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15 Natural Ways To Help You Quit Smoking

15 Natural Ways To Help You Quit Smoking

It’s hard to believe that there was a time in history, not too long ago, when smoking was actually considered “healthy.”  It didn’t become especially stigmatized until the 1960s when the United States Surgeon General suggested a link between smoking and cancer, which ultimately lead to bans on advertising and the requirement of warning labels. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) today reports that approximately six million lives are taken by tobacco each year, with 600,000 deaths from secondhand exposure.  Despite the knowledge that we have acquired over the last several decades, smoking continues to remain a large part of our society.

Why Cold Turkey Is Effective

If you are ready to finally take the leap and kick the habit for good, experts recommend that you do it all at once, “cold-turkey,” rather than gradually weaning off of cigarettes.  The reasoning is that it’s better to go through a tough few days rather than drag it on for weeks or months.  The first three days are typically the hardest and by the end of the fifth day, the desire for a cigarette has waned significantly.  If you can make it to day 10 you have hurdled the biggest goal and are on your way to a smoke-free life.  By this point, your risk for a heart attack has already begun to drop and your lung function is already beginning to improve.  Not to mention all that extra cash in your pocket!

A Natural Approach

Rather than spending money on expensive medications and patches, some of the most effective methods to help you quit smoking can be found right in your own home.  While there is no magic bullet, there are some natural and safe tips to help you conquer your journey of addiction and reclaim your body.

15 Natural Ways To Quit Smoking

1. Water: Water has the amazing ability to help the body heal itself.  Nicotine is an extremely addictive toxin that permeates throughout your tissues, making it difficult to get out of your body. Drinking ample amounts of water throughout the day helps to detoxify your body.  The more you drink, the more nicotine will be excreted from your body.  Drink a glass of warm water with lemon when you wake up, and then another two glasses between each meal.

2. Walk After Meals: Avoid sitting after a meal when the urge to have a cigarette is often the greatest.  Instead, go for a walk or breathe deeply for 15 minutes following a meal.

3. Meditation: The psychological stress that a smoker undergoes during the first few weeks of nicotine withdrawal often drives smokers to the breaking point.  Mindful meditation has been shown to aid people in quitting smoking by regulating cravings, withdrawal symptoms, stress, and the negative emotions associated with kicking the habit.  People who practice meditation have a greater success rate in smoking cessation than their counterparts.  Meditation encourages an overall healthier lifestyle, while also helping to regulate cravings and control emotions. Try this meditation podcast.

4. Get Plenty of Rest: When you are exhausted your frayed nerves will increase your desire for a cigarette.  Get more rest than usual in the first few days and weeks of quitting.  Eating your meals and going to bed at a regular time each day will also help to regulate your body.

5. Take Your Vitamins: In order to fight the toxins in your body, a multivitamin will help your body to repair itself, providing it with the essential nutrients needed to expel toxins.

6. Ginger: Nausea is a common side effect of quitting smoking. To combat this, try using ginger to calm your stomach.  Fresh ginger, tablets, capsules or as a tea are all effective forms.

7.  Lime: Suck a lime! Lime (the fruit) is a cheap, non-toxic and easily accessible alternative to nicotine gum.  Limes also help to alkalinize the tissues of smokers, which are normally more acidic than non-smokers. 

Try this lemon-lime juice recipe to help curb the craving:

1 lime
1 lemon
1 tsp sugar
1 cup water
Ice cubes

Combine the squeezed juice from the lime and lemons in a glass.  Add the water and sugar and stir well.  Serve over ice and enjoy.

8. Essential Oils:  Numerous studies have documented the effects of essential oils on nicotine cravings.  Many essential oils have been shown to help decrease cravings and treat symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal, such as irritability, anxiety, depression, restlessness, and lack of concentration.  The best oils to aid in smoking cessation are angelica, clove, cinnamon, grapefruit, peppermint, black pepper, and ylang-ylang.  A combination of peppermint and lavender help to reduce headaches and control appetite.

Try making this special blend at home to help ease nerves, regulate cravings and balance your mood:

5 drops clove, 5 drops orange, lemon or lime, 5 drops chamomile, 5 drops helichrysum, 10 drops lavender, 10 drops marjoram, and 15 drops grapefruit.

An electric diffuser or candle can be used to inhale oils, or you can simply massage the oil blend on the back of your neck or chest.  An effective way to use essential oils on the go is with a portable inhaler, such as the Aromahaler. It can be easily carried in your purse or pocket to use when cravings strike.  When you feel the urge to light up, simply inhale deeply.  Soaking toothpicks in peppermint food-grade essential oils and then chewing on them also helps to combat oral fixations.

