Although we are all aware of the negative effects of smoking, quitting this habit can be challenging. Nicotine is one of the major reasons why people keep smoking, as this chemical causes addiction.
The thing that makes smokers keep smoking is nicotine, a highly addictive substance that makes the body crave for more of it. In other words, the more you smoke and take in nicotine, the more your body needs it.
A recent study, conducted by group of medical experts, has found that for every cigarette you smoke, over 4,000 toxic chemicals are inhaled into the body. You should be very careful and quit smoking, because most of these chemicals have been directly linked to cancer. Did you know that Nitrogen dioxide ozone penetrates your body when you smoke cigarettes? This dangerous chemical damages DNA and reduces the amount of vitamin C available for use by the body.
Have you decided to find a way to quit smoking, you will surely like to find out something more about Stevia.
The power of Stevia
One German study has showed that Stevia is able to neutralize the nicotine cravings, as well as alcohol addiction.
This herb belongs to the chrysanthemum family, and is first derived from Paraguay. Here, Stevia has been used as natural remedy for centuries.
To kick off the no-smoking therapy, take a couple of Stevia drops to lose the desire to smoke. The tongue will react to the sensation in such way, that you won’t crave a cigarette again.
Stevia is easily found in pharmacies nearby, as powder and as liquid.
Aside from helping with smoking, Stevia can also regulate other health problems like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure. Also, it takes care of the skin in such way that it brings all nutrients it needs for the skin to stay smooth and soft. Because of this, Stevia can also treat acne and dermatitis as well.
Growing Stevia At Home
This perennial plant likes sun and warm temperatures, so it is no wonder that it cannot survive in freezing conditions. Nevertheless, its root is able to survive in zones 9 and warmer, and to grow again in spring. This root can also survive in zone 8 as well, of course, if it is well protected.
It is recommended that you plant stevia in 12-inch containers. Also, before you plant it, make sure that you use potting soil of high quality. Make sure it is exposed to direct sunlight and water it when the surface of the soil dries.
Soil, planting and growing care
Come fall, your stevia plant will bloom, producing beautiful white flowers. Trim the flowers off to keep the plant producing as many leaves as possible. Harvest the leaves as late as possible in the fall since the cool autumn weather, coupled with the shorter days, intensifies the sweetness of the plants. You will also need to cover the plants if there is an early frost so you can get another few weeks of leaves out of the plant before it dies back in the winter.
The easiest way to harvest stevia is to cut the branches off with pruning shears before you strip off the leaves. You can even clip the farthest tips of the stems as they contain as much stevioside (the chemical that produces stevia’s sweetness) as the leaves.
Adequate soil drainage is very important for Stevia to grow properly. If that is not the case, the roots are under the risk of rotting. You will know the herb is rotten if it becomes wilt and sees no effect after watering.
Harvest And Storage
Once Stevia blooms, trim the flowers, so that more leaves can grow. During the fall, Stevia produces a great amount of white flowers. Trim the blooms, so more leaves can begin to grow. It has small white flowers in fall. In this time of the year the plant stretches out, and does not have too many good leaves. Clip of the blooms, and the plant will release more leaves. Stevia leaves are sweeter in autumn. The plant tastes much better before it starts blooming.
Make sure you dry your stevia leaves, so you can use them for longer. Cut off the stems, and remove its leaves and tender stems. Scatter them on loosely woven fabric or any non-metal screening. Make sure you dry the leaves outside in the sun. The leaves will dry out in just one day. Collect them in a container before they get damp. Food dehydrators also work well. Crush your dried Stevia leaves with your hand or use a food processor to powder them. And yes, you should store your stevia powder or crushed stevia leaves in airtight containers. The powder cannot dissolve, but it will sure sweeten your drinks and food.