Quitting smoking is a difficult endeavor, but can be made easier if you detoxify your body. Body detoxification helps to flush out the nicotine accumulations and the accumulation of the other toxins that you are exposed to when you smoke. Detoxification practices can help to ease withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine use, can purify your blood and can further improve the overall condition of your health after your system has been flushed of toxins.
Cigarette Ingredients and Withdrawal
When you smoke you are inhaling sulfur, hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen--along with the tar and tobacco in cigarettes. These gases can accumulate in your body; they diminish oxygen sources, and can cause respiratory conditions. The ingredients in cigarettes, including nicotine, are highly addictive, and withdrawal symptoms can immediately occur after you stop smoking. Signs that you are suffering from nicotine withdrawal include mood swings, headaches, cravings to smoke, depression, fatigue and an increase in appetite.
First Detoxification Steps
The first step to nicotine detoxification involves the act of quitting cigarette smoking. Patches for nicotine are not recommended during the nicotine-detox process simply because the nicotine is getting into your body another way--through the 24-hour exposure to the patch. After roughly two hours from the moment you quit smoking, the levels of nicotine in your body begin to drop considerably. After three days from the day you quit, your blood serum will be nicotine free, although your urine will still contain 10 percent of the nicotine metabolites in your body. After a period of 14 days, you will find that your system is finally nicotine free.
Drinking eight ounces of water every single day will not only keep you hydrated, but also will help to wash out nicotine accumulation in your body. Water will force nicotine accumulations to pass out of your body via sweat and urine. It will also help to alleviate any kind of throat irritation that you might experience after you quit smoking for good.
Just as drinking water helps to flush the system of nicotine accumulation, exercise can do the same. If you have recently quit smoking, strenuous exercise might cause some breathing difficulties, so start off slow with your exercise routines. Once your lungs begin to heal and strengthen, you can intensify your workouts. You can begin with long walks and brisk walking on a daily basis in order to break a sweat and flush your system out. You can later incorporate more strenuous exercise such as jogging and running into your weekly workout or routine.
Echinacea and Goldenseal
Sometimes when flushing nicotine from the system, an individual will develop cold-like symptoms as the body works toward returning to a normal state before nicotine was used. Echinacea can be consumed to alleviate the cold-like symptoms you experience when you quit smoking. For an even more effective treatment, goldenseal extract mixed with echinacea can promote a natural flushing of the system of accumulated toxins. A mixture of echinacea and goldenseal can be consumed by taking three to six 450-milligram capsules of the herb mix each day until the cold-like symptoms subside.
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.