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chewing gum

Alkenjoi Hatfield


Joined: Mar 04, 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Staten Island, NYC
hello everyone,

i am doing my best to educate myself about the many facets of permaculture and stumbled upon your forum a few days ago.  this seems like a wonderful little community so i decided to set up camp and register.  i am also impressed with the upkeep and volume of great threads and information.  i look forward to learning and sharing with you folks, and want to express my thanks for the kind people who set up and maintain the permies forum.

I quit smoking in feb 2009 and have been 100% successful with the aid of nicorette gum.  past attempts were unsuccessful, but a new mint flavor has seemed to help me.  for about 9 months i was able to use only 1-2 pieces of gum per day.  in my particular case i found that just treating it as regular gum and chewing it all day worked better than following their directions of chewing for only 15 mins at a time and using fresh pieces for regular intervals throughout the day.  I would only consume the lowest dosage possible while keeping my mouth moving.  And it has worked.  Unfortunately, even after a year i still crave cigarettes and have begun chewing more pieces of nicorette (now 3-4 piece/day).  So since I have some experience as a quitter under my belt, I am ready to quit the chemical subsitute, since I am obviously addicted to that now.

i want to get off the medicated gum and onto something that i can chew whenever i want for a reasonable amount of time without having to worry about sugar, expense or waste products.

glee gum would be a temporary solution but it is rather expensive from the organic stores near me.  i found a british natural gum company online, but again it would be a high expense.  I would also have to rely on product availability.  granted the cost of cigarettes was outrageous in comparison.  and buying nicorette cheaper at a price club was much more manageable at @ 45 cents per piece, but i am trying to find practical alternatives. 

If I have to use glee gum, I will, but the pieces are so small after the sugar dissolves that I have to keep popping in more to feel satisfied.  And I don’t want to eat the sugar.  I could spit while chewing in the beginning, but I don’t want to expose my teeth to the sugar.

I understand this may seem trivial to most people, but I see it as a life saver.  i quit drinking 6 years ago and now smoking has been out of my life for 1 year in addition to other healthy diet changes.  So any suggestions would be appreciated.  Mint flavor is definitely the way to go for me and I am willing to try a two part chewing process; meaning adding a mint flavor to a chewable medium.  I would go as far as dipping the end of a twig into a mint paste if that’s what I need to do : )  so I am open to any healthy ideas or products you may have experience with.

Thank you for reading and your consideration.

Be well,
Alkenjoi
Ardilla Esch


Joined: Feb 05, 2010
Posts: 141
Location: Nortern New Mexico, Zone 5b
    
    2
Have you tried Trader Joe's?  Our local Trader Joe's carries Glee and a couple other similar types of gum.  It is probably cheaper that the health food store.

I don't know of any gum substitutes for your situation though.
David Castillo


Joined: Feb 04, 2010
Posts: 23
Location: IL/WI Border
Have you tried just chewing on mint leaves/sprigs? Mint is easy to grow and produces abundantly. You could just keep some with you in a small bag.

Personally I would recommend you quit chewing altogether. It is bad for your health in many various ways. 

What you really need to do is deal with whatever the underlying issue(s) there is/are. As it seems you have  replaced one addiction with another. And although you are looking for a healthier alternative as the replacement, it still isn't the healthiest option available.

Best of luck.
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
irollaround wrote:
I would recommend you quit chewing altogether. It is bad for your health in many various ways. 


The calcium in saliva is good to keep flowing, both to re-mineralize teeth and to neutralize stomach acid. We aren't ruminants, but I think it's good for us to chew more than industrial food would require. If you have plaque on your teeth, saliva can mineralize that, too, but I think the overall effect is positive.

Before there was synthetic polybutadiene of the sort used in modern chewing gum, commercial chewing gum was made of chicle, a variety of tree sap that had been used traditionally in South America. Spruce sap (sometimes mixed with beeswax) was the North American variant, and mastic sap was used in ancient Greece.

It's possible to distill or purchase peppermint oil for in home-made gum; a little goes a long way. I could also imagine using mint as a sort of snuff, like irollaraound suggested.


