It’s no secret that smoking is bad for our health, or that it is a viciously addictive habit – one which is undeniably difficult for anyone to break through sheer will power alone. It can be done, however, and there are many natural alternatives to nicotine gum that can aid you in this endeavour, which I will discuss at the end of this article.
I think it’s safe to say that most of us have no idea what’s actually inside of a cigarette. We know cigarettes are bad, and we know they contain tobacco. Some of us might even assume that it’s the tobacco itself which is the problem, but that’s simply not the case. There are approximately 4,000 different chemicals found in cigarettes, around 50 of which are proven to be carcinogenic.
It’s crazy to think that cigarettes were once marketed as healthy by doctors, and were prescribed as a means of helping people relax. It took many years and many lawsuits to prove that they were doing far more than people had bargained for. Since their introduction to the marketplace, they’ve been a catalyst for multiple diseases and a big contributor to millions of deaths worldwide.
If you don’t want to quit smoking, it’s better to at least find your own pure tobacco, devoid of all these chemicals, so you can roll your own cigarettes knowing exactly what you’re smoking.
The following chemicals are found inside of the average cigarette:
This is a known carcinogen and is associated with leukaemia. It’s also used as a solvent in fuel and can be found in rubber cement.
Formaldehyde is used as an embalming fluid and is known to cause respiratory problems, cancer, skin and stomach ailments, and much more. This is found within the smoke of the cigarette.
Commonly used as a toilet cleaner, ammonia is also often found in dry cleaning fluids and other cleaning products. By adding ammonia to the cigarette manufacturing process, however, ammonia helps convert bound nicotine molecules in tobacco smoke into free nicotine molecules, boosting its impact on the user significantly.
This is also a nail polish remover. It’s extremely flammable and is found in cigarette smoke.
Once inhaled, tar actually condenses in the lungs and approximately 70 percent of it is deposited there. It contributes to many lung diseases, such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer.
Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to humans. It’s poison, and this is what causes cigarette addiction.
This is the stuff that comes out of your car exhaust fumes. You can’t taste it and you can’t smell it, but it’s the main gas produced by a lit cigarette.
Other chemicals found in cigarettes include: arsenic (aka rat poison); hydrogen cyanide, which was used in World War 2 in the gas chambers; DDT, which is a banned insecticide; butane (lighter fluid); sulphuric acid, which is used in car batteries; cadmium; maltitol, (a sweetener that’s not allowed in foods in the USA).
What Happens To Your Body After You Smoke Your Last Cigarette?
Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years.
- 20 Minutes After Quitting
Your heart rate drops.
- 12 hours After Quitting
Carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
- 2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting
Your heart attack risk begins to drop.
Your lung function begins to improve.
- 1 to 9 Months After Quitting
Your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
- 1 Year After Quitting
Your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
- 5 Years After Quitting
Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s 5-15 years after quitting.
- 10 Years After Quitting
Your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s.
Your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decreases.
- 15 Years After Quitting
Your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker’s.
Natural Alternatives To Help You Quit
There are many natural options when it comes to quitting. For example, a study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, from researchers in the Department of Medicine at Srinakharinwirot University, tested how fresh lime performed against nicotine gum as a smoking cessation aid.
100 regular smokers entered into a six-month long randomized controlled trial, receiving either nicotine gum or fresh lime. The researchers used exhaled carbon monoxide to measure abstinence, and measured the severity of participants’ cravings using a visual analogue scale.
The results indicated that there was no significant difference in abstinence rates between the groups during weeks 9-12, although they did observe that “7-day point prevalence abstinence at week 4 of the fresh lime users was statistically significant lower than those using nicotine gum (38.3% vs. 58.5%; p = 0.04).” They also found fresh lime users tended to report more intense cravings than the nicotine gum group, but the number of cravings were found not to differ significantly between the groups. This is why effective, natural interventions for smoking cessation are so needed today and why we are excited to report on a new study involving a solution that can be found not at your local pharmacy, but at your local grocer’s fruit stand.
The report did conclude that “fresh lime can be used effectively as a smoking cessation aid.”
Additional evidence-based natural aids for smoking cessation include: (As pointed out by Greenmedinfo.com)
- Acupunture: Acupuncture treatment ameliorated the smoking withdrawal symptoms as well as the selective attention to smoking-related visual cues in smokers.
