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Quiting tobacco with lobelia! [message #532] Wed, 02 March 2016 15:00 Go to next message
cookcolburn is currently offline  cookcolburn
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Registered: March 2016
Location: Gunnison
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This'll be the first topic for the herbology section, so someone let me know if it wasn't intended for this type of info....

Way back, I decided to quit smoking. I tried a ton of different things, from flavored toothpicks to food sedatives (bananas...!) and vitamins and - pretty much everything short of pharmaceutical drugs. But I only ever quit successfully using lobelia and eating a very light, fat-free diet.

Lobelia's a pretty demonized herb these days, so I thought I'd clear up some confusion, since I've used it enough to tell truth from lie.

1: the scientific name is Lobelia inflata, and though other types of lobelia are probably effective, inflata is the only one I know to be suitable for quitting smoking.

2: Lobelia can be very nauseating to people not habituated to tobacco use. Non-smokers may get a sick feeling or upset stomach. But for smokers, lobelia doesn't cause dizziness or digestive disturbance. As you make progress with quitting smoking, lobelia slowly becomes nauseating and moves closer to the effects that non-smokers get. This is good, because it tells you when you don't need it anymore, and lets you know your body's progress in becoming less dependent on / tolerant of nicotine.

3: Lobelia contains lobeline, which is chemically similar to nicotine. However, it is not addictive. Trust me when I say, the idea of becoming addicted or "hooked" on lobelia is ridiculous. In addition, lobelia will not slow down quitting progress, and from my experience made quitting faster if anything. I started off chewing lobelia, mainly, and it was never appealing... gradually it became less and less appealing (quite the opposite of being addictive), and eventually I couldn't even stand the smell of the dried herb.

4: As far as I know, you shouldn't use lobelia during pregnancy, but I've never seen evidence for it being harmful during breast feeding. Lobelia has been used historically for easing delivery for natural births, and it's claimed to be very effective. I strongly advise doing your own research, though, and making a more informed decision before using lobelia during these times.

5: "You have to smoke it," or "you have to take it in a pill," etc - don't believe it! I tried smoking it (as you would tobacco), chewing it, drinking teas, and swallowing it in pill form. The most effective way I used it was chewing the whole herb and sucking out the "juices," then spitting out the pulp. Having said that, all were effective. Smoking lobelia is nothing like smoking tobacco, and I didn't like it at all. The smoke is thin and slightly irritant, but is supposedly good for the lungs through expectorating properties. I agree - it seemed to help me clear ugly mucus from my lungs faster. Ingesting it in pill form, powder, whole herb, etc didn't seem to have very strong expectorant properties (expectorant is like "decongestant"), but got rid of my tobacco cravings much faster and calmed my nerves more effectively.

6: I used varying doses of dried organic lobelia, and all were effective. Often times I used large pinches that weren't measured, probably 4-8 capsules worth of the herb. That provided quicker and longer lasting relief from quitting symptoms (irritability and depression especially), but I know very small amounts (500mg for example) work well too. As you progress in quitting tobacco, you'll naturally feel like using less and less, and I think it's best to let your body tell you how much you need. No amount of lobelia has ever been proven toxic to adult humans, as its constituents are easily eliminated from the body. When tolerable limits are exceeded, the body wants to expel it by vomiting. My best advice is listen to your body and keep doses reasonable, and you'll never have to be proof to sway the argument one way or the other! (Fyi, I can recall taking as much as 100 pills worth of the stuff in a single day. That's definitely an excessive dose, and you shouldn't do that. And yet, I think all I ended up with was a stomach ache. This experience for info purposes only.)

I'm sure there's more to say about lobelia. Anyone interested in other uses and experiences can read "Curing With Cayenne" (a book).

A couple additional tips to go along with Lobelia inflata for quitting smoking:

1: Eat light! Salt, fat, and heavy foods all made me more and more depressed and anxious. When I cut those out, quitting was made a hundred times easier - especially fat. Now fat is generally great for your health, but for whatever reason it made quitting very uncomfortable emotionally.

2: Eat fruit! Tons of fresh fruit! Unless of course you're diabetic or have similar problems. In that case I'd recommend eating fresh, raw vegetables, cooked squash, that sort of thing, avoiding eating potatoes.

3: Do exercise, even if you don't feel like it. Walking, dancing, and cardio in general made quitting way easier, and probably sped things up a lot.

4: Don't think "I'll never feel normal," a problem most tobacco quitters encounter. This mindset is terrible and untrue. It takes some a month to feel good again. Other it takes a couple weeks. For me it was literally 8 months before I thought, "Hey, I feel pretty normal...." So take my advice: drop the idea of "I'll feel better tomorrow" or "I'll never feel better." Let your body do its thing and trust it, because you'll have you own special amount of time, guaranteed.

5: Follow other peoples' helpful tips, like chewing cinnamon-infused toothpicks, eating bananas, doing breathing exercises, saying positive things out loud (even if you're feeling down), on and on. I can't name how many other tips helped me during the time I was quitting.

6: My advice: maybe try to replace tobacco with medicinal herbal smoking mixtures, but never marijuana (even where it's legal). Some people find success doing this, only to get hooked on their new brand of bad habit. (Not that I'll advise for or against the plant itself during a normal situation - that choice is up to you - but especially while quitting smoking, never try to replace the bad habit with any other type of habit that can get out of control.) My experience with smoking replacements was that it eventually made me not care about the action of smoking, meaning physically inhaling smoke. I think that's a good thing, because wanting to inhale smoke is half of the battle of quitting - it's the physical addiction to a very strong habit.

7: Go outside! If you stay inside the whole time, you'll have a hard time getting over the physical dependence on inhaled smoke. Most people go outside to smoke, and when they quit they sit inside for months and get pale and depressed. Try to go outside often, just to look at the clouds or take a walk. In no time, you'll forget all about going outside for tobacco, and you'll have kept the positive habit of being outdoors!

8: Try to avoid succumbing to the habits of depressed people, like over- and under-sleeping, taking naps, eating heavy foods, drinking - all that. Exercise is a great antidepressant, and so are essential oils and cleaning the house. Try to keep busy to keep the demons away, rather than going into a sedentary slump.

That's it! Sure hope this helps some people. Pass the info on to your friends and loved ones if you like it! Also open to questions and comments.
Re: Quiting tobacco with lobelia! [message #533 is a reply to message #532] Thu, 03 March 2016 16:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
earthcures is currently offline  earthcures
Messages: 72
Registered: April 2015
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Great topic! As a long time student of talented herbologists such as Dr. Christopher and Dr. Schulze, I have... of course... no problem at all using Lobelia. It's a powerful and amazing herb. Nervine herbs can be very helpful.

Sometimes, the more "demonized" an herb is, the more one should consider deeply researching the matter. There are herbs like Lobelia that should be used with understanding and a bit of care, but are well worth researching!

Thanks for the great topic, and congrats on beating the nicotine addiction! Smile

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Re: Quiting tobacco with lobelia! [message #536 is a reply to message #533] Thu, 03 March 2016 18:32 Go to previous message
cookcolburn is currently offline  cookcolburn
Messages: 4
Registered: March 2016
Location: Gunnison
Karma: 2
Junior Member
You're welcome and thanks to you too! I bet someone somewhere will find this one useful... quitting wasn't a cinch by any means, but the lobelia works like magic. Good luck quitters! (heheh)
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