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
Kerrick McCoy


Joined: Dec 01, 2009
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
Congratulations on quitting smoking! That's hard work, and it's work you have to keep at every day. You asked about stuff you can chew to stave off cravings.

Licorice root is another herb that folks have long chewed on both for enjoyment and medicinal benefits. If you have existing heart problems or a tendency to them in your family, you want to be careful about using it: high amounts of glycyrrhizin are reported to increase the potential for heart attacks and stroke in susceptible people. (Probably not as much as smoking.) If you start getting headaches or swelling of the hands and feet or numbness or tingling in the hands and feet, stop and try a different substitute. Most people associate licorice with the "licorice" candy that's usually colored black and has a strong anise taste, but that flavor comes from the anise--licorice root just tastes mild and sweet, I find. You could easily combine mint leaves and licorice root in one chaw.

Alternatively, you could try buying gum base in bulk to make your own chewing gum. I've seen descriptions of how to make chewing gum with gum base, but never how to make your own gum base. I know it's made from plant latex originally, and that there are temperate, non-toxic plants that produce latex, such as dandelion, but what the process is to make gum base from plant latex I don't know. (Be careful you don't use obviously narcotic latex--nothing from the poppy family or wild lettuce, for instance--since you probably don't want a new drug problem or a toxic reaction.)

Acupuncturists sometimes use "ear seeds" to help control addictions. These are tiny seeds or beads that are stuck to certain pressure points on the ear. The pressure points are known to trigger the release of particular neurochemicals that happen to help assuage addiction cravings. When the person feels a craving coming on, they can press on the ear seeds to trigger the pressure point. These also might help you, so if there's an acupuncturist near you, you might try getting an appointment with them to talk about it.
Alkenjoi Hatfield


Joined: Mar 04, 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Staten Island, NYC
thanks for your perspectives and information : )
David Castillo


Joined: Feb 04, 2010
Posts: 23
Location: IL/WI Border
Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
The calcium in saliva is good to keep flowing, both to re-mineralize teeth and to neutralize stomach acid. We aren't ruminants, but I think it's good for us to chew more than industrial food would require. If you have plaque on your teeth, saliva can mineralize that, too, but I think the overall effect is positive.

Before there was synthetic polybutadiene of the sort used in modern chewing gum, commercial chewing gum was made of chicle, a variety of tree sap that had been used traditionally in South America. Spruce sap (sometimes mixed with beeswax) was the North American variant, and mastic sap was used in ancient Greece.


I never heard about the calcium in saliva. I'll have to do some research about that.

As for neutralizing stomach acid I'm not sure what you mean by that. Are you talking about helping with indigestion/heart burn?

My reason for stating that it isn't healthy is that he mentions he does this on a pretty consistent basis, almost all day long, or at least that's the way I read it. This can cause dental problems and it also makes your digestive system continually work. Especially considering that he's chewing something that is so soft and pliable. I agree that industrial (processed) food doesn't offer the same effects that non-processed foods do. However I don't think chewing on gum all day is the best way to try and reverse that fact.

Here is an interesting book on processed foods and the desruction they have caused upon the human population. I haven't had the time to read it all, but have quickly skimmed through it. Thought you might like it, based on your comments.

http://www.journeytoforever.org/farm_library/price/pricetoc.html#illus
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
irollaround wrote:As for neutralizing stomach acid I'm not sure what you mean by that. Are you talking about helping with indigestion/heart burn?

My reason for stating that it isn't healthy is that he mentions he does this on a pretty consistent basis, almost all day long, or at least that's the way I read it.


It can be bad for the jaw sometimes, too. Everything in moderation, I guess.

I think our systems respond to wolfing down food by boosting the acidity in the stomach, partly to make up for less chewing, maybe partly because meat is more likely to be the thing eaten so quickly. Yes, I was talking about heartburn & indigestion, but also the moderate sort of acid stomach that a person might not notice. I think it's appropriate to have a fair amount of saliva in with vegetable foods, even if they were cooked enough to be eaten like meat.
 
 
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