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Friday, May 14, 2010

Loose Leaf Tea and Stevia

Hey all, still sore from therapy, and had to do my exercises 2x today myself. Brings on some wicked headache bouts, but I want to try to get a blog post up for each of my favorite loose leaf tea ingredients; this one is about Stevia.

Stevia is important because for the past few years now I have included it with every blend I create. As I noted in an earlier post, the media has really hyped up public interest and awareness regarding this native of Paraguay and areas of South America. Stevia is estimated to be 30x sweeter than sugar, has zero calories, and does not promote tooth decay, and does not affect blood glucose levels of diabetics either. How is that for reasons to add it to your tea and herbal infusion mixes?

What is wonderful for me personally is that I can actually still taste the sweetness of the Stevia. As I have mentioned in earlier post I recently completed treatment for cancer which included radiation and chemo. As many cancer patients will tell you these treatments can play hell with your taste buds. Since my radiation was directed at my throat I have unfortunately lost sense of taste as well as my ability to produce saliva. I can put a whole teaspoon of sugar in my mouth and taste nothing. But, I can taste the sweetness of stevia, thank goodness. I have never been big on sweets, but when you can not taste things you really treasure finding something to have in your mouth that is pleasantly stimulating. Many foods I eat only because I Must maintain nutrition, and there is little enjoyment to be had. I have hopes that in the future these problems will resolve themselves. The best thing I can do right now is continue trying to intentionally stimulate my taste buds and salivary glands, wake them back up. I was lucky enough to be acquainted and familiar with Stevia prior to becoming ill.

Stevia is not just a no cal no tooth rot sweetener either, it does have other positive aspects as well.The plants leaves contain vitamin A and C, as well as proteins, carbohydrates, iron, potassium, zinc, calcium, magnesium.

Also, as far as ease growing and hardiness I would rate this plant a 9 out of 10. It does wilt a bit when the sun gets strong, but it made it through record low temperatures last year, and is doing awesome. This is like the 4th year since I started mine with only three plants. It returns each year and sets out new shoots. My area in the garden devoted to Stevia has enlarged considerably, and I will happily give it a little more each year.

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I welcome input from everyone, but Please be aware that due to unscrupulous people using the comments section to post links leading to other Herbal Tea sites comment moderation is now on. Any comments with links to other tea sites will be deleted before posting. Thank You Debbie