9. Acupuncture: Acupuncture therapy has been shown to be very effective in providing relief from symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal.  This can be especially helpful during the first week when symptom intensity is at its peak.

10. Hypnotherapy: Imagery, visualization, and deep breathing are common tools in hypnotherapy, a form of psychotherapy.  Hypnotherapy has been an effective therapy for some people in search of letting go of bad habits.  Hypnotherapists put the patient in a sort of trance and through talking they transmit to your subconscious the motivation for quitting.

11. Massage: Self-massage can help to curb cravings, lower anxiety rates, and improve your mood.  The good news is that you don’t need to spend lots of money on a professional massage.  Something as simple as touching your ear or hand can calm your nerves and hinder cravings.

12. Exercise: It’s not news that exercise is a quick and inexpensive fix for feeling down in the dumps.  Even short, light-intensity exercise can help to curb cravings and ease symptoms of withdrawal.  Next time you are feeling the urge to light up, lace up.  Exercise will also help with potential weight gain commonly associated with quitting smoking.

13.  Ginseng: To combat cravings try adding about a spoonful of ginseng powder to your juices, cereal, oatmeal, or soup in the morning to help fight off cravings throughout the day.  If you are already taking a multivitamin, check your bottle and see if you are getting your daily doses of all essential vitamins.

14. St. John’s Wort:  This herb is used to raise your dopamine levels, just as nicotine does, giving you the same happy feeling smokers get from a cigarette.  Be sure to use this herb under the guidance of a health care professional or herbalist, as there may be side effects.

15. Licorice Root: Many people find it difficult to quit smoking because of the oral fixation associated with smoking. Chewing on licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) can help satisfy the oral fixation. Here’s where to buy. Use this as a temporary fix.  NOTE: Using it longer than 2 weeks can affect potassium and blood pressure levels so check with your doctor. Not recommended for diabetics.

Chewing on licorice root can help with oral fixation.

Want to know what the best days to quit smoking are, according to the Farmers’ Almanac? Check out the calendar here. 

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  • Kevin says:

    I’m going on 70 years old. I smoked for 35 years and tried quitting numerous times (cold turkey, hypnotizing, gum…) nothing worked. Then I tried only smoking half a cigarette at a time. Did not save the un-smoked portion. Lit a new one each time. After a few weeks, I could not stand smoking more than a half a cigarette. The tar and nicotine were too strong. Before long I didn’t want one at all. Been smoke-free for about 16 years now. Not sure what will work for you, but don’t stop trying to quit. IT IS WORTH IT.

  • Steve says:

    I want to thank those that have posted here about their experiences of quitting smoking. I have been a pack a day smoker for 38+ years, quit several times, longest being 6 months only to start again. Well I am on day 6 of quitting and I pray I will not fail again. Again I thank everyone for their posts they are encouragement to keep me going and reason I have bookmarked this page to read everyday.

    • Debbie says:

      Praying for you. I need to quit so bad. I’ve tried it all. Going to pray about it and try again. You can do it Steve. If you believe in God pray a lot. He can help you through this.

  • Sara VanPetten says:

    I found using cinnamon sticks to be helpful. They have flavor and help with the hand-mouth habit, too!

  • kd says:

    I smoked a pack a day for ten years. I quit 28 years ago through gradual reduction and behavior modification. Water, walking, and peppermint helped me. Health to everyone!

  • Laura Melvin says:

    I quit cold turkey 4 years ago. First I started to change my attitude about smoking, thinking of how it burned my throat, didn’t really help me any and made me cough. I quit lighting up after things like dinner, coffee, or anything that made me want to smoke. When I would get to the point of wanting to give up I would tell myself if I felt the same way tomorrow I could buy a pack but for today I would not.
    I did use a fake cigarette that I hade made out of a wooden dowel. I painted it to look like a real cigarette and just held it and played with it like I used to do real cigarettes. I had smoked for 35 years so it is possible to quit but you really need the proper mindset to do it.

  • Barrettgirl1 says:

    I am really need to quit I am 53 I have a 11 yr old daughter and I want to live to see her be a grown-up.this has really been on my mind lately.I smoke a pack a day and quitting has really been on my mind.I have been praying about it and asking GOD to deliver me from smoking with a clean Bill of health….

    • Debbie says:

      Your daughter is your inspiration. When you want to smoke think about which is more important. I’m going to give it another try. My COPD is really bad. I’m off an in oxygen. I take steroids a lot to breathe. My grandson is going to be my inspiration. The mind set is what we need. Ill be praying for all. Cigs are from the devil. Lol.

