Many ex–smokers say quitting was the hardest thing they ever did. However, millions of people have been able to do it and you can too.
One of the main reasons smokers keep smoking is nicotine. Nicotine is a chemical in cigarettes that makes you addicted to smoking. Over time your body gets used to having nicotine.
However, 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 a few days to a week, but cigarette cravings may stick around longer. So don’t give up. You can do this.
How to Use Stevia to Help Withdrawal and Cravings
In South America and Asia, people have been using stevia leaves to sweeten drinks like tea for many years.
For anti-smoking therapy, just apply a couple of drops of stevia directly on your tongue whenever you feel the desire for a cigarette. This simple ritual 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.
Stevia also handles another annoying issue with those who are trying to stop smoking. That is weight gain .
Stevia helps balance your blood sugar, significantly decreasing your desire for sweets. It is safe for diabetics and hypoglycemics and has been used with great success in weight loss programs.
Grow stevia for its sweet leaves and for the green color it brings to your herb garden.
Stevia is a pretty, green plant that looks a little like some of the flowering salvias.
Although stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) looks like an average green plant, it is an exciting choice for the herb garden because of the natural, calorie-free sweetness found in its leaves.
Appreciated by diabetics and dieters, 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. Gardeners in frost-free areas enjoy growing stevia year-round, allowing it to grow into a small shrub. However, vigor declines after the second year, so if you want to harvest the maximum amount of foliage, it pays to replant.
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 room 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.
Healthy Suggestions and Tips