How to Quit Smoking With Lobelia
Smokers looking to give up this filthy habit may feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of products, systems and medicines available to help overcome their addiction to nicotine. Many quitting strategies involve nicotine replacement therapies (NRT). This could be include nicotine patches, gums or lozenges. The truth is NRT doesn't have a stellar success rate. Some people argue continuing to ingest nicotine is just prolonging the addiction and the agony of quitting. Others turn to prescription medications that are supposed to reduce cravings for nicotine. If you are searching for a herbal and natural way to quit smoking learn more about lobeia and how it can help.
What is Lobelia?
Lobelia inflata grows wild through many part of north america. This flowering plant is primarily used in herbal medicines and for decorative foliage. Lobelia often goes by other names including wild tobacco, indian tobacco, and pukeweed. Many have turned to it as a natural alternative to stop smoking. It was also traditionally used by native americans to treat respiratory ailments, like asthma and to also reduce muscle cramps. In larger doses lobelia can act as a muscle relaxant. It has even been used externally to treat insect bites and poison ivy when applied as a paste.
How Lobelia helps stop smoking
Lobeline, the active alkaloid in lobelia counteracts the effects of tobacco in the body by blocking the effects of dopamine. One of the ways nicotine causes addiction is by the release of dopamine, a stimulating neurotransmitter, each time a user puffs on a cigarette. So even if one still smokes, using lobelia decreases their desire to smoke, hopefully making it easier to quit. Some studies have suggested that lobelia works on receptors in the brain, similar to nicotine. The relaxing properties of this herb can account for some of it's success, because it takes the edge off for those going through withdraw from nicotine.
How to make lobelia tea
- Mix together 1 tsp of dried lobelia, skullcap and goldenseal
- Boil 2.5 qts of water in a pot or tea kettle.
- Remove water from heat and add herbal mixture. Cover and let steep 20-30 min.
- Strain tea and let cool. Add honey or your preferred sweetener to taste. Enjoy 3-4 cups a day to reduce nicotine cravings.
How to use lobelia to quit smoking
Lobelia comes in several forms including tinctures, pills and dried loose leaves. No matter what form you choose it's important not to take more than recommended to avoid side effects. Consult the directions on the product you choose to determine how much to take.
Some people even make a smoking mixture with dried lobelia and other herbs like mullein and chamomile. Since none of the ingredients are habit forming they roll and smoke the herbs in place of cigarettes for a time after quitting to reduce cravings for nicotine.
When I quit smoking I chose to use lobelia capsules because they seemed more convenient. I decided to take the capsules three times a day, as directed on the bottle, but continued to smoke for the first few days. I have tried a lot of different things to quit smoking. I'd failed more times than I could count.
Honestly, I wasn't expecting much from lobelia, but since it was relatively cheap I thought I'd give it a shot. I never experienced any bad side effects, besides feeling a little sleepy and more relaxed after I took it. I noticed by the end of the first evening whenever I'd step outside for a smoke the cigarette tasted weird. The next day I took the same amount of the herb, and continued to smoke. As the day went on each cigarette just tasted worse and worse. I think on the second day I smoked about half a pack, and I was usually a pack a day smoker. On the third day I smoked 3 cigarettes, but really I didn't even finish any of them. At this point the taste of each one was just terrible. I was still having some cravings, but wasn't getting any relief from the actual cigarettes. I think at this point I just missed the habit of smoking. I decided at the end of the third day I was finally finished, so I destroyed the rest of my pack.
I continued to take lobelia for about two more weeks, lowering my dose to 2 capsules a day after the first week. I'd still have small cravings from time to time, but they honestly weren't that bad.
Is Lobelia Safe?
There haven't been a huge number of studies done on this herb, so pregnant or breastfeeding moms should avoid it. In large doses lobelia can cause nausea, vomiting and even central nervous system depression. Just like any OTC or herbal remedy, it can interact with other medications. Lobelia is known to interact with lithium and several prescriptions used to treat depression.
If you do choose to use lobelia to quit smoking check with your doctor and be careful with the dosage.