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Want to stop smoking? Perhaps yerba mate can help you do so!

Want to stop smoking? Perhaps yerba mate can help you do so!

You have probably heard the term “ashtray” more than once in the context of strongly bitter yerba mate, like for example Paraguayan Pajarito. All because of the association of the characteristic smoky aroma reminiscent of tobacco. However, in contrast to cigarettes, yerba mate not only has a positive effect on health, but can also help fight nicotine addiction! Yerba mate and cigarettes – what do they have in common?


  1. How does the mechanism of nicotine addiction work?
  2. What can help you quit smoking? Popular methods
  3. Tea for quitting smoking?
  4. What instead of a cigarette? Yerba mate!
  5. Yerba mate instead of a cigarette. Worth a try!

How does the mechanism of nicotine addiction work?

The fact that cigarettes damage health is known and realised by everyone, even those who smoke them regularly. Sounds absurd? The main ingredient in cigarette tobacco is nicotine, which has a highly addictive effect. The mechanism of nicotine's effect is to modify the functioning of the nervous system. Nicotine binds to nicotinic receptors, disrupting their metabolism, stimulates dopamine release in the brain, increases adrenaline production and raises blood pressure. Immediately after lighting up a cigarette, there is a temporary improvement in wellbeing, but this state quickly returns to normal, and after just two hours, the body of the smoker demands replenishment. Although nicotine has a very negative effect on health, leading in particular to the development of cancer, it is difficult for addicts to give up their habit just like that. Statistics say that around 1 billion people worldwide are addicted to cigarettes. The harmful effects of cigarettes on health contribute to the deaths of millions of people every year. People struggling with this habit and wanting to quit, after unsuccessful attempts using popular methods, often become discouraged and give in to the harmful habit willy-nilly. They often resort to alternative methods, some of which we will discuss in today's post. How to stop smoking and what to choose instead of a cigarette? Let's take a look!

Yerba mate and cigarettes

What can help you quit smoking? Popular methods

People determined to end their nicotine habit usually start by researching the topic on the Internet. What are the most popular methods indicated by Uncle Google after typing “what helps to quit smoking” into the search engine? First of all, there are pharmacological preparations in various forms, such as tabs, patches, aerosols or chewing gums. Another popular way to stop smoking is psychotherapy or group therapy. Alternative, but also quite popular ways, mentioned on portals dedicated to the subject, are: hypnosis, acupuncture and bioresonance. However, it turns out that there are also other interesting alternatives.

Tea for quitting smoking?

Tea is a plant that has delighted people with its wonderful properties for thousands of years. We appreciate it for its phenomenal taste and unique aroma, as well as its gently stimulating effect. As it turns out, tea can also be helpful in the context of smoking and the desire to quit. Several years ago, a study was carried out which found that drinking green tea daily could reduce the risk of lung cancer by up to 13 times. Green tea is also a rich source of polyphenols – antioxidants whose function is to fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals contribute to faster cellular ageing, and smokers are particularly vulnerable to their formation in the body, so including green tea in the daily diet is more than a good idea. How about starting to drink tea instead of smoking cigarettes altogether? Nicotine craving during quitting can cause irritability, anxiety, depression and even headaches, stress and concentration problems. Herbal infusions based on lemon balm, hops cones or valerian can be a good “cure” for such ailments. Some herbs are also very helpful in detoxifying the body from harmful substances that accumulate when smoking cigarettes. To cleanse the body, it is a good idea to reach for an herbal tea based on chamomile or field horsetail, with the addition of cayenne pepper or ginger.

Yerba mate to replace a bad habit?

As we mentioned a few paragraphs above, nicotine is the substance that makes smoking simply pleasurable for many people. Its action is based on the release of dopamine and adrenaline and leads to a short-term stimulation of the body, albeit manifested in different ways. However, cigarette addiction is more than that. Smokers quickly become accustomed to the whole “environment” and the specific movements made when smoking. And this, among other things, is where yerba mate can help, according to some internet users. In a way, isn't smoking a bit like drinking yerba mate? A calabash, like a cigarette, allows you to occupy your hand with something. During a break at school or work, you can take it with you into the fresh air and allow yourself a few minutes of relaxation. What's more, it is worth noting that when you sip mate through a bombilla you make a similar movement to a smoker taking a "poke". Yerba mate also facilitates relaxation and stress reduction. Many people reach for a cigarette in stressful situations as a form of relief. Yerba mate, through the whole ritual of preparation and drinking, which requires a moment of concentration and reflection, has a relaxing effect and can help reduce stress. Instead of reaching for a cigarette, you can reach for a yerba mate gourd and enjoy a moment of pleasant relaxation. One last point: the taste. The intense, smoky taste of yerba mate reminds many people of the taste of cigarettes. By combining all these aspects, we can answer the question – what to choose instead of a cigarette that is harmful to the body? Healthy yerba mate!

Yerba mate instead of a cigarette. Worth a try!

We are well aware that fighting tobacco addiction can be a huge challenge. So we don't want to simplify it in any way by proposing supposedly "revolutionary" solutions. However, it seems to us that it is worth giving yerba mate a chance in this situation. Yes, mate tea won't replace the self-denial and willpower that are crucial when quitting smoking, but it can be a valuable addition when fighting for one's health, as it provides natural energy, relieves nicotine cravings, aids in cleansing the body and helps with relaxation. Who knows, perhaps a healthy habit of reaching for the brew will help eliminate cigarettes from the daily routine for good?

Source of information:

  1. Wikipedia: Yerba mate, Nicotine, Cigarette.
  2. C.I. Heck, E.G. de Mejia, Yerba Mate Tea (Ilex paraguariensis): a comprehensive review on chemistry, health implications, and technological considerations, J Food Sci, 2007.
  3. N. L. Benowitz, Nicotine Addiction, New England Journal of Medicine, 2010.
  4. J. Liu, A revolutionary approach for the cessation of smoking. Science China. Life Sciences, 2010.
  5. World Health Organization.