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If you haven't heard the news, cigarettes are bad...mmkay. I don't think that I need to go into the information on the many ways that smoking cigarettes can kill. In fact, as an ex-smoker myself, I know you have probably already heard most of it before. You can easily do a Google search to find a plethora of information on the dangers of smoking cigarettes. I figure, if you are here, you too know these dangers. You're likely here to try and find natural help with quitting your habit. It may not be an easy road to walk down, but hopefully, I can help make it a little bit easier for you!
Diet and exercise can drastically affect your cravings
When I first decided to truly quit smoking, we had also started making a lot of different lifestyle changes, including our diet. Going to a plant-based diet had been one of the kickers to help me quit smoking. I had tried many times before, but I had not been eating or living healthily and I always reverted back to my old ways. At the same time that I quit, I also started doing yoga 3 times a week, including an hour with a private in-home teacher. All of these lifestyle changes really helped me to quit for good, and I am now nearly 5 years tobacco free! Some of the healthy changes you can make in your own life, may also help you to kick your habit in the butt:
- Eat more fresh fruits and veggies and less fast food - One study, in the Journal of Nicotine & Tobacco Research, showed that those who consumed more fruits and vegetables during the period of time they quit smoking, were able to abstain from having another cigarette for much longer than those who did not eat as much fresh fruits and veggies. You do not have to eat completely vegan or vegetarian, but for the first 30 days, it would be best to stick to a whole foods plant based diet for as much of the time as possible. This will help your body to detoxify all of the toxins faster and support your immune system further.
- Drink more water and herbal tea - It's important, especially when you are trying to detox your body from a chemical addiction, to drink as much water as possible during this time period to help flush the toxins out of your body faster. Avoid drinking alcohol and even coffee, if you normally have a cigarette with your morning wake-up cup. When you have cravings for a cigarette, your blood sugar usually drops, which in turn will have you grabbing for sweet treats that tend to pack on the pounds. Instead, try drinking juice or my Flowerchild Refreshment Tea, throughout your day, to keep your blood sugar levels up and to stop your sweet cravings. Choosing the tea over juice would be highly beneficial with such high amounts of vitamin C to help flush your body and keep your immune system stable! Vitamin C is one of the best-known substances to remove Nicotine from the bloodstream because it not only helps to increase your metabolism, but it also creates white blood cells (cells that help carry poisons out of the body). Nicotine also destroys vitamin C in your body, so replacing it will be important while you are quitting.
- Exercise - When you quit smoking, anxiety, stress, and anger can be just a few of the symptoms you may experience. Exercise produces endorphins and serotonin, helping to make you happier and less stressed. You can also combat stress by doing yoga, it's both exercising and relaxing, and also helps you to learn to follow your breath. Exercising regularly helps to improve your mood and help to detoxify your body faster.
- Meditate - There have been tons of studies done on the many benefits of meditation. Clinically, meditation has shown to be very effective in reducing stress levels, reducing pain, increasing cognitive function, improving moods, and even combating depression. Studies have even shown that during meditation, your brain achieves deeper states of relaxation than while sleeping! Try adding it to your daily routine, and see what it can do for you while kicking your habit in the butt!
Studies have shown essential oils can help you to quit
According to Jane Buckle's Clinical Aromatherapy - Essential Oils in Healthcare, there have been several studies done on the effects of essential oils on nicotine cravings. In the most recent study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20 people who were daily users of nicotine products (cigarettes, snuff, or chewing tobacco) were asked to try aromatherapy instead. They were divided into two separate groups and given an essential oil (either black pepper or angelica) and given instructions to place one drop of essential oil on a tissue and inhale this for two minutes (roughly the amount of time it takes to smoke a cigarette) whenever they felt the urge to use tobacco. The test subjects reported back with their experiences and they found that both essential oils effectively curbed cravings, but they provoked different responses. It was reported that the intensity of their cravings were dramatically reduced after inhaling black pepper essential than they did with angelica essential oil, but inhaling angelica essential oil helped to delay their next nicotine hit for longer than the pepper. Combined, they effectively helped to curb the cravings for longer.
Another study, by Rose and Behm, found "the vapor of black pepper essential oil, when inhaled, partially reproduces the respiratory tract sensations experienced when smoking, thereby reducing the craving for cigarettes."
This is NOT a cure, but an AID to help you quit smoking
It is important to note that I am not giving you a cure-all prescription for quitting. This aromatherapy blend is designed to help relieve some of the symptoms you might experience while quitting cigarettes, as well as to help uplift the mood, and extend the period of time you can go without a cigarette. You can use this for both quitting "cold turkey" or while slowly reducing your nicotine intake weekly. This blend is safe to use in conjunction with other nicotine replacement aids (such as the patch or chewing gum). I would not use Chantix with this aromatherapy blend, there is no telling how it might interact.
Butt Kicker - Essential Oil Blend
It is highly recommended to quit smoking if you are pregnant or nursing. If you are pregnant and trying to quit smoking, you can use this blend too! Simply substitute lavender for the clary sage and use half as much as recommended, when diffusing or using topically.
- 40 drops black pepper essential oil
- 20 drops clary sage essential oil
- 30 drops bergamot essential oil
- 30 drops grapefruit essential oil
- 10 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
- 20 drops sweet marjoram essential oil
- 24 drops coriander essential oil
- 15 ml glass bottle with dropper
- Combine essential oils in a 15 ml amber glass bottle. Swirl the bottle gently to mix. Store in a cool dark place with your other essential oils, when not using!
How to use the Butt Kicker essential oil blend
You could use this blend topically, diluted in a roll-on bottle, but this blend is most effective using inhalation rather than topical application.
- Aromatherapy Inhaler - This is my favorite choice for what we're using this blend for. Aromatherapy Inhalers are perfect to keep on hand in your back pocket or purse, for whenever the need to take a whiff arises! The best part is you're the only one who smells your personal inhaler, so the essential oils used will not offend anyone around you! To use, place 25-30 drops of the essential oil blend into a small glass bowl. Add the cotton pad to the bowl and roll it around (using tweezers, not bare fingers) until it's soaked up all the essential oils. Using tweezers, remove pad and place in inhaler tube. After closing the inhaler tube, be sure to label it so that you don't forget which blend it is! You can pull the inhaler out and take a few deep whiffs for up to 2 minutes (the amount of time it roughly takes to smoke a cigarette) whenever you are feeling a craving.
- Smelling Salts - This is just another way to keep a sniffer around with you on-the-go. In a 10 ml (1/3 oz.) glass bottle, add 30 drops of Butt Kicker essential oil blend and fill the remainder of the bottle with either fine or coarse sea salt. Waft the bottle under your nose while taking deep inhalations for up to 2 minutes (the amount of time it roughly takes to smoke a cigarette), whenever you feel a craving.
- Diffuser - This blend works really well in the diffuser when you are at home or in your office, using the recommended amount of drops for your diffuser, diffuse this blend throughout the space that you are occupying. Diffuse for 30 minutes ON and 60 minutes OFF so as not to get oiled out!