November 28, 2005 8:27 AM   Subscribe

I just quit smoking about 10 days ago. What kinds of food/herbs/vitamins can I take to help gently detox my tissues and organs?

I'm not interested in any hardcore program or new lifestyle regimen, just something that I can easily incorporate into my daily life. For example, I have taken up drinking green tea for its stimulant effect and for the possible anti-oxidant benefits.

Also, I'm starting to cough up that legendary ex-smoker goo, but only in small amounts. I have heard that it will get very nasty before it's all over. If any of you ex-smokers want to share gross black phlegm anecdotes, feel free to do so in this thread.
posted by mds35 to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
PS: I feel great and it has been surpisingly painless. After smoking for 11 years and trying many different methods (patch, will power, gum, Zyban, Allen Carr's book, etc.), hypnotherapy is what finally helped me overcome the habit.
posted by mds35 at 8:29 AM on November 28, 2005

Great job. The hacking will go on intermittently for months, but it won't be as intense as it is now. The worst will be over soon. In fact, the resources at WhyQuit (Google it -- I'd open another window and get the link, but I'm on a miserable dial-up) will say that all the nicotine, at least, is clear of your system by now. Beyond that, just drink ridiculous amounts of water, and try to take in Vitamin C. Most smokers have never gotten enough Vitamin C, because smoking interferes with its absorption.
posted by Miko at 8:37 AM on November 28, 2005

Congrats! I quit this summer and couldn't be happier. The best part is that I finally got to the point where I don't even like the smell of cigarette smoke anymore.

I think the best thing to do is excercise. You will cough up more stuff than you can imagine after a good run. I'm pretty sure that if you're otherwise healthy the body will naturally detoxify itself. Just take it easy and smile to yourself when you think of how many years you're adding to your life by not smoking!
posted by anomie at 8:38 AM on November 28, 2005

The last time I was really formal about quitting (which was the first time and didn't ultimately work), I found a page recommending Miso soup for detoxification. There was also a daily dose of a flush-inducing vitamin -- I think Niacin -- for the same purposes.

I'm completely smoke-free for two months now, after several years of tapering off dramatically and quitting for several weeks here and there. I've "quit" three times with Zyban -- this third time, I stopped taking the Zyban and stopped smoking on the same week. For me, that apparently was the trick, because it's been the easiest and most permanent quit I've done.
posted by VulcanMike at 8:41 AM on November 28, 2005

(Oh, and I'm a pack-a-day gum chewer now and I've gained a few inches on the waist -- the Zyban probably would have helped with the latter).
posted by VulcanMike at 8:42 AM on November 28, 2005

Congrats! I'm not a smoker, but I always feel wonderfully detoxified after drinking pomegranate juice - it's the first thing I reach for when I have a hangover. It's kinda pricey, but still cheaper than cigs!
posted by gatorae at 9:20 AM on November 28, 2005

Carrot juice is what gets my cells going; fresh, organic juice. Pomegranate is good, but a little too acidic for me except in very limited quantities. On the other hand, every glass of carrot juice rejuventates and reenergizes me.

Well done for quitting tobacco.
posted by anadem at 9:41 AM on November 28, 2005

I don't know if there is a Whole Foods near you, but I picked up some stuff from there called "Smoke Free Drops" that you put in a glass of water. Great stuff. Smells horrible, but it helps clear out all the crap in your lungs a bit faster. I believe it contains oat seed and lobelia complex.
posted by jackofsaxons at 11:20 AM on November 28, 2005

"Detox" is a loaded term; I hope you're not looking for emetics or strong diuretics or anything like that.

There are several good sources of anti-oxidents:
  • Roibos tea (a.k.a. "Red Tea") (Celestial Seasonings has a blend with pomegranite, so you could kill two birds with one stone)
  • Green Tea
  • Vitamin C and E
  • Broccoli and other crucifers, like cabbage or kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Fresh dark grapes
Exercise is probably a good idea. And if you're really trying to purify, make sure that you get enough fluids (and enough electrolytes).
posted by lodurr at 11:43 AM on November 28, 2005

general tonic that helps lungs.
posted by hortense at 12:10 PM on November 28, 2005

What Miko said, lots of water, and I read somewhere that you lose 25 mg. of Vitamin C for every cigarette you smoke, so replenish that as best you can. Also, congratulations!
posted by Lynsey at 2:36 PM on November 28, 2005

Exercise, drink plenty of water and eat lots of fruits and vegetables. "Detoxifying" is a meaningless term designed to sell you useless products.
posted by electroboy at 7:25 AM on November 29, 2005

ack...gack * sputter. Thanks a bunch, guys.
posted by mds35 at 8:41 PM on November 30, 2005

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