Using Herbs to Help Beat Addiction by- Julie Crabtree
Herbs are natures great healers, and there are numerous uses for herbs when it comes to overcoming all kinds of addictions, whether it is a nicotine addiction, drugs, alcohol, or food addiction, there is a herb out there for just about everything. Overcoming addiction is not the only issue faced by some people, as the effect of these habits on the body can be extremely taxing, but the good news is that there are also herbal remedies to help the body to heal. All forms of addiction reduce the amount of electrolytes, vitamins and minerals available to the body, and over a sustained period of time this can cause issues for the major organs.
Alcohol abuse is one of the largest health problems facing the US, with huge numbers of people requiring ongoing medical attention as a result of the deterioration caused by long term alcoholism. Chronic liver disease related to alcoholism is a huge problem across the US, with as many as 15,000 people dying as a result of it each year. Even just in Louisiana alcoholism related liver disease is attributed to 2.8 deaths for every thousand, which is an incredibly large number for a problem that is entirely avoidable. People need all the help they can get in beating alcohol addiction, and herbs can play an important role in overcoming the cravings and helping the body to recover from its effects. The alcoholism puts a huge strain on the vital organs, and over time, the body can become extremely toxic as it struggles to deal with the onslaught of chemicals being put into it. The liver is especially vulnerable as this is the body’s purification center, and this is where the majority of toxins are purged from the body. When your body is in a toxified state, putting more chemicals into it as part of the healing process is not advisable; this is where natural herbs come in:
Milk Thistle – this fantastic herb has the ability to heal the liver without hampering its ability to operate in its normal way. This means that during the healing process your liver will not be overloaded with new chemicals and will continue to detoxify from the daily environmental and dietary toxins that enter your body.
Burdock Root – burdock root has many healing qualities that are particularly useful for those looking to overcome alcoholism. It is a tonic for the liver and kidneys, and acts as an excellent blood purifier, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant, which helps to flush toxins from the body. It also helps to stimulate digestion and to release waste water stored in the body, which is very beneficial for the kidneys.
Whilst there is no scientific proof that these herbs will actually ‘cure’ your addiction, the following herbs will aid in your fight against the cravings and bodily effects of the smoking:
Peppermint – peppermint tea can be a great help to those going through nicotine withdrawal symptoms as it is a body detoxifier and is especially good at combating nicotine withdrawal headaches. It also helps to boost circulation, clear the lungs, and improve ease of breathing. Peppermint oil can be used externally to help ease nerves and calm the breathing.
Slippery Elm – this herb can be taken as an infusion, in capsules, or made into a tea, and it is a very powerful natural detoxifier which can take away toxins from the lungs as well as other main organs.
Marshmallow – again, this can be taken in capsules or as a tea, and can help to calm down the nicotine cravings as well as detoxify the body from harmful toxins. The dosage can start relatively high and then be cut back over a period of two weeks for best effect.
St. John’s Wort – apart from the fact that this special herb has numerous health benefits, it is particularly good for anyone wishing to fight nicotine addiction as it can help a lot with cravings and anxiety which arises from the reduction of nicotine in your system as you cut back.
Ginseng – ginseng helps to prevent the release of dopamine in the brain which is induced by nicotine. This aids with cravings as your body no longer connects the nicotine with the dopamine release.
Valerian – valerian tea can help to reduce the anxiety and stress connected with quitting smoking, but should not be taken for longer than eight weeks at a time.