- Exercise: Five minutes of moderate intensity exercise is associated with a short-term reduction in desire to smoke and tobacco withdrawal symptoms.[v] [vi]
- Hypnosis: Hypnosis combined with nicotine patches compares favorably to standard behavioral counseling for smoking cessation.[vii] In a meta-analysis of 59 studies hypnosis was judged to be partially efficacious in the treatment of smoking cessation.[viii]
- Black Pepper: Inhalation of vapor from black pepper reduces smoking withdrawal symptoms.[ix]
- Mindfulness: Mindfulness-based interventions reduce the urge to smoke in college student smokers.[x]
- Self-Massage: Smoking cravings are reduced by self-massage.[xi]
- Rhodiola rosea: Rhodiola rosea has a therapeutic effect in the treatment of smoking cessation.[xii]
- St. John’s Wort: There is preclinical evidence that St. John’s wort is therapeutic in nicotine addiction.[xiii] [xiv] [Note: St. John’s wort can interact with a wide range of medications, and should be used under the guidance of a licensed health professional]
10 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Walk Everyday
- The Facts:
There are multiple health benefits to be gained by taking a simple walk every day. These benefits are measurable, and if you don't already have an active lifestyle it can be a great way to assist you with your health.
- Reflect On:
Reflect on how the human race has become extremely sedentary, and how disease rates continue to climb as a result of the modern human lifestyle.
The human experience has become extremely sedentary, the average human lifestyle in the western world has been linked to multiple diseases and is one of the main causes of why disease rates continue to climb, among many other factors that surround all aspects of human life, like big food, for example. With technology in place and jobs that require tremendous amounts of sitting, there is no doubt that it’s having a detrimental effect on our lives.
That being said, the world is clearly becoming way more health conscious. It’s like we needed this experience of unhealthy food, the corporate take-over of everything, and our motionless lifestyle to knock us out of it. We are seeing a health revolution take place, where more and more people are becoming health conscious, and are always being encouraged to be more active.
Ultimately, we can’t really blame the human experience for our lack of movement, it’s something that all of us have the time to incorporate into our lives in one way or another, and if you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy being too active, a simple walk every day can have tremendous amounts of benefits. As pointed out in the video below, by Bright Side.
If You Want To Increase The Benefits Even More, Walk Barefoot
It’s called grounding, or ‘earthing’ and it involves placing your feet directly on the ground, without shoes or socks as a barrier. Why? Because there is an intense negative charge carried by the Earth, it’s electron-rich, which serves as a good supply of antioxidants and free radical destroying electrons.
A study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health titled “Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons” postulates that earthing could represent a potential treatment for a variety of chronic degenerative diseases.
That’s right, many positive health benefits occur as a result of walking barefoot, and these are measurable.
The picture below represents improved facial circulation (right image) after 20 minutes of grounding, as documented by a Speckle Contrast Laser Imager (dark blue=lowest circulation; dark red=highest circulation). Image Source: Scientific Research Publishing
If you want to read more publications and access the in-depth science with regards to grounding, you can refer to the article linked above the picture.
Nature Valley Ad Shows The Down Side Of Children Addicted To Technology
- The Facts:
Technology has impacted most of our lives in a really big way. We use it daily for everything we do pretty much. Kids today, unlike previous generations, use technology more than ever and spend much less time in nature.
- Reflect On:
How much is too much technology for young and developing minds? Is it time to reevaluate our children's relationship with technology and get them back into nature?
Technology has become a staple in most of our lives, really, could you imagine life without it? In the video posted below, Nature Valley asks 3 generations what it was that they did for fun as a kid, the answers from the youngest generation may or may not surprise you, but is it time to cut back on the technology and bring kids back to nature?
Technology is not bad per se, that isn’t the discussion here. This is about how we use it.
Before technology, children would look to nature for entertainment. They would play outside on the lawn, go sledding, build forts, and use their imagination to create their own entertainment. Nowadays it’s all too easy for kids to get sucked into technology, there are video games, tablets, computers, cell phones and television, all of which provide a type of escape from the real world. Although, there are many ways that technology is and has been used for good in the world, is the disconnect that it is causing children and adults to part from nature causing more harm?
With the rise of mental disorders and illnesses, is it possible that the answer to these issues is simply to get kids back into nature, more time with self, using their brains to build things, be creative and connect to the energy from the Earth? We already know how effective a simple walk or hike in nature is and how they both can literally change our brains. Nature appears to be much more important than we generally give it credit for.
