If you've been told that you need to stop smoking, it can seem like a huge hurdle. The idea of going cold turkey can keep you from even attempting to quit. For many, nicotine addition is only one component to smoking. There is also the soothing nature of the act, the entire contemplative relaxation one gets from smoking. It is more than removing the nicotine, it is also finding other ways to self-soothe that are less harmful. It may be easier to replace one tobacco cigarette with an herbal... one.
Let's take a look at a tiny sampling of herbs that can be used for a smoking mixture. For an exhaustive list, see Howie Brounstein's site on Smoking Mixtures.
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Think of mullein as the neutral base in any herbal smoking mixture. It adds bulk, a very light smoke, and not much else to the flavor.
Mullein is also used in smoking mixtures for smokers who are trying to bring up congestion. Be aware that this technique is not to be used by someone who is not a smoker. The resulting coughing fit will not benefit any respiratory illness.
Dry mullein will go up in a puff of smoke and taste too harsh to be enjoyed at all. Use the fuzzy leaf, when it is dry but still very pliable—think too moist to store in a jar.
To prepare mullein leaf, allow it to dry slightly and then rub it as you would sage to produce a light, fluffy herb. For instructions on how to hand rub mullein, see hand rubbed sage.
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Used for flavor, raspberry leaves also add some body to the smoking mixture. It was the next largest amount of herb that was added to the smoking mixture.
If you're quitting smoking, you may find that you need much more red raspberry leaves in the beginning. Eventually, you can try scaling back this ingredient as it became easier to smoke less.
Use dried leaves that are thoroughly dried and lightly spritzed with water to refresh them a bit. Remember, herbs that are too dried out tasted harsh and will not be enjoyable, but raspberry leaves need to be dried completely before use. The remedy is a light misting with water and allow the leaves to absorb just a bit.
When making a smoking mixture, hand-tear the raspberry leaves. This produces a larger piece that can be better blended into the mixture.
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Catnip adds a relaxing note to the smoking mixture. It is gentle and can be effective to take the edge off the craving for tobacco. It can be a little too harsh once that craving abates.
When adding catnip, use a light hand—it is an acquired taste for many.
Catnip is a very useful herb to have at your disposal.
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Sage is an herb that will enhance the smoke of your mixture. All varieties of sage can be used. Each variety has its own unique flavor. Try a few types before settling on your favorite.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Lemon balm is an unusual flavoring for your herbal smoking mixtures. It does add to the recipe by creating a heavier smoke, but lemon might be offputting to some.