Are you trying to quit smoking?
If you are, you know that quitting can be an ordeal filled with cravings, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue.
That’s a nasty list of symptoms, and it explains why only about 7% of people manage to quit on their first try.
Is there any way to make quitting smoking easier and to increase your chances of success?
Well, one surprising option is essential oils. Essential oils have been studied in a scientific context and shown to help people stay away from cigarettes and reduce cravings.
They might not be a silver bullet, but essential oils are definitely worth a try if you’re serious about kicking the habit.
Read on for detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to use essential oils to help you quit smoking.
Which essential oils help with quitting smoking?
Several essential oils have bene studied scientifically and shown to help smokers abstain from cigarettes. The two oils that are showing the most promise are:
- Black pepper (Piper nigrum)
- Angelica root (Angelica archangelica)
You probably know black pepper as a spice and might even be familiar with its aroma of its essential oil. What’s the story when it comes to black pepper and smoking?
In a 1994 study, researchers gave smokers “a cigarette substitute delivering a vapor” with black pepper oil. They compared this to placebo (cartridges containing no aroma) as well as to cartridges containing menthol. And the result?
Black pepper essential “significantly reduced” cigarette cravings compared to the menthol and placebo. It also relieved associated anxiety. Later studies have confirmed this effect.
The researchers speculated that black pepper oil stimulates the respiratory tract in a way that mimics actual smoking, and this is why it’s proved to be so effective in reducing cigarette cravings.
As for the other oil on the list, angelica root, it comes from the root of a small shrub that grows in northern climates. It’s also been tested in several studies, and it seems to allow people to stay away from cigarettes for longer (even when compared to black pepper oil, which reduced cravings more).
How should you use these oils to quit smoking?
The basic protocol to use essential oils to quit smoking is this:
When you get the urge to smoke, inhale the essential oil very slowly and deeply like you would a cigarette, over a period of about 2 minutes (the time it normally takes to smoke a cigarette).
You can inhale directly from the bottle, you can put a drop of oil on a cotton ball or tissue and inhale from there, or you can even make make your own portable inhaler (more on this below).
Are essential oils safe to use in this way?
I checked Robert Tisserand’s “Essential Oil Safety”, and both black pepper and angelica root don’t have any safety warnings.
In fact, constituents found in black pepper essential oil even have some anti-cancer properties in vitro, though we don’t know whether this benefit still holds in actual human beings.
But the main point is this — inhaling black pepper or angelica root oils several times a day, for a few minutes a time, appears to be perfectly safe.
What about other essential oils?
If you don’t have either black pepper or angelica root oils, can other essential oils also help you quit smoking?
It’s possible, though I don’t have any research to back it up.
However, what I do know that food cravings might be helped by inhaling various essential oils.
Perhaps, a similar kind of mechanism in the brain might exist for reducing cravings for cigarettes.
So if you want to try inhaling lavender or tea tree in an effort to quit smoking, it might be worth a try. Just be aware that each essential oil has its own physiological effects and safety considerations.
How can you make your own inhaler?
I mentioned earlier that you can make your own Vicks-style inhaler and use this when you feel a craving for cigarettes.
Here’s how to do that:
- Get a set of plastic inhaler cartridges
- Get a set of cotton wicks to put inside the inhaler
- Put some drops of your essential oils in a little bowl and soak one of the cotton wicks in it
- Put the wick inside the inhaler cartridge, and presto! You’re done
If my instructions have left you puzzled, here’s a video of Andrea Butje walking you through the process:
What should you do next?
And that’s all you need to use essential oils to help you stop smoking.
In short: get one of the essentials oils on the list above (black pepper or angelica root), make an inhaler, and see how it works out for you.
If it doesn’t work out right away, try another oil, and keep faith that you’ll be able to quit smoking eventually.
And if you think this article would be useful for other people, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.