In my own experience, disconnecting from technology and going camping on my own proved to be a very cathartic and healing experience for me. I’ve come to realize that although being immersed in nature regularly does have a lot of benefits, but even just making time for it at all can cause a positive impact. For many of us who live in cities, with the constant bombardment of noise and of course EMF frequencies etc., just disconnecting for a short period can make a huge difference.
The following video is a brilliant ad from Nature Valley, check it out.
It’s easy to get emotional watching something like this as it shows just how far removed the newer generations are from what has been most natural to children for centuries, simply playing in nature. The children are essentially self-proclaimed tech addicts and get their entertainment by playing video games, watching videos or tv shows, texting etc. Is it time to go back to the basics and start evaluating how detrimental too much technology can be on young and developing brains? You can read more about this issue here, Is Your Child Struggling From Nature-Deficit Disorder?
Is it up to the parents to ensure they are setting proper boundaries with the amount of time their children are allowed to use technology? Or is this the future and something we should simply let happen as a natural part of evolution?
6 Proven Ways to Cleanse Your Liver & Release Pent Up Anger
- The Facts:
In Chinese Medicine our liver is directly connected to anger and unfortunately, we live in a world where our liver is regularly taxed by toxic chemicals. Thankfully there is plenty that you can do without medication to keep this vital organ healthy!
- Reflect On:
What toxins are you regularly exposed to and what steps are you currently taking to combat them?
A toxic liver can lead to anger. In Chinese medicine, our biggest detox organ – our liver – is the organ connected to anger. When we work at changing our lifestyles and daily habits, we begin to see it having a positive effect on our mood as well as general health.
When toxicity mounts we have a more difficult time controlling or letting go of our angry feelings. Toxic chemicals accumulate in our bodies because we live in a toxic world. We microwave in plastic, we cook food in Tephlon coated pans, we smoke, we take medication, and eat fried and processed foods.
These food-like products contain toxic chemical preservatives, glyphosate; GMOs and pesticides. Ingesting poison daily results in everything from immune deficiency, mood disorders, lowered mental performance, and even life-threatening cancer.
So, besides avoiding many of the contributors of liver toxicity – what can we do?
1. Eat less added sugar & address possible yeast overgrowth in the gut
Yeast can cause fermentation of food in place of digestion and cause bloating and gas. It can contribute to “leaky gut syndrome” – thus in turn can lead to the production of toxins that may affect the brain and nervous system. Yeast overgrowth can produce alcohol as its byproduct, acetaldehyde, giving us a “hangover” feeling. It can also lead to liver damage, and it prevents the proper detoxification of other pollutants, increasing the toxicity of other toxins.
2. Support the liver with botanicals
Plant medicine like Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root can help cleanse the liver. Both extracts are known to be pretty safe and well tolerated, and toxic or adverse effects observed in the reviewed clinical trials seem to be minimal. Only those with a ragweed, iodine or latex allergy should be cautious with dandelion. (Learn more about milk thistle)
3. Drink organic aloe vera juice
High quality; raw organic aloe vera can be a phenomenal digestive aid. It seals the gut wall, aids in digestion, has anti-inflammatory properties, helps the immune system, and detoxifies the liver, skin, and colon.
4. Cook with more turmeric & black pepper to help the body absorb nutrients better
Black pepper contains a compound called piperine, which increases the bioavailability of food by decreasing activity in the intestinal tract and inhibiting the metabolism of certain enzymes. Better still, cook with lots of turmeric and black pepper together. The combination helps the body absorb more curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric.
This ingredient can heal gut wall permeability due to its amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It also aids in digestion, strengthens the immune system, improves asthma, heals wounds, prevents the progression of memory loss, controls diabetes, improves liver function, lowers cholesterol, and fights cancer. (Note: A great supplement for this that I recommend for is Liver Health)
5. Incorporate liver cleansing foods into your diet
Incorporate liver cleansing foods such as green leafy veggies, avocados, apples, garlic, olive oil, citrus fruit, beets, and cruciferous vegetables into your weekly diet.
6. See An Acupuncturist
Used for thousands of years, acupuncture has been used to detox and balance the liver meridians to reduce anger and other emotional and psychiatric issues. Simple needle-less acupressure is often used on children.
Learn more about my family’s healing journey (including everything that has worked for me and many of my clients) in my book Healing Without Hurting. And to receive more info on how you and your family can overcome ADHD, apraxia, anxiety and more without medication SIGN UP HERE.
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