Smoking cigarettes is an addictive habit that many people want to quit. In fact, surveys frequently find that at least 68% of adult smokers would like to stop smoking. (1)
If you fall into this category, you're probably already well aware of the dangers of smoking (including an average chance of dying 10 years sooner than non-smokers). But the hard part is: How do you actually do it? (2)
While the approach to smoking cessation is different for every person, herbs and other natural remedies can play a hugely supportive role in the process, especially if you don't want to go the route of prescription medication.
Some herbs helpto calm and support your nervous system and others are natural mood lifters. Both types can help with withdrawal symptoms and resisting cravings. Other remedies help your body recover from the effects of smoking, especially by restoring depleted nutrients and giving respiratory support.
Here's a look at the top herbs and natural remedies that have helped people stop smoking for many years.
Herbs & Natural Remedies to Quit Smoking
Lobelia is a lovely blue flower that has also been used as an herbal remedy for centuries, particularly for respiratory ailments. It's also one of the most powerful herbs for quitting smoking because it may help control cravings.q
The main active compound in lobelia, lobeline, is believed to have an effect similar to nicotine in the body but without any addictive properties. It may also help to relax the airways and support lung function. (3)
Note: Lobelia can have significant adverse side effects if you take too much of it. If possible, consult with an expert before using it to find out exactly how much to take. You can also use it within a remedy like this Smoker's Replacement extract.
Licorice root is a demulcent herb that can soothe the tissues in your respiratory tract and digestion. It may help with the irritation left behind by frequent smoking and can also calm stress, which will help with withdrawal.
In addition, licorice extract is often added to tobacco products, including cigarettes, to enhance the flavor. Including it in an herbal blend you use to quit smoking could help you transition, since your mind will recognize the flavor. (4)
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can drink, and some research indicates that it could help combat the urge to smoke. Drinking it at least twice a day has also been shown to help reduceyour chance of developingchronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), something smokers are at high risk for. (5)(6)
Green tea is also very rich in antioxidants that replenish your body after long-term smoking and help you to detox and get rid of accumulated toxins. As a bonus, green tea has a mood-lifting effect that may help with withdrawal.
Ginseng is a popular herb for those who are trying to quit smoking because it increases energy, reduces stress, and helps your body to get back in balance. It does this as an adaptogenic herb that helps to "normalize" your body and mind. (7)
Ginseng is also full of antioxidants that help reduce chronic inflammation (which cancome from smoking) and support detox.
Milky Oats & Oatstraw
Milky oats and oatstraw are two parts of the oat plant used as herbsfor humans rather than food. Both are powerful tonics for your nervous system and help to calm stress, irritability, and anxiety.
Because they calm stress, oatstraw and milky oats can also help you fall asleep and sleep better, something that can be difficult when you're trying to stop a smoking habit. Both will also help to restore minerals that may be depleted.
Catnip is another calming herb (for humans, that is) that may help to ease withdrawal symptoms by lowering stress and promoting relaxation and sleep. It can also help to soothe coughs and other types of respiratory distress. (8)
You can use catnip as either a tincture or a tea. If you find yourself having sleep difficulties while tying to quite smoking, try catnip in this Sweet Slumber Tea blend.
St. John's Wort
St. John's wort is most well-known as an herb for easing depression and supporting mental health. Though results have been mixed, studies also show that St. John's wort can be helpful for alleviating tobacco withdrawal symptoms and may help reduce cravings. (9)
However, it's important to note that St. John's wort takes time to work in your body. The best results are usually seen at least 2-3 weeks and sometimes longer after consistent use. Because of this, you may want to start taking it even before you stop smoking.
Also, be aware that St. John's wort can interfere with antidepressants and other medication.
Valerian is a powerful sleep aid that has a sedative-like effect when used in large enough quantities. In smaller amounts, valerian is very effective for calming stress and anxiety and has been used as a nerve tonic for hundreds of years.
If you are experiencing a lot of restlessness, irritability, or sleeplessness while quitting smoking, this herb is a top choice for calming your body and mind.
Moving away from herbs for a minute, acupuncture is an ancient therapy that has been used quite successfully to aid smoking cessation. It uses tiny needles inserted into the body by an acupuncture expert at specific points.
Research has shown that receiving acupunctureincreases the success rate at which people quit smoking. There are also acupuncture points in the ears that a trained acupuncturist can help you find and activate at home when you get a craving. (10)
Black Pepper Oil
Black pepper is an antioxidant-rich spice that can help lower inflammation and supports digestion. The essential oil is a natural mood booster and has shown benefits for mental health.
