Perhaps one of the best ways we can see the evidence of how there is a political agenda against smoking is by realising that we are to believe it is the only natural substance to have no medicinal properties.  Despite the ongoing battle to combat underage and binge drinking, there is still a lot of publicity about the health benefits of one or two drinks per day.  Yet, we are never told of any beneficial properties of tobacco despite the fact that it used to be used for medicinal purposes by American Indians for millennia (they used it to cure wounds, swellings, coughs, colds, headaches, tooth-ache, rheumatism, stomach disorders and many other ailments). 

There is a large body of evidence detailing the health benefits of smoking, which this chapter will be looking at.  A 1990 book by M. Castro states that a homeopathic remedy can be cultivated from the dry leaves which is used in the treatment of nausea and travel sickness.[1] Another book [2] speaks of how tobacco leaves can be applied to the skin to treat rheumatic swelling, skin diseases and scorpion stings. Yet another publication [3] mentions tobacco has a long history of being used by medical herbalists as a relaxant, as well as the leaves being antispasmodic, discutient, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, sedative and sialagogue.

Edgar Cayce, a famous psychic healer, recommended smoking four to six all-tobacco cigarettes each day for people who suffer from asthma.  A member of the alt.smokers discussion group, Charlotte Roneus, is an asthma sufferer and she finds that smoking cigarettes soothes her lungs and relieves the attacks.  It has been known for centuries that smoking is a remedy for a cough or bad throat, and whilst many smokers abstain from smoking whilst they have an illness, those who do smoke with a sore throat often notice it feels better. 

[1] Castro. M. 1990 The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. Macmillan. London.
[2] Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. 1986 Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
[3] Grieve. 1984 A Modern Herbal. Penguin

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Chapter 13: Benefits of Smoking