By Dana Ullman MPH
I remember the first time I smoked a cigarette. I was 12 years old. One of the older kids in the neighborhood asked if a group of three friends of mine wanted to smoke, and before you know it, he was lighting up a cigarette and gave us each one to smoke.
I inhaled, and although I tried to look cool, I simply couldn’t suppress a cough that insisted upon expressing itself. I continued to smoke and began to feel dizzy, as I did my best to look cool, even as sweat began to bead up on my brow.
After five cigarettes in the next two weeks, my parents ended up finding out about my illicit activity. Using their best efforts to speak in the language of the famous pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock, they told me that it was OK for me to smoke, they just didn’t want it to be a secret. This openness gave me the opportunity to ask myself: Do I really want to smoke? I decided that I didn’t want to.
Not everyone choose to make this decision.
TOBACCO AS A HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE
Did you know that homeopathic physicians commonly use tobacco as a medicine? This may be surprising to many people, but it is true, and it makes sense.
Tobacco is an important medicine in homeopathy for various minor ailments, such as dizziness, motion sickness, diarrhea, and dry cough, as well as numerous serious conditions, such as angina, stroke, cancer, chronic respiratory ailments, and Meniere’s disease.
Because tobacco CAUSES these symptoms in toxic doses, homeopaths use specially prepared small doses of tobacco (called TABACUM — its Latin name) for the specific symptoms that it is known to cause. To be more precise, homeopaths do not use TABACUM for everyone with the above mentioned specific symptoms or diseases; they use TABACUM for people who experience the similar SYNDROME of symptoms that resemble the overdose symptoms of tobacco.
If you think about the symptoms that tobacco elicits to first users, it causes dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and a dry cough. This is the acute phase of tobacco toxicity. After a person continues to smoke, the individual doesn’t usually experience these symptoms. This isn’t because he or she is now stronger; it is because the continued use of tobacco has successfully broken down the person’s defenses and made them less able to cough out, sweat out, and expel the tobacco poisons.
As nicotine and various other chemicals in tobacco build up in the body, they influence various physiological processes that lead to heart disease, stroke, cancer, respiratory distress, and circulatory problems, including Meniere’s disease. This is the chronic phase of tobacco toxicity.
Homeopathic TABACUM is actually used frequently for people with motion sickness because the dizziness and nausea that tobacco causes is so similar to the symptoms of motion sickness. And it can be used for any of the above mentioned chronic diseases, whether the person has actually smoked in the past or not, if the individual’s symptoms resemble the pattern or syndrome caused by tobacco poisoning.
HELPING PEOPLE STOP SMOKING
It has been humorously said by comedians, “Stopping smoking is easy; I’ve stopped ten times in the past year alone.” People can stop smoking, but the problem is that they often start again.
Smoking is not just a physical addiction but also a social addiction. One can be physically addicted to nicotine, and one can also be addicted to the image of themselves as a smoker.
The unique benefits that homeopathic medicines provide is that they can strengthen a person’s overall constitution so that they are not only less physically addicted to tobacco but that they feel stronger emotionally, thus feel less socially addicted to what smoking represents to them.
For the best and deepest results, it is recommended to see a professional homeopath who will prescribe a “constitutional remedy” for the person. This remedy has the potential to strengthen a person both physically and psychologically. Some homeopaths may also prescribe homeopathic doses of TABACUM (usually 6x or 12x) to help the person eliminate tobacco from their body and help reduce cravings for it. Some homeopaths also prescribe CALADIUM (arum root) in either 3x or 6x to help the person develop a distaste for tobacco.
Generally, homeopaths recommend that a person take TABACUM and/or CALADIUM whenever they have a desire for a cigarette, though they recommend stopping such treatment if improvement is not noticed within 10 days.
Finally, there are homeopathic combination remedies for helping to stop smoking that are available at many health food stores. These remedies include several homeopathic ingredients, each of which is known to either help detoxify from tobacco, aid in creating a distaste for tobacco, or help strengthen the person emotionally.
Although homeopathic medicines work most effectively when they are individually prescribed, many people who take these homeopathic combination remedies experience positive results. Such remedies might be considered as a first effort, while professional homeopathic care might be considered when you want more precision and more significant results.
The best time to stop smoking was after that first cigarette, but the second best time to stop is…right now. Homeopathic medicines provide one more tool to help you do so.