Studies have also found that black pepper essential oil can help with both withdrawal symptoms and nicotine cravings simply by being inhaled as aromatherapy. Just putting a drop on a tissue and sniffing it whenever you get a craving may help. (11)(12)
Vitamins B & C
Research has indicated that smokers tend to have lower levels of vitamin C and certain B vitamins (particularly folate), possibly due to the effects smoking has on the body. (13)
Adding extra vitamin C to your diet along with B complex or folate won't necessarily help you stop smoking, but it may help your body recover from the effects. Vitamin C, especially, is a powerful antioxidant that may help protect your lungs. (14)
Hyssop is more of a recovery herb for your lungs than it is an herb that will help with cravings or withdrawal (although it may offer some nervous system/stress support).
Hyssop has been used for literally thousands of years to ease coughing, relieve congestion, and help relax the airways. It's very soothing for the tissues of your respiratory tract and has the bonus of helping your body to cleanse itself of toxins.
Mullein is one of the most supportive herbs you can use for your respiratory system and may help your lungs to recover after you quit smoking. It soothes mucous membranes in the throat, mouth, and respiratory tract.
Mullein can also help with coughing and congestion and has frequently been used for inflamed and irritated lung tissues. It even supports your lymphatic system, which is key for detoxification.
While no type of smoking is good for your lungs, herbs can be used as a tobacco-free smoking blend if you need something to help yourself ease off of the habit.
Some smokers will add tobacco to the mix and gradually decrease it until only herbs remain. Others find it more helpful to quit "cold turkey" and use herbal smoking blends to ease stress and anxiety.
Here's more about the best smokable herbs if you're interested.
Be sure to research each herb before using it and understand that each one can have negative effects if used in the wrong way. Some are contraindicated during pregnancy and others may interact with medication, so always know what you are getting into before you start using an herb!
Quit Smoking- Naturally
There are plenty of herbs and a few other natural remedies that can really make a difference if you are trying to quit smoking. If you aren't sure where to start, you may want to try a combination support like this Smokers Replacement extract.
Also, don't underestimate the power of a support system and lifestyle changes to help yourself as well, and don't give up!
Disclaimer:This post is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice and should not be substituted for medical advice. Please consult your health care provider, herbalist,midwife, or naturopathic physician before taking herbs, supplements, etc.Here's the linkto our full disclaimer.
What is the best home remedy to quit smoking? ›
- Try nicotine replacement therapy. Ask your health care provider about nicotine replacement therapy. ...
- Avoid triggers. ...
- Delay. ...
- Chew on it. ...
- Don't have 'just one' ...
- Get physical. ...
- Try relaxation techniques. ...
- Call for reinforcements.
Catnip is a popular herb that can help to reduce the irritability, anxiety, and fatigue that comes along with nicotine withdrawal. It's also been shown to reduce the severity of dry coughs and headaches due to its antispasmodic and antibiotic properties.Is there a natural remedy to quit smoking? ›
Drinking plenty of water is the ultimate remedy to treat the habit of smoking. Water will help in detoxifying the body. Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, drink a glass of water. This will not only decrease the craving but will also reduce the withdrawal symptoms.How can I detox my lungs from smoking? ›
- Drink Lots Of Water. Water helps flush toxins from your body, including those found in cigarettes and tobacco products. ...
- Eat Healthy Foods. ...
- Exercise Regularly. ...
- Cough. ...
- Clean Your Living Space. ...
- Practice Deep Breathing. ...
- Try Steam Therapy.
- Vitamin C. A non-smoker needs an average of about 1,000 mg of Vit C per day, while an average smoker may require about 3000 mg. ...
- Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. ...
- Beta Carotene. ...
- Calcium. ...
- Herbs supplements. ...
- Medicinal Drinks.
"The best way to quit smoking is with a combination of medication and counseling," says Maher Karam-Hage, M.D., medical director of the Tobacco Treatment Program at MD Anderson. "They both help. But you double your chances by using both compared with one of them."What is the best tea to stop-smoking? ›
Green tea is also reported to help repair tissues that have been damaged by smoking. Green tea is one of the herbal remedies most commonly used to control cravings. It can be sipped throughout the day during the detoxification period.What is the best tea for nicotine withdrawal? ›
Some research suggests that ginseng could be therapeutic for nicotine addiction because it may weaken the effect of dopamine, a neurotransmitter in the brain that is associated with pleasure and is released when smoking tobacco.
Almost 90% of nicotine absorbed by the body is metabolized in the liver. Nicotine may also be metabolized in the kidneys, lungs, brain, and respiratory epithelium membranes. The nicotine undergoes many transformations. Key role in the metabolism of nicotine is played by cytochrome P450 oxidases (mainly CYP2A6).How can I detox my body from smoking in one day? ›
What is the fastest way to detox from nicotine? Detox occurs when your body eliminates a substance through the excretion of urine and solid waste. The fastest way to detox from nicotine is by drinking lots of water, sweating, including exercise or infrared sauna therapy, and by taking natural detox supplements.
What should I drink to quit smoking? ›
Drinks that can help you stop smoking
Drinking ginseng tea every day can help reduce tobacco cravings, making it less enjoyable. Milk and dairy: Milk and other dairy products can worsen the taste of cigarettes, leaving an unpleasant, bitter aftertaste.
