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Mix and match stop smoking herbs

One of the difficulties in trying to quit smoking is that smokers have become physically dependant on nicotine which then affects the reward and pleasure part of the brain.

Short-term smoking cessation, in other words stopping smoking by the end of a stop-smoking program, is easier to attain than long-term smoking cessation.  It does not matter what method is used to stop smoking, once the stop-smoking treatment method is terminated, there are multiple factors can affect the individual to make them return to smoking. 

If a person has stopped smoking for a full six months, normally the chances of starting smoking again are significantly less.  Therefore, six month, one year, and two year quitting rates are about the same regardless of the method used.

Short term smoking cessation success may depend on the amount of regular reinforcement the intervention method provided to the stop smoking effort.  A person left on their own is more likely to resume smoking than a person who sees someone who reinforces the stop smoking attempt on a regular basis, preferably daily.  Those who take up smoking in their teens and have maintained the habit for many years have more difficult time quitting smoking than those who take up smoking later in life. 

A early start to smoking addiction may match the genetic and behavioral patterns that lead to addiction, while if you start later smoking is more often a habit of choice.  About 80% of U.S. smokers begin their habit by age 18.

Nicotine increases the amount of the neurotransmitter and dopamine. The way nicotine works is that it creates a cycle of positive reinforcement within your brain that makes you crave more.

Scientists have found that when you quit smoking, it results in changes in these neural pathways. And the effect on the brain is similar to what someone addicted to cocaine, opiates and other drugs experience. This is the reason depression and anxiety are common.

Recently, some resourceful modern herbalists began using traditional knowledge to deal with a modern problem. In Ayurvedic medicine, common garden variety oats is used to treat opium withdrawal.  The herbalist Anand, then using a tincture applied this same procedure and methods to nicotine withdrawal, with significant results.

In a group of 26 heavy smokers, he gave an oat tincture, and in another group of 26, he gave a placebo.  The group who were given the oat tincture smoked fewer cigarettes, and this effect remained for two months after they stopped treatment.

The herbalist Weiss believes that it is the sedative effect of oats. Oats contain as active ingrediants the indole alkaloid, gramine, along with alkaloids avenine and trigonelline. Oats are described in herbal medicine texts as helping create a feeling of well-being and simultaneously acting as a sedative to the nervous system. But unlike narcotics, these are mild, safe and non-habit forming.

The following formula has been formulated for those trying to stop smoking. In a 50ml bottle, mix the following herbal tinctures:

•           15ml green oats
•           10ml white horehound
•           10ml mullein
•           5ml golden seal
•           10ml peppermint

Take 6 drops on the tongue whenever the craving to have a cigarette is felt.

Acupuncture is also an excellent support option. HerbMed offers the following herbal option, to be used on appropriate acupuncture points.

Mix oil of cloves, oil of wintergreen, an extract of evodia fruit, an extract of sichuan lovage rhizome, and msg, and apply to specific acupuncture points.  Unfortunately, they don't say which acupuncture points.

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