I was a smoker for over twenty years.
Q. Dear Terry, “I was a smoker for over twenty years. I finally quit last month, but it’s still a daily struggle. Is there anything natural that could help?” — Kiefer M., Rock Springs, WY
A. Dear Kiefer, Congratulations on your efforts to make the right choices when it comes to your health!
To further support your efforts, I have some recommendations that will help combat the changes in mood and increased stress that may be experienced while trying to break a habit like smoking.
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 that when grown under the right conditions, harvested and processed in a particular way, and taken at the right dosage level, 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 attach to certain brain receptors, which help to instill a sense of calm and relaxation. I recommend taking 40 mg of 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 respiratory and GI tract. I prefer boswellia that is standardized to 10% AKBA and virtually no beta-boswellic acid. I would take boswellia twice per day.
Terry . . . Naturally