Adhatoda is a medicinal plant found commonly throughout India and Sri Lanka and has been used, in the past, to treat coughs and bronchitis by smoking the dried leaves.
Sometimes know by its common name, Malabar nut, the leave’s active constituent, vasicine, has been shown to be beneficial in opening the airways and clear the coughs that can sometimes be associated with stopping smoking while also acting as an expectorant.
Don’t discount your food pantry either when searching for help in quitting smoking. Eating well is paramount to a balanced and healthy nervous system and, although oats are sometimes associated more with a regular trip to the toilet each day, they can be instrumental in overall well-being.
Oats have a particular affinity with the nervous system, helping to sooth and aid in general debility and depression. When taken as part of a daily diet, oats act as a mild sedative and are therefore safe for people stopping smoking.
Quitting any addictive behavior can be difficult. If you are eager to try herbal medicine to help you quit smoking, consult a medical herbalist first. Although herbs are not chemical medicines, they can still interact with pharmaceutical medication.