A weed that you’ve probably trampled on more than a few times could help you butt out. The North American wild herb, plantain (Plantago major), helps reduce cravings for cigarettes. That could be one of the main reasons it is being used in many commercial smoking cessation products.
Growing on lawns, between sidewalk cracks, and in wild spaces alike, plantain is regularly killed by grass aficionados in search of lawn perfection. This is not the same plant that produces banana-like fruit also known as plantain found in tropical destinations.
Not only does plantain reduce cravings for cigarettes, it also reduces lung inflammation and helps to clean out the lungs. Available as a tea, tincture (alcohol extract), a quit-smoking spray, or as a dried herb in many health food stores, it is easy to take advantage of its health-promoting properties.
If you choose the dried herb, simply add one teaspoon to a cup of boiling water, steep for at least 10 minutes then drink before you reach for a cigarette. Many people find they’ll be butting out soon afterward since the craving is gone. You may also feel like you’ve had enough before you finish that cigarette.
Plantain is also used by natural medicine practitioners to reduce bronchial congestion, laryngitis, lung irritations, coughs, toothaches, ulcers, digestive complaints, gout, and kidney infections.
If you choose the tincture or quit-smoking spray, follow package directions. Usually you’ll want to take the plantain just prior to lighting up. Of course, you should always consult a qualified health professional prior to using any new product.
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