I am often asked whether there are any essential oils that can help one to stop smoking. The truth of the matter is that a number of people have found using aromatherapy and essential oils to be very helpful when they want to quit smoking. One of the best ways seems to be to put a single note oil or a synergy into an inhaler. These little plastic inhalers are great when it comes to something just one person wants to sniff at but if you don’t have any blank inhalers then a drop or two of your synergy on a tissue, cotton ball or sniffing strip work just as well. You could also sniff directly out of the bottle but because the essential oil molecules remain trapped inside the bottle the aroma doesn’t develop as well as when it is fully exposed to the air.
So which essential oils are the best to use? Well people have had success with quite a few different oils. For instance one of our students reported that while taking the 101 course she found that working with bergamot took away all her cravings for cigarettes and so she was able to give up smoking very easily. I have not been able to find any research to back this up but the fact is that it worked for her. However there has been a study done on using the essential oil of black pepper to help quit smoking and so this is definitely an oil to consider using.
When considering which oils to use in your synergy also keep in mind the emotional swings the person is experiencing and symptoms. You can always add essential oils to your synergy that will help to deal with these, for instance if they are feeling agitated because they are on withdrawal add something calming Roman chamomile, Clary Sage, Ylang Ylang are three that pop into my mind as I write this. Using essential oils and essential oil synergies are a simple but very effective way to help one through something, that is more often than not, very challenging.
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Inhalation of vapor from black pepper extract reduces smoking withdrawal symptoms.
Rose JE, Behm FM.Nicotine Research Laboratory (151-S), V.A. Medical Center, Durham, NC 27705.
Previous studies have suggested that sensory cues associated with cigarette smoking can suppress certain smoking withdrawal symptoms, including craving for cigarettes. In this study we investigated the subjective effects of a cigarette substitute delivering a vapor of black pepper essential oil. Forty-eight cigarette smokers participated in a 3-h session conducted after overnight deprivation from smoking. Subjects were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: one group of smokers puffed on a device that delivered a vapor from essential oil of black pepper; a second group puffed on the device with a mint/menthol cartridge, and a third group used a device containing an empty cartridge. Subjects puffed and inhaled ad libitum from the device throughout the session during which no smoking was allowed. Reported craving for cigarettes was significantly reduced in the pepper condition relative to each of the two control conditions. In addition, negative affect and somatic symptoms of anxiety were alleviated in the pepper condition relative to the unflavored placebo. The intensity of sensations in the chest was also significantly higher for the pepper condition. These results support the view that respiratory tract sensations are important in alleviating smoking withdrawal symptoms. Cigarette substitutes delivering pepper constituents may prove useful in smoking cessation treatment.
PMID: 8033760 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]