  • phenq says:

    You can’t always trust what you read online. Your blog are really awesome Thanks A lot

  • AMI says:

    the one BIG thing that hinders people from not smoking is the usage of the word QUIT…PROBABLY instilled to use by the tobacco industry super intelligent and psycho-savvy ad companies…WHEN & WHERE else do we use the word QUIT which implies ANYthing good will come from it? … NO WHERE …To QUIT s antithetical to survival…If you want success…FRIST…JUST STOP…I KNOW the mind set of a smoker…it is VERY unique to only a smoker. That USED to be me, too. Personally, I quit smoking MANY times in my 35 (+/-) years of smoking tobacco…I STOPPED ONLY ONCE…a decade ago…and with that mind set…i NEVER looked back! Just remember…TAKE CONTROL BACK & JUST STOP

  • Karen says:

    Switch to natural cigarettes for a couple of weeks. Then, make a commitment to one less cig per day than the day before (you didn’t START with a 2 pack a day habit, did you?). You can only smoke outside, by yourself. Not in your car, not in your house. No distractions, No music, nothing to drink, nobody to talk to, no phone, iPad, magazine, NOTHING. When I got down to 19 cigs per day (down from 40), I was so sick of this I just stopped. The only thing I had to remember was when that automatic “break time bell” went off in my head, I had to remind myself that I didn’t smoke anymore. That went on for about a month, but that was all 15 years ago. Not smoked once since then.

  • Tuesday says:

    I changed the password to my computer at work to a variation of “StopSmoking4Ever.” In 63 days, I stopped smoking. I mean, I literally did not want to smoke anymore. And I have not smoked since. It will be 2 years in October. There was no anxiety or aggitation, and I have zero cravings. I was completely skeptical when I started, and completely surprised that it worked. Good luck to everyone who tries!!

  • Chris says:

    I quit smoking about 20 years ago and it was difficult until I did some research and found out that eating 2 to 3 carrots when I got the urge to smoke was all I needed to do. There is something in carrots that stops your craving for tobacco. It stopped my craving for the cigarettes, and I have not had an urge for them since. It is a lot healthier to eats carrots than use drugs to alleviate the craving.

  • DonL says:

    I am not a cigarette smoker but I have using smokeless tobacco for many many years (they day I gave up my pipe smoking for snuff in the jungles of Vietnam, 1972). I tried all those nicotine thangs (patches, chantix – which has its own dangerous issues, etc): nothing. Ludicrous.
    When i moved to Australia for a few years smokeless tobacco is outlawed. [They customs dudes even gave me a pass with my 5 cans probably because they had bigger issues to contend.] But witjin two weeks after the few cans emptied I simply went to cigarette smoking; a few packs a week. When o returned to the USA buying a sleeve of Copenhagen was one of yhe first things i rushed to do.

    I will try these suggestions, even though i pray a few minutes morning and evening prior to and after my am/pm 45-minute meditations. (To be blunt, i do not pray for this or that for myself, but simply pray for other people).

    Anyway, i have noted the above and will give it a good go.
    I stopped drinking simply by not drinking one night. Just said that was it and that was that. 10 years ago. Thank good gracious.

    There is a reason smokeless tobacco quitting is not heavily written about; because the nicotine is so much more concentrated in the user’s body, via mucous tissues in the mouth, than tobacco smoke. So quitting is harder. And there is not an avalanche of success. It does happen but no one is shouting “Eureka!” with a “one way fits most,” as with smoking.
    I will try this now. Thank you.

  • Candee says:

    My husband needed to quit smoking and I wasn’t ready to. But I didn’t want him to use Chantix and it was difficult to quit when your mate doesn’t join in. I kept sending up small prayer requests to help us both quit for hubby’s sake. On Jan. 10, 2011, I was ‘gifted’ with a sore throat-no other symptoms, no loss of work, just absolutely no desire to smoke! After 48 years at 2 packs a day, I quit and 3 weeks later, so did my husband. It’s been over five years and there are still 3 packs of cigarettes in a drawer, stale and untouched. Yes, I believe in the power of prayer! We were both blessed. PS I developed a craving for pistaccio nuts, a half-pound a day for over a month! Kept me regular without
    any weight gain! Don’t ignore your body’s signals when quitting-might be a good thing! I still don’t miss smoking one bit, and I never thought I would ever say that!

  • Ilene says:

    I quit cold turkey because I asked God to help me out of my financial crisis and I would quit. He heard me and helped me. I didn’t quit right away, I just put the thought out of my mind. Then one night I remembered my promise to God and quit, right then. No withdrawls, no cravings, just quit. Years later I found a pack of cigs that had never been opened in my old luggage. I closed the luggage and they are still there, I always want a reminder of what God can do. So easy.

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