Can Essential Oils Help You Quit Smoking?
Can Essential Oils Help You Quit Smoking?
You might have heard about aromatherapy. You may have used it before in the past. But did you know that it can be beneficial in smoking cessation when used in combination with essential oils?
Aromatherapy is a form of therapeutic treatment that manipulates your sense of smell. It often uses plant extracts known as essential oils.
But how exactly can essential oils be used as one of the quit smoking aids in a smoking cessation program?
Let’s dive into what essential oils are, how they work, how effective they are in helping you to quit smoking, and where you can get them.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are obtained from the roots, seeds, flowers, and bark of plants. They are aromatic compounds that are responsible for giving plants their unique and character tic scents. They also protect the plant from potential hazards in the environment.
You may have heard of lavender oil or tea tree oil, two of the most commonly used essential oils. But there are hundreds of different kinds. They are commonly used in combination to maximize their effects.
How Do Essential Oils Work?
Each essential oil comes from a single type of plant, and they each have their own unique properties and health benefits.
However, every essential oil is able to influence your body through the same mechanism. Regardless of the specific essential oil that you are using, you will immediately be hit by a strong aroma when you open up the bottle. This is because the aromatic compounds in the oil diffuse through the air and stimulate your olfactory receptors (the receptors in your nose).
These receptors are closely connected to a set of structures in the brain called the also known as the paleomammalian cortex, located on both sides of the thalamus in the forebrain.
When this area of the brain is activated, it can influence your emotions, behavior, and long-term memories. The limbic system is also responsible for controlling some physiological components, such as breathing rate, heart rate, and blood pressure. It’s because of this that aromatherapy and essential oils are often used for anxiety and stress relief, pain reduction, and improved overall health and well-being.
How Can Essential Oils Help You Quit Smoking?
Using aromatherapy and essential oils is not going to be a miracle cure for quitting smoking. However, they are two of the best natural remedies to quit smoking.
Nicotine is one of the drugs in tobacco that is extremely addictive. In fact, it is more addictive than heroin. This is a large reason why quitting smoking is extremely difficult, and why most people end up reaching for the cigarettes just a few days into their journey.
One of the most common causes of long-term cigarette smoking is stress. Essential oils can be used to decrease your stress levels through their influence on the limbic system.
There are certain essential oils that have been shown to be particularly effective for smoking cessation, such as the ones below.
Angelica Essential Oil
Angelica essential oil is known as the ‘oil of angels’ and it has been used to treat headaches, colds, and joint pain for years. Its aromatic compounds can stimulate the respiratory system to reduce your urge to reach for a cigarette.
Black Pepper Essential Oil
Black pepper has been shown to reduce nicotine cravings and aid in quitting smoking. Inhaling black pepper essential oil decreases your cigarette cravings because it stimulates the respiratory system in a similar way to cigarette smoke.
It is particularly effective for smoking cessation when used in combination with angelica essential oil. One study showed that the use of angelica essential oil helped people last longer without smoking their next cigarette, while black pepper essential oil helped to decrease cigarette cravings.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is extremely popular because of its anxiolytic effects. When you’re trying to quit smoking, you can try all of the quit smoking aids in the world, but you may still feel anxious and stressed due to the nicotine withdrawal.
Supplementing with Lavender essential oil can activate your parasympathetic nervous system to calm you down and combat restlessness. It may also help you to sleep, reducing the incidence and severity of insomnia.
Lavender essential oil is known for its ability to suppress inflammation of the mucous membranes in the respiratory system, which can further enhance its benefit during your smoking cessation journey.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Another effective natural treatment to use when you’re quitting smoking is peppermint essential oil. This has amazing health benefits that can tackle the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, such as headaches, digestive issues, nausea, and irritability.
The strong aroma of peppermint essential oil can provide relief from your symptoms, preventing you from reaching for the cigarettes when things get hard.
Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
Roman Chamomile essential oil is used to relieve stress and tension during nicotine withdrawal. It can soothe your mind when you’re feeling wound up and desperate for a cigarette, and many people swear by its anger-reducing effects.
This essential oil is often used in combination with Lavender and Ylang Ylang essential oils to enhance its tension-relieving abilities.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil can reduce the headaches and nausea that are associated with quitting smoking due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also relieve stress and anxiety by decreasing the levels of cortisol in the body by up to 23%. Since cortisol can suppress your immune system, using rosemary essential oil can help to boost your immunity.
On a similar note, inhaling rosemary essential oil vapor can reduce drowsiness and mental fatigue, improve your sleep, and enhance your mood.
Sweet Orange Essential Oil
It's not uncommon to feel unmotivated on your smoking cessation journey. It’s a difficult and tedious journey that can feel like forever.
If you’re feeling down and you’re experiencing stress and anxiety while you’re trying to quit smoking, sweet orange essential oil can give you a mood boost and leave you feeling energized and motivated once again. It has a relaxing effect that can reduce your worries, and it has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the body.
Sweet orange essential oil may also boost your immune system and reduce any withdrawal effects that are associated with quitting smoking.
Methods of Application for Essential Oils and Smoking Cessation
The best method to quit smoking via aromatherapy and essential oils is through inhalation so they can affect the respiratory system directly. All of the above essential oils can be used in inhalers, diffusers, candles, or vaporizers for optimal effects.
Inhalers can be great to use when you’re trying to quit smoking. They contain a concentrated solution of one or more essential oils. They're small enough to fit in your purse or pocket, and can be carried around with you wherever you go, so you always have some relief if you’re desperate for a cigarette.
Taking a deep breath of essential oil vapor can activate your limbic system through the aforementioned mechanism, reducing your cravings, anxiety, and stress.
When you’re at home, you can use aromatherapy and essential oils via room diffusers or nebulizers that vaporize the essential oil so it can diffuse through your room. This means you get constant exposure to the healthy fumes of the essential oil as you go about your day at home.
You can also apply essential oils to the skin. They are often used in massage oil, bath oil, or aromatic bath salts. This may not be as effective as inhalers or diffusers in smoking cessation because it does not directly activate the olfactory receptors.
Low concentrations of essential oils are generally safe for use on the skin. However, you should always take caution when applying oils directly onto your skin, as allergic reactions are possible. Do not put pure essential oils into your bathwater.
Where Can You Get Essential Oils?
If you take a search online, there are plenty of different companies that offer essential oils, as well as other natural quit smoking aids. Whether you’re an aromatherapy newbie, or have experimented with the array of lotions and potions available on the market, doing some further digging when trying to find your ideal arsenal to help you stop smoking will help make your journey smoother!
Join the F**K Nicotine Movement
Here at ripple+, we know the path to a nicotine-free life can be rather bumpy, and we want to provide you with some relief along the way. If you’re looking for a lil’ pocket-sized pick-me-up, our aromatherapy diffusers leverage the benefits of natural botanical blends to help lighten your mood.
We wish you the best of luck in kicking nicotine out of your life for good!