One of the main reasons smokers keep smoking is nicotine. Nicotine is the chemical in cigarettes that makes you addicted to smoking. Over time your body gets used to having nicotine – the more you smoke‚ the more nicotine you need to feel normal. When your body doesn’t get nicotine, you may feel uncomfortable and crave cigarettes.
This is called withdrawal. It takes a time to get over withdrawal. Most physical symptoms go away after several days to a week, but cigarette cravings may stick around longer. If you’re serious about giving up cigarettes, then you need to add the following herb to your diet – Stevia.
How to use Stevia to quit smoking
According to a recent German study, Stevia can help cure smoking and alcohol addiction. This herb will help you give up smoking by blocking the craving signals your brain is trying send. Stevia is a plant from the chrysanthemum family, that originate from Paraguay, which has been used as a natural sweetener for centuries. For anti-smoking therapy, just apply a couple of drops of stevia directly on your tongue whenever you feel the desire for a cig. This simple routine instantly and remarkably kills any craving for a smoke.
Look for stevia in powder or liquid form in supermarkets and health-food stores. You’re likely to find it on the baking goods aisle or in the health food aisle. Besides all that, Stevia is excellent in the fight against obesity and also helps in the treatment of diabetes and hypertension, but most importantly, it kills any desire for nicotine. Moreover, it can be used as a mask for skin care as it nourishes, tightens and makes it smooth. Stevia can also be used to combat acne and effectively acts against dermatitis.
How to grow Stevia at home
Stevia is a tender perennial that loves the warm sun and dies back in a freeze. However, in zones 9 and warmer, the roots usually survive the winter and will come back in the spring. It can overwinter in zone 8, too, with protection. If you garden in containers, give your stevia plant at least a 12-inch pot with a quality potting mix. Place it in full sun, and water whenever the top inch of potting soil feels dry.
Soil, planting, and care
Plant your stevia so that it has about 18 inches of space to call its own. In the loose, loamy, well-drained soil that the plant prefers, it will grow 1 to 3 feet in height, depending on the length of your growing season. Wait until after all danger of frost has passed before planting. Feed with compost or Bonnie Herb and Vegetable Plant Food as directed on the label. Mulch to prevent the plant from drying out on hot summer days. Container-grown plants will benefit from the same plant food and mulch.
Stevia doesn’t like soggy soil, so make sure that it has good drainage, or the roots could rot. A sure sign of rot is wilting from which the plant doesn’t recover after watering. Fortunately, few insects bother stevia plants.
Harvest and storage
When your stevia plant blooms in fall, trim off the flowers and the plant will make more leaves. Stevia bears small white flowers in the fall. At this point, the plant stretches out and offers fewer good leaves for harvest. Trim off the blooms to keep the plant producing leaves as long as possible. Leaves are sweetest in the cool temperatures of autumn. They also taste best prior to the plant blooming.
To preserve summer’s plenty and to make stevia convenient to use, dry it. Cut whole stems and then strip the leaves and tender stem tips. Place these on loosely woven fabric or non-metal screening outdoors on a dry, sunny day. One day should be long enough to dry the leaves; be sure to bring them in before the dew dampens them again. You can also use a food dehydrator if you have one. Once the leaves are crisp, crush them by hand or powder them with a food processor.
Store in an airtight container. While the powdered leaves will not dissolve, they are a wonderful way to sweeten your beverages and foods.