If you are desperately trying to quit smoking and want to heal the wounds of nicotine, you are probably cursing the name of Jean Nicot, the French diplomat who first introduced tobacco in 1560 in the form of snuff, to cure migraine headaches.
Nicotine is a known poison and is particularly dangerous because of its highly addictive nature. A typical cigarette contains about 1 milligram of nicotine. However, says The World Book Encyclopedia: “A thimbleful of nicotine (about 60 milligrams) could kill an adult if taken all at once.”
Despite what smokers say, they do not enjoy smoking but maintain the habit through dependency. In other words, smokers enjoy the release gained from nicotine in much the same way heroin addicts enjoy the release they gain when they partake of their particular drug. Yet we never hear heroin addicts say they enjoy sticking needles in their arms. Smoking and needles are simply different methods of administering a person’s chosen drug.
Today, cigarettes are known to be responsible for or exacerbate lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, emphysema, bronchitis, catarrh and other illnesses. It has been “estimated that during the 1990s in developed countries, tobacco will cause approximately 30 percent of all deaths among those 35 to 69 years of age, making it the largest single cause of premature death in the developed world,” according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
Each year there are some 2.5 million tobacco-related deaths worldwide. The U.S. surgeon general claims: “Smoking is responsible for more than one out of every six deaths in the United States. Smoking remains the single most important preventable cause of death in our society.”
Unfortunately, smokers do not harm only themselves – by forcing others to breathe in their toxic fumes, they also expose non-smokers to the risks of lung cancer and other respiratory ailments. While emphysema is probably the most common condition suffered by smokers, people suffering from bronchitis can and do have their condition aggravated by cigarette smoke, either directly or passively.
For heavy smokers the following recipe* is beneficial for bronchitis symptoms and catarrhal diseases of the upper respiratory tract:
- 50g Lime tree flower
- 30g Aniseed
- 20g Thyme
Directions: Weigh the above listed herbs into a bowl, mix well and store the herbal mixture in a glass jar away from sunlight. Infuse one heaped tsp of the mixture with one cup of boiling water, stand for 10 minutes and strain. Drink one cup several times daily.
*above tea mixture is readily available in teabag form.
Steam inhalations combine the benefits of steam and antiseptic herbs to effectively clear nasal and bronchial congestion and relieve the symptoms of colds, flu, hayfever and sinusitis.
Preparation: Place 50 g of dried herbs* in a bowl or saucepan and pour 1 litre of boiling water over the herbs. Cover your head and the bowl with a towel, close your eyes and inhale the steam for 20–30 minutes.
*Sage, Thyme, Camomile and Plantain are all suitable, or a combination of these.