29 अप्रैल 2010

Nicotine Withdrawal, Home remedies

gurudev swami chinmaya yogi ( shree rajat bose )

Many of my young friends are smoking addict. As a doctor i need to tell them some of the smoking fact so that they can think of quiting.

Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances known to man. This powerful and very fast acting drug is the chemical which causes addiction to cigarettes.

Effects of Nicotine: Facts

Nicotine affects many different parts of the body at the same time.

After just one puff of a cigarette it begins to act on the central nervous system, brain and other parts of the body. It actually stimulates your system, even though it makes you feel relaxed.

Nicotine affects chemicals in the brain and, after a puff, you usually feel good for a moment or two, which is why many smokers view smoking as stress relief when under pressure.

Some areas of the brain are pleasure related and when stimulated give the feeling of relaxation and reduced anxiety.

Efforts to provide treatment using Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) have also lead to incidents of nicotine gum addiction and other nicotine addictions.

Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

Over time as you continue to smoke, your body learns to depend on nicotine. As a result when you stop smoking you get 'nicotine cravings' one of many different nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Cravings and withdrawal symptoms when you quit smoking are a common experience. It is the way your body reacts when it stops getting nicotine and all the other chemicals in tobacco smoke.

Not every smoker is affected to the same degree. Some will experience severe nicotine withdrawal symptoms but generally the symptoms will come and go over a period of a few days and most are gone within three weeks.

Cravings. Each one lasts 3 -5 minutes, and may be strong. Over time however, cravings will happen less often. More about cravings below.

Headaches (occasional), indigestion, nausea, diarrhoea and sore throats rarely last more than four days.

Try usual over the counter remedies for these symptoms.

Insomnia and an increased tendency to dream.

Tea and coffee contain caffeine and, without nicotine (stimulant), your body absorbs much more caffeine (also a stimulant), which can make you restless, irritable and sleepless for a while.

Try drinking less tea and coffee, make your cups weaker.

Consider coffee substitutes, water, fruit juice and caffeine-free cola drinks.

Coughing most commonly caused by the cilia that line your lungs cleaning out the tar and mucus.

Irritability, depression or anxiety are closely connected to the physical action of nicotine leaving your body and will lessen over one to three weeks.

Increased appetite and possible weight gain.

Tiredness and lack of concentration.

Try and relax more during the first few weeks any tiredness will pass.

Take a break from what your doing and take a short walk if possible to help concentration.


The first few days after you quit can be the hardest. The most problematic symptom tends to be cravings. Few smokers quit without getting cravings. If you want to succeed you must learn to get through them. The following tips should help:

Confront cravings head on and learn to 'overcome the urge to smoke at will through sheer determination'.

The choice to quit smoking and the responsibility for not smoking is yours alone.

Cravings only last 3- 5 minutes and they WILL subside. Once the urge to smoke has gone your resolve will strengthen.

Focus on the reasons you decided to quit. Take a look at your quitting plan.

Take 3 or 4 deep breaths. Breathe in slowly through the nose and fill your lungs, then breathe out again slowly through the mouth.

Drink water. Sip it slowly and try to savour the taste. This will also help to satisfy any increased appetite.

Keep busy. Take your mind off smoking by going for a walk, doing an odd job around the home or in the garden or call a friend or relative on the phone

If you have been making notes so far, developing your quitting plan, think about cravings and withdrawal symptoms for a moment or two. Picture a scenario when you have desperately wanted to smoke. If that were to occur once you stop what would you do?

Make a note of what you plan to do to deal with cravings. Maybe something like:

"When I get a strong craving I am going to occupy myself for 5 minutes by manicuring my nails".

Write it down on your list and number it "3".

Home remedies that have been listed in various sources as possibly beneficial for Nicotine addiction may include:

Ayurvedic medicine

Brahmi and jatamamsi herb-substituted cigarettes

Brahmi ghee through the nasal route (nasya)

Taper off the addictive substance