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Homeopathy for Smoking

Tobacco is used and abused around the world. It’s a major contributing risk factor for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory illness. Does homeopathy have an answer?

Close up of a smoking cigarette

Native Americans prized tobacco for its medicinal properties. Sadly, in the modern age we prize it for a different reason entirely.

Tobacco is used and abused around the world, with personal and societal ruin following in its wake. According to WHO, in 2020 22.3% of the world’s population used tobacco: 36.7% of men and 7.8% of women It’s a major contributing risk factor for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory illness. This is a problem that needs a solution—but is there one?

The American Food and Drug Administration has approved a range of products for smoking cessation: including nicotine replacement medicines like patches and and nasal sprays, and pill medicines like varenicline and bupropion SR. These tend to be either expensive, inaccessible, or reliant on nicotine itself to control cravings, which can lead to a relapse.

Aside from chemical addiction, smoking is deeply entrenched in the local culture of many places. For decades, it was idolized in Hollywood movies, and remains a symbol of manhood—a vision of masculinity that is quite literally toxic.

Faced with this problem—anchored to society by so many biological and social ties—does homeopathy have the answer?


Any seasoned homeopath starts his or her search for a cure with a database of remedies (materia medica) and a repertory which contains an index of symptoms and potential remedies for those symptoms.  Some of the oldest materia medicas and repertories with symptoms drawn from the original provings (homeopathic trials) include Hering’s, Clarke’s, Kent’s, and Boericke’s. These four are still readily available as a free resource, online.

For smoking, the homeopath would consider the broader symptoms of the person’s ill-health and then narrow their search to rubrics and remedies related to tobacco or smoking.

Note that identifying the key symptoms and then finding the corresponding remedy is something that takes education and practice so it would be well worthwhile for the tobacco-addicted person to see a qualified homeopath. But with that said, here are some key remedies and their symptoms for smoking and tobacco to get you started!


  • Incessant nausea; worse, smell of tobacco smoke (Boericke)
  • Sufferings from abuse of tobacco. Tobacco-blindness commences in one eye, generally the right eye; sight is worse in the evening. (Clarke)  Check availability


  • Effects of tobacco smoking (excoriated tongue; gastralgia); and cured the habit of “swallowing the tobacco smoke.” Craving
    for tobacco; and a cough excited by tobacco smoke is an indication for it. (Clarke)  Check availability

Plantago Major

  • Tobacco habit. It produces disgust for it in chewers; and it cures neuralgia resulting from tobacco. Causes disgust for tobacco
    in chewers. (Clarke)
  • Depression and insomnia of chronic nicotinism. Causes an aversion to tobacco. (Boericke)  Check availability

Caladium seguinum

  • Modifies craving for tobacco. Tobacco heart. Asthmatic complaints. (Boericke)
  • Forgetfulness in persons who are mentally and physically prostrated from tobacco poisoning. Tobacco heart. The nervous symptoms of tobacco are similar to those of Caladium, and Caladium is useful in all sorts of nervous conditions, the effect of tobacco and cigarette smoking. It has a number of times turned the patient entirely away from his cigar, and removes the overwhelming craving that prevents smokers breaking off their habit. Headaches and mental states in smokers. (Kent)  Check availability

Arsenicum album

  • Arsenicum should be thought of in ailments from chewing tobacco. (Boericke)
  • Ailments from: chewing tobacco (Allen)
  • Tobacco-habit (Kent)  Check availability

Asclepias Tuberosa

  • Feeling of drunkenness with weakness of sight, after smoking a very little. Sensitive to tobacco (Hering)
  • Feeling of drunkenness with weakness of sight after smoking a very little. Symptoms aggravate by tobacco. (Clarke)
  • Sensitive to tobacco (Boericke)  Check availability

This is just a handful of potentially useful remedies, and there are many more. Part of the homeopath’s art is navigating the dense web of possibilities in the materia medicas to identify and apply the most useful remedy for the person before them.


This is still an under-researched area, but several studies chart the way forward.

  • A 2019 study found a therapeutic effect for the homeopathic remedy Plantago Major in reducing cravings. (Shukla I. A Prospective Observational Study on the Therapeutic Effect of Plantago Major in Reducing Craving for Tobacco. Homoeopathic Links.2019;32(3):145-51.)
  • A 2010 study  found a decrease in smoking in  62.5% of patients receiving interventionalist homeopathic treatment, with 37.5% giving up the habit entirely. (Barrios, M.D.M. & Barreda, M.A.. (2010). Application of homeopathy in smoker patients from the “Enrique Varona” place. 48. 253-263.)
  • A 1992 study that is unavailable online found that oral administration of (once again) Plantago Major was associated with an aversion to tobacco in heavy smokers. (Clinical Study, An Open Label Evaluation of the Tobacco Aversion Caused by Plantago Major Tincture in Subjects Who Are Heavy Smokers, Essex Testing Clinic Inc., Verona, NJ pp. 1 22, Constance J. DiFiglia, M.D., 1992.)
  • A 1971 study in Nature found that the remedy Avena Sativa significantly reduced smoking. (C L Anand. Effect of Avena Sativa on Smoking. Nature. 1971.233:496)

Homeopathic Materia Medicas

The information in homeopathic materia medicas is drawn from provings, poisonings, and clinical usage. Tobacco and nicotine related symptoms in this article have been extracted from:

  1. Materia Medica by William Boericke
  2. Materia Medica by John Henry Clarke
  3. The Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica by Constanine Hering, M.D.
  4. Materia Medica by James Tyler Kent

Each of these materia medicas also provide symptoms for each remedy that extend well beyond those related to tobacco or nicotine addiction.

So while more research would be welcome, there is abundant reason to believe that homeopathy, whether alone or as part of a multi-faceted treatment approach, helps tobacco addiction. Homeopathy’s affordability, safety, and non-toxicity means it has fascinating implications for governments, social programs, and individuals caught in the endless cycle of nicotine addiction.