- Ginger honey lemon tea. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce cough and congestion. ...
- Green tea. ...
- Turmeric and ginger drink. ...
- Masala chai. ...
- Licorice (mulethi) root tea.
- Drink plenty of water. Water can help flush out toxins and chemicals from your body. ...
- Eat a diet rich in antioxidants. ...
- Exercise regularly. ...
- Avoid secondhand smoke. ...
- Steer clear of pollution.
Vitamin C (amla, citrus fruits, lemon, pineapple, guava) is important for smokers too, as it can effectively help neutralise the free radicals that smoking creates in the body — and help maintain immunity.Can a smoker's lungs go back to normal? ›
Your lungs are a remarkable organ system that, in some instances, have the ability to repair themselves over time. After quitting smoking, your lungs begin to slowly heal and regenerate. The speed at which they heal all depends on how long you smoked and how much damage is present.How long does it take for your lungs to fully recover from smoking? ›
1 to 12 months after quitting
Tiny hair-like structures (called cilia) that move mucus out of the lungs start to regain normal function, increasing their ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
Within the first month after you quit smoking, your lung function will improve, and this will increase circulation, too. Within nine months, the cilia begin to function normally and symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath become less frequent.Will CBD gummies help stop-smoking? ›
It is proved in various studies that CBD Gummies are the most effective products when it comes to quitting the use of tobacco when cravings strike. These are considered as a safe, natural, and reliable way that do not constitute any negative effects or risky symptoms.What lung vitamins clean lungs? ›
Taking certain dietary supplements, including, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, omega-3s, zinc, and selenium may also help promote lung health, especially among those with conditions that affect the lungs, such as COPD, asthma, and certain forms of cancer.What vitamin do smokers need more of? ›
Vitamin C, folate, Vitamin A, and Vitamin E are frequently lacking in smokers' diets. Vitamins C, A, and E are powerful antioxidants needed to offset some of the damage done by inhaling massive amounts of free radicals.
How can I quit smoking quickly for free? ›
For support in quitting, including free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials, and referrals to local resources, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).What are the 5 stages to quit smoking? ›
- Pre-contemplation (not thinking about quitting) ...
- Contemplation (thinking about quitting but not ready to quit) ...
- Preparation (getting ready to quit) ...
- Action (quitting) ...
- Maintenance (remaining a non-smoker)
The average timescale for people overcoming nicotine addiction is around 3 months.How can I replace nicotine naturally? ›
- Black Pepper.
- St. John's Wort.
- Fresh Lime Juice.
- Lifestyle Changes.
It was found that Ashwagandha may help quit smoking by improving the ability to control stress, increasing GABA (brain chemical that promotes relaxation) and dopamine (which in our body is responsible for maintaining motivation).What can I do instead of cigarettes for relaxation? ›
Alternatives for Smoking That Help You Relax
Stop and really smell the roses or other flowers. Turn your bathroom into a spa to relax and rejuvenate. Take a warm shower. Take a candle-lit bath.
Use a fast-acting nicotine medicine like lozenges or gum to quickly combat cravings. You can control how often you use the fast-acting medicine, so you won't get more nicotine than you want. This combination is easy to use. Using two NRTs together can help you quit more successfully than using a single medicine.What can I replace cigarettes with to stop-smoking? ›
- Nicotine is the active ingredient in all of them.
- Nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges are the most common quit-smoking medicines, and you can buy them without a prescription (over-the-counter).
Other herbal remedies, such as lobelia and St. John's wort, have also been used in smoking cessation.What vitamin gets nicotine out of your system? ›
Taking an extra amount of vitamin C for short periods of time can help reduce nicotine cravings, adhering to nicotine and allowing it to filter easily and sent to the liver and kidneys to be eliminated.
What can I replace nicotine with? ›
Medications to help you quit smoking
Your local drug store stocks several nicotine replacement products over the counter. These include patches, lozenges and gum. Other products, like pills, inhalers and nasal sprays, need a doctor's prescription.
Nicotine withdrawal symptoms usually begin a few hours after your last cigarette. They are usually strongest in the first week. For most people, nicotine withdrawal fade and are gone after about 2 to 4 weeks.How can I train my brain to quit smoking? ›
- Never allow yourself to think "I need to smoke." That's way too emotional. ...
- Never allow yourself to think "I could have just one." Change it to "I could become a smoker again." They amount to the same thing.
- Never allow yourself to visualize yourself enjoying a cigarette.
21 days – Brain biochemistry is returning to normal. 15 days – 90 days – The risk of suffering from a heart attack is starting to decline. Lungs are beginning to recover and your breathing more easily.What vitamins should smokers avoid? ›
A few prospective studies have shown that long-term use of high doses of some supplements, such as retinol, β-carotene, B vitamins, and vitamin E, increase lung cancer risk in current and former smokers.