Wherever we go, we always see people having a smoke--cigarette smoking that is. Cigarette or tobacco smoking is one of the most favorite vices of almost everyone on earth. It is a stress reliever for most people. It is an addiction that once you’re hooked, you will feel euphoria.
Why is smoking addictive and dangerous?
According to the Cancer Research UK, smoking is very addicting because of nicotine--a potent alkaloid and a relaxant and stimulant drug. It is as addictive as alcohol, cocaine, and heroin, which is one of the reasons why most smokers say they want to quit smoking but find it difficult to do so. Another reason why most workers smoke is that it relaxes them from stress and keeps them awake.
Cigarette smoking can cause harmful effects and can lead to diseases such as lung cancer, heart attack, and stroke. According to the statistic records of the Department of Health in 2004, tobacco contributes or aggravates cancer, primary lung and heart cancers; malignant neoplasm; chronic respiratory diseases; diabetes mellitus; and certain conditions that affect bloodstream and other body organs, which can lead to death. As one of the primary ingredients, nicotine’s effects are harmful and can be life threatening.
Want to Quit? Have Some Natural Alternatives and Herb Remedies
If you’re a smoker and you really want to quit smoking, but you can’t get rid of having oral cravings or something to chew; you might just want to give these natural alternatives a try. You may want to also grab some herbal remedies to help you be fully a smoke-free person and live healthily.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra L.)
Licorice or anise (not to be mistaken with anise or star anise) soothes and softens the mucous membrane of the lungs, throat, stomach, intestines, and it cleanses inflamed mucous membrane that needs immune system support. It contains glycyrrhizin, a Saponin glycoside which gives a natural sweetness (50 times sweeter than sugar cane) and a distinct flavor. In the US, most of the licorices are used as a flavoring agent in making tobacco, and also used in making candies in some European and Middle Eastern countries. According to James A. Duke, Ph.D., licorice root looks similar to an old cheroot cigarette, that chewing or sucking on a piece of licorice root may help satisfy the oral cravings most smokers experience.
Fava Beans / Baguio Beans (Vicia faba)
Fava beans or locally called Baguio beans is one of the best sources of L-Dopa or levodopa, converted to dopamine which plays an important role in emotions and acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain. Because nicotine is a stimulant drug, it also acts the same with dopamine; hence, if a smoker quits smoking but having a problem with his nicotine fix, dopamine helps the smoker’s nicotine cravings. This is to minimize anxiety, depression and other psychological complications from nicotine withdrawal.
Carrot (Daucus carota)
James A. Duke, Ph.D. has mentioned that carrots helped him quit his smoking habits. Carrots contain carotenoids (pigments that give fruits and vegetable orange, yellow and green colors), contains different varieties of carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein. These carotenoids act as antioxidants with strong cancer-fighting properties as they protect cells from free radicals from destroying cell membrane and DHA. Carrots, which are one of the best sources of carotenoids, can be eaten raw or cooked depends on your taste.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa L.)
Turmeric or luyang dilaw has many medicinal properties, as an analgesic for pain relief, as antibacterial and antioxidant agents for wound healing and oral care. Its anti-inflammatory agent helps prevent cancer and other cancer-related complications as it removes the carcinogens from smoking into the lungs.
There are also several alternatives to quit smoking and minimize the oral cravings, such as chewing gum. Others want some more relaxing methods such as acupuncture, massages, and meditations can help ease the smoker’s well-being and eventually start healthy living without having to take a smoke. Some smokers still can’t get rid of the nicotine fix in their system, nicotine patches, and nicotine gums are available in drugstores to help reduce the craving for cigarettes. Nicotine patches work by providing low levels of nicotine, which helps lessen withdrawal symptoms and helps lessen craving for cigarettes. Consult your physician before using the patch and advice if you have a medical condition to further assessment.