Thursday, August 21, 2008

PTA Mom Questioned About Smoking Herbs

Ha, ha and good one to Nancy Nichols at DMagazine. After spending two days, 10 hours each day in the car, with my husband, and two teenagers, a little therapy is justified. So I went to one of my favorite zen places in Dallas, North Haven Gardens. After all, my Neil Sperry calendar says it's time to plant for the fall season: tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, arugula, brussels sprouts. Unfortunately I was about 2 weeks too early for the crops, but that's OK 'cause now I have an excuse to go back.

Well, the expert-gardener-disguised-as-a-sales-assistant pointed out an herb I'd never heard of before, Stevia. I tasted a small portion of a leaf and thought I'd eaten a teaspoonful of sugar, it was so-o-o sweet. Then, when I was doing research on my favorite soft drink, Vernor's I found that it had been used for over 100 years as the sweetener in that drink. While no toxicity or illness has been linked to this herb (in fact there has been some evidence of being helpful in diabetic diets), the sweetener industry has fought hard to keep it out of the food chain, and so is labeled as a supplement.

Oh, and I have not heard of Stevia being a smokeable herb, but I did notice that NHG's supply of salvia divinorum was sold out.

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