Smoking is a major health risk. You may want to quit, but quitting is hard. Researchers suggest that some natural remedies, such as St. John’s wort, may be helpful in quitting smoking. If you want to quit smoking, here are some things to know about St. John’s wort and its ability to help you quit smoking.
The harmful effects of smoking
You often hear how bad smoking is for you. But do you know the details of why it is terrible for you? Understanding the risks to yourself and others could be your first step in quitting smoking.
1 – Smoking causes cancer
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 500,000 Americans die each year from smoking-related illnesses. That is about one in five people. Smoking contributes to 30% of cancer deaths in the United States.
Lung cancer is at the top of the list for smokers. Smoking also increases your chances of developing these types of cancer:
2 – Smoking damages your lungs
The American Lung Association it also warns about the dangers of smoking.
In addition to cancer, they say that smoking damages the airways of the lungs and the tiny air sacs. You may not notice it at first, but your lung function decreases over time as you continue to smoke. It can take years for the problem to manifest as a lung disease. When you smoke, you are also more susceptible to lung infections, such as pneumonia or bronchitis. Asthma is another common lung problem that smokers develop over time.
3 – Smoking can cause chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
COPD it is a lung disease that causes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. There is currently no cure. Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and excess sputum.
4 – Smoking creates other health risks
Of course, some people smoke for years without getting cancer or lung disease. However, smoking causes many other health problems.
These include the following concerns:
- Suppressed immune system
- Gum disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Premature aging
- Bad breath
- Yellow teeth
- Loss of bone density, making it more prone to breakage
- Increased risk of macular degeneration, which causes blindness.
- Increased risk of arthritis
- Dull your taste buds
- Impaired sense of smell
- Heart disease and narrow the arteries
5 – Smoking creates habit
Researchers found that 70% of people who smoke say they want to quit. There are many treatments available, but because the nicotine in tobacco is habit-forming, many people just try to give up. However, there is hope because studies show that the rate of those who are giving up smoking has increased.
6 – Smoking affects others
Sciences suggests that children of smokers are more likely to become smokers. Your smoking habit also makes your children more susceptible to illnesses such as the following:
- Lung infections
- Sinus problems
Second hand smoke it can be as dangerous as smoking. Cancer, lung and heart disease can appear in people whose parents smoked. In addition to your own family, smoking affects your co-workers, neighbors, and community.
What is St. John’s wort?
St. John’s wort is a yellow flower used in herbal medicine for centuries, since ancient Greece! According to tradition, healers named him Saint John in the Bible. It is used by natural healers to help fight kidney and lung problems, insomnia, and wound healing. Today it is known as an aid to combat depression. This medicinal herb has also been used to
- Symptoms of menopause
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (TOC)
You can take St. John’s wort in tea, capsules, tablets, or liquid.
How St. John’s Wort Can Help You Quit Smoking?
One study found that St. John’s wort was effective in helping people quit smoking. It also helps increase serotonin in your body, which makes it useful if you suffer from depression. Many people who smoke also struggle with depression and alcohol use. Taking care of your depression can help you quit smoking.
In animal studies, researchers found that St. John’s wort reduced nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine is the addictive substance found in cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco. In human tests, those who took St. John’s Wort reported that they had less craving for nicotine than those who did not take St. John’s Wort. Some said they didn’t feel any difference, so researchers are still studying the benefits of St. John’s wort for those who want to quit smoking.
Note: The researchers did not conduct any clinical studies. However, the consensus is that this St. John’s wort study is worth a conversation with your doctor.
What are the negative aspects of taking St. John’s wort?
There are some adverse side effects that you should be aware of if you decide to take St. John’s wort. One is that it can interfere with other medications, sometimes seriously. It can weaken certain medications so that you don’t get the proper benefits. Medications that it weakens include the following:
- Birth control pills
- Heart medicine, digoxin
- HIV drugs
- Anticancer drugs
- Anticoagulant, warfarin
Side effects of St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort can also cause a reaction to the sun, making you overly sensitive. Other less extreme side effects include these:
- Stomach problems
- Dry mouth
- Sexual dysfunction problems
Another serious side effect is something called “serotonin syndrome.” This syndrome is caused by serotonin levels getting too high. You may feel agitated, nervous, anxious, with higher blood pressure and heart rate. If you have these symptoms when you take St. John’s Wort, you are taking too much. Stop taking it immediately.
Although St. John’s wort can help fight depression and help you quit smoking, side effects are possible. If you decide to place St. John’s wort on a tray, be sure to discuss it with your doctor. They can tell you what other side effects to look out for and advise how much to take.
Other natural remedies to help you quit smoking
There are other natural remedies that you can try to quit smoking.
- Mindfulness: This technique helps you relax and helps some people quit smoking.
- Yoga: Relaxation techniques like yoga can help you quit smoking.
- Acupuncture: This treatment can help some people in the short term.
- Hypnosis – Some people suggest that this works well, but it doesn’t work for everyone.
- Cytosine: This remedy is used in other countries to stop smoking. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve it in the United States, but researchers see spectacular help through its use. Currently, there are clinical studies with cytisine to understand its benefits and side effects.
Other remedies include fresh lime, black pepper, or ginger.
Increase in your vitamin C levels helps you in the process of quitting smoking. Vitamin C increases your antioxidants, which can help reduce your cravings for nicotine.
Some people find the support of friends or family helpful as well, as some behavior problems need to be overcome. For example, maybe you smoke with your friends while in town or after a meal. Finding ways to break your smoking routine is critical.
Smoking is a great health risk, but it is difficult to quit because it is so addictive. Many people want to quit smoking. They can try, but then they give up.
If you’re ready to quit smoking, consider a natural remedy like St. John’s wort to help you out. Make sure you understand the possible side effects of taking St. John’s wort. The study we share suggests that it may be effective in helping you quit smoking. At least it’s worth a try!
However, you may want to speak with your doctor first to be sure. Never take St. John’s wort if you are taking prescription medications such as those mentioned above. Of course, you may want to try another natural remedy like yoga or mindfulness classes.
These are great ways to feel calmer and help you cope with withdrawal symptoms and behavioral problems associated with smoking. Many people have quit smoking, and you can too. Do not give up. Find what works best for you and enjoy your new smoke-free life.