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After many years of smoking cigarettes, I finally quit.

Q. Dear Terry, “After many years of smoking cigarettes, I finally quit. I know it was the right decision, but I’m still irritable and experiencing occasional cravings. Any recommendations on natural things I should try?” — RJ, Cedar Rapids, IA

A. Dear RJ, Congratulations on such an important decision for your health and wellness!

To further support your efforts, I have some recommendations that will help combat the changes in mood and increased stress that you may be experiencing.

My first recommendation is a combination of bioactive B vitamins. This combination is excellent for healthy neurological function, and can also exert a mood balancing effect. I recommend choosing B6, B12, and folic acid in their active forms – P-5-P, methylcobalamin, and L-methylfolate. These forms don’t require conversion by the liver, so they can go to work immediately to increase energy levels, boost mood, and optimize metabolism. I would take these B vitamins once or twice per day.

Next, there is a specialized, unique echinacea extract derived from Echinacea angustifolia that can help reduce anxiety. It is different than the typical echinacea you see in stores that is sold for immune health and helping to overcome colds and flu. Researchers have discovered compounds in this unique type of echinacea can help reduce anxiety as effectively as certain prescription medications, without the side effects. The unique compounds in this particular echinacea extract have been shown to work with our endocannabinoid system to help instill a sense of calm and relaxation. I recommend taking this specialized echinacea extract twice daily.

I think you would also benefit from taking a blend of two adaptogenic herbs: ashwagandha and rhodiola. Adaptogens work by increasing strength, stamina, and energy without being stimulants. I suggest taking these herbs three times per day.

Lastly, you may want to consider adding in boswellia to help alleviate some of the damage that may have occurred from the years of smoking. Boswellia is particularly good at reducing inflammation in the lungs. I prefer boswellia that is standardized to 10% AKBA and virtually no beta-boswellic acid. I would take boswellia twice per day.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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