(WellnessNova.com) - Smoking cigarettes causes 80 to 90 percent of common lung cancers – but the drug is still very legal despite its deadly nature. Its availability at grocery stores furthers the cycle of addiction and death in upcoming generations. But with cancer on the rise, more smokers are trying to quit out of fear of premature death – but sadly, over 50 percent of quitting attempts fail. If you’re trying to quit, here’s the scoop on new research about how you can naturally go through withdrawal easier, and a few other holistic ways to help you quit those cancer sticks for good!
Running Can Help Prevent or Lessen Withdrawal Symptoms
The good news is, researchers found that exercising more frequently can help you go through a lighter withdrawal. They found that when you do moderate exercise, especially running, it has similar effects on your brain as abusing recreational drugs, like cigarettes. It explains why some runners experience a “runner’s high” at the heights of their run.
Specifically, when you exercise moderately, it stimulates some of the same receptors in your brain that nicotine (and other drugs) stimulate during drug abuse and withdrawal. That means that exercising can give you the same pleasant feelings as smoking, even if at a lesser extent.
They discovered these findings by comparing the brains of nicotine-administered mice that underwent varying amounts of exercise. They found that mice that ran on their exercise wheels for at least two hours showed a significant drop in withdrawal symptoms compared with mice that weren’t allowed to exercise at all. The brains of the mice that exercised showed proof of boosted interaction with receptors that nicotine interacts with during administration and withdrawal.
Similar results were found by previous studies on animals administered cocaine and morphine. But now researchers found the same applies to nicotine too.
When it comes to studies on people, clinical trials on exercise and nicotine found that patients undergoing a minimum of 10 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise experienced lower cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
But the researchers emphasize that exercise’s attenuating effects on withdrawal symptoms are greatest when you run or jog before attempting to quit smoking.
Other Holistically Healthy Quit-Smoking Helpers
Here are a few other holistic remedies that can help ease your withdrawal:
Licorice root sticks. The National Cancer Institute recommends chewing on licorice root sticks to curb withdrawal from smoking. Licorice root is low in carbs and has anti-hepatitis C properties. Studies also found that when you ingest its healing compounds, it lowers inflammation in your GI tract. Researchers also found that licorice has healing effects on ulcers.
Ginseng. Mixing ginseng with your food can help lower withdrawal symptoms while you try to quit smoking. Like exercise, researchers found that ginseng interacts with mechanisms in your brain responsible for withdrawal symptoms. They did a direct study on ginseng and cocaine withdrawal and found that ingesting ginseng helps lower the severity of withdrawal symptoms. What’s makes it so great as an aid to quit smoking is that it’s also been found to help prevent lung cancer (and other cancers). That means it’s helping you quit and protecting you from the disease that smokers probably fear the most.
Withdrawal doesn’t have to be so tough. You can boost your chances of quitting smoking by simply going out for a run or jog first. You’ll probably feel the same mild, relaxing feelings that smoking a cigarette gives you, and you won’t crave a cigarette as much later on. You can also mix ginseng into your breakfast and chew on licorice root sticks throughout the day for added withdrawal-curbing effects!