Even though we all know how bad for the health smoking is, a lot of people find it very difficult to quit this awful habit. 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. When you are not taking nicotine, the body does not get what it needs, and you start feeling discomfort and you ‘die’ for a cigarette. This phase is the withdrawal one, so a lot of time is needed until you get used to living without smoking. After a week, the physical symptoms will stop, but the craving will bother you for quite a bit. 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
Recently, a study was conducted in Germany, and it was revealed that Stevia can help people quit smoking and avoid alcohol. Stevia is a plant from the chrysanthemum family and it originates from Paraguay. This plant has been long used as a sweetener. Stevia is able to block the craving signals that the brain sends and thus release you from the craving for cigarettes.
If you want to quit smoking, you should start consuming a couple of drops of stevia, and it will do the trick for you. Every time you experience a craving stroke, drop the stevia drops directly on the tongue. This will give you an immediate effect and it will eliminate the craving. You can find stevia in the form of powder or liquid. It can be found in the supermarkets and the stores for healthy food, as well as in some baking goods or healthy foods aisles.
People who suffer from hypertension and people who are overweight can also benefit from stevia. It is also recommended for diabetics. However, the best thing about this plant is its miraculous ability to kill the desire for nicotine. It is also highly beneficial for the skin, as it nourishes, smoothens, and tightens it, and thus, it is frequently used as a face mask product. It has great effects against acne as well, and it is highly efficient in fighting dermatitis.
Grow 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
The stevia plant needs to have a space of 18 inches. The soil you use for planting it needs to be loose, loamy, and well-drained, since this is exactly what this plant likes. It can reach a height of 1-3 feet, depending on the growing season. Plant the stevia plant after the frost passes and make sure that you find compost or Bonnie Herb and Vegetable Plant Food. Also, you need to make sure you stick to the instructions given on the label. During the summer, you are recommended to use mulch in order to prevent your stevia from drying out. If your stevia is planted in a pot, be sure that it gets the same plant food and mulch.
Remember that stevia plant does not like soggy soil. It is very important that it has good drainage, or the root will rot. In case that your stevia plant is still wilting even though it has been watered, its roots are most likely rotten, or some insects are causing the problem.
Harvest and storage
The time when the stevia plant blooms is fall, so you can trim off the flowers. This will let the stevia grow new leaves. During fall time, stevia has small white flowers, and it stretches out. This is the time when the good leaves of this plant are not numerous, so you would need to clip off the blooms, so the plant will release more leaves. The time when the leaves of this plant are the sweetest is autumn. It has the greatest taste before it starts blooming. Once you pluck the stevia leaves, you can dry them and thus use them for a longer period of time. It is recommended that you cut off the stems and remove the leaves and the tender stems. The stevia leaves should then be scattered on loosely woven fabric or some other non-metal surface. The adequate drying of the stevia leaves is outside, in the sun.
The process of drying stevia leaves lasts for one day only. Then, before they become dump, they should be collected and stored in a container. You can also use a food dehydrator. The dried stevia leaves should then be crushed with the hand or with a food processor. The aim is to create a powder out of them. Finally, put the stevia powder or the crushed stevia leaves in airtight containers. You won’t be able to dissolve the stevia powder, but you will surely sweeten your drinks and food thanks to it.