May 31 is World Anti-Tobacco Day.
Tobacco is one of the important causes of morbidity and mortality in the world.
The active principle in tobacco, nicotine is a well known narcotic and has far reaching effects on the body.
Tobacco in any form is dangerous to health. When chewed as a habit, it causes a chronic irrtation of the mucus lining of the mouth leading to oral cancers. Tobacco chewing and smoking cause cancers not only in the mouth but also the esophagus (food pipe) and the stomach and lungs.
Nicotine is a vaso constrictor, leading to a reduction of blood supply to various organs. It causes a vaso constriction of the lining of the stomach wall which makes it vulnerable to insults from organisms as well as the acid in the stomach and produces gastric ulcers. It also causes a relaxation of the lower end of the stomach (the pyloric valve) and allows the alkaline bilious secretons to enter the stomach. This alkaline juice is an irritant and once again predisposes the person to gastric ulcers.
Nicotine constricts the blood vessels of the heart causng ishemia and leads to angina and heart attacks. Similarly it acts on the blood vessels of the limbs and can cause gangrene due to the vaso constriction.
The tobacco plant belongs to the same family of plants, the Solanaceae, that give us some of the poisons and narcotics like the deadly nightshade (Belladonna), Dhatura (Stramonium) and Henbane (Hyoscyamus). Fortunately it is not as poisonous as the afore-mentioned plants.
Homeopathy uses tobacco in a diluted and purified form to treat many illnesses. It has been used effectively to treat vertigo and sea sickness and also the pains of kidney stones, esp. of the left side.
Disclaimer: A detailed history followed by constitutional treatment by good and qualified homeopathic specialists is necessary to treat the complaints that appear during any disease. It is not advisable to resort to self-medication for any disease. The above-mentioned drugs are just a few of the remedies and are mentioned solely to create awareness about the efficacy of homeopathic medicines.