If you’re a smoker, you know it’s not exactly good for your health. And you’re probably sick of all the posters and people (like us) telling you to quit. We know, we’re always writing articles saying how bad smoking is for your oral health, but we’re not giving you any tips on how to quit. So we did some digging and found the best herbal remedies to assist you during the quitting process.
Smoking and Oral Health
When you inhale cigarette smoke, toxins and chemicals pollute the mouth completely stripping it of all the vital nutrients that aid your mouth’s natural healing abilities. This leads to greater inflammation and hinders immune functionality, which prevents your body’s natural ability to heal infection.
Smoking also causes gums to become swollen and undernourished. This is because the nicotine in tobacco constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow to your gums.
There are numerous studies to suggest that people who smoke are much more likely to develop gum disease and are prone to developing more serious gum issues that lead to tooth extraction as opposed to a non-smoker.
There is much debate as to whether vaping is as bad as smoking when it comes to your teeth and gums. But although the long term effects of e-cigarettes still aren’t well known, there is substantial evidence to suggest that vaping is extremely detrimental to your oral health and is certainly not a safe alternative.
Herbs to help you quit smoking
Quitting smoking isn’t an easy thing. Your body can go through some uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, which can affect you physically and emotionally. But luckily, nature always lends a helping hand.
If you’re thinking of quitting smoking then you may want to try out some of these handy herbs to help you along the way.
Catnip is one of the most popular herbs to ease withdrawal symptoms associated with smoking. It contains antibiotic and antispasmodic properties that may ease dry coughs, abdominal cramps, and headaches.
Catnip also helps with anxiety, irritability, and sleeplessness related to nicotine withdrawal.
Catnip can either be taken as a tincture or as a tea. In tincture form, a couple of drops on the back of the tongue is said to lessen cravings. If you are making catnip tea, you may want to add some lemon juice and honey for extra flavor.
Valerian is a powerful herb of choice when it comes to quitting smoking. It can relieve muscle tension, restlessness, insomnia, and feelings of anxiety and irritability. Check out our blog, “5 calming herbs to soothe anxiety,” for other herbal remedies to deal with symptoms of anxiety that may arise.
Valerian is best taken in capsule form before bed.
OAT STRAW AND OAT SEED
Oat straw/seed is a potent herb that helps to relieve feelings of stress, exhaustion, and nervousness which are commonly experienced when quitting smoking.
Oat straw/seed can be taken in capsule, powder or tincture form.
Also known as Indian tobacco (lobelia inflata), this controversial herb is commonly used as a substitute for tobacco to help ease the quitting process. While Lobelia has been proven to show nicotine-like effects, it is not as toxic to the body or as addictive as nicotine. It has been used for centuries as a natural lung-cleanser and has been used to treat symptoms of asthma attacks, such as wheezing, uncontrollable coughing, and chest tightness.
This powerful herb helps to soothe nervousness and ease muscle tension and has also been reputed to make the taste of cigarettes even more unpleasant. Feel free to check out our blog, “7 best herbs for your respiratory health,” for some other excellent lung-cleansing herbs.
Lobelia is best taken in tincture form.
Please note: Lobelia is a strong herb that should be taken with care. High doses can cause nausea and vomiting and should be avoided by those with low blood pressure, heart disease, or breathing difficulties.
One of the most common herbal remedies used to control cravings associated with smoking is green tea. As a powerful antioxidant, green tea helps restore the oxidant/antioxidant imbalance that smoking has disrupted, and aids the body during the detoxification period. The components of green tea are also said to help reduce the urge to smoke.
Green tea is available in most grocery stores either sold as loose leaf tea or individual teabags.
Korean Ginseng is one of the most popular herbs in the world for helping to relieve symptoms associated with smoking withdrawal. As a powerful adaptogen, this herb is most beneficial for helping the body deal with stress. Ginseng is especially helpful for soothing feelings of anxiety, relieving fatigue, and re-establishing balance in the body, which is needed for helping the body adjust to the absence of nicotine.
Ginseng is best taken in tincture or capsule form.
ST JOHN’S WORT
This potent herb is used worldwide to control nicotine cravings. It is one of the most well-known herbs for stabilizing moods and easing symptoms of depression. As a mild sedative, it helps to relieve nervousness and anxiety, making it a useful remedy for irritability and restlessness associated with quitting smoking.
St John’s Wort is best taken in tincture or capsule form.
Hyssop is a powerful decongestant and expectorant that helps clear lung mucus congestion that often results from smoking. This aromatic plant soothes and repairs irritated mucus membranes and is often used to treat respiratory ailments.
Due to its calming ability, hyssop helps soothe the nervous system and relieve anxiety associated with nicotine withdrawal.
Hyssop is also a diaphoretic herb, meaning that it promotes sweating which will help in detoxifying the body through the skin.
Hyssop is best taken in tincture form or as a tea.
We know giving up smoking can be a difficult process, but it is the most beneficial thing you can do for your body, mind, and your wallet! As well as our listed herbs, you may want to consider joining a support group or working with a meditation teacher who can suggest breathing exercises and help you process emotions you may experience during the quitting process. There is a lot of help available so don’t be afraid to reach out.
“Quitting smoking can be a very good test of one’s character. Pass the test and you will have accomplished so much more than just get rid of one bad habit.”
— Abraham H. Maslow, an American psychologist
Why use our herbal tooth and gum powder
If you smoke or are in the midst of the quitting process, it is even more important that you take good care of your teeth and gums. As we mentioned before, smoking completely strips the mouth of vital nutrients that aid your body’s natural healing process.
So let’s put those nutrients back!
Our 100% natural tooth powder is packed full of all the essential nutrients for optimal gum health. Good-Gums powder soothes sore gums and strengthens tooth enamel, while also counteracting acidity in the mouth and neutralizing bacteria that cause plaque buildup.
Our formula is designed to absorb into your gums, putting back all the vital nutrients that are necessary to get your gums back in tip-top shape.
This will ensure your gums are receiving maximum nutrition so they’ll be stronger, tighter, and less prone to infection.
Click here, to try our all natural tooth and gum powder.
Remember, what’s good for your gums is good for you.