Stevia and Lippi (sweet grass).
It's hard to imagine life without the modern man on sugar plants. Sugar beets, sugar cane, and other lesser-known plants for a long time are the source of sugar for the food industry.
In recent years, more and more attention is paid to plants having a sweet taste, but do not contain sugar. This is due to the fact that not all people can eat sugar. Furthermore, nesaharonosnye poslastiteli provide sweet taste at much lower concentrations.
At one time in our country among fans of rare plants was very popular stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) - a plant containing poslastitel stevioside, which is 300 times sweeter than sugar. I, too, a few years grew stevia, but I did not like. Yes, there is a sweet taste, but there is a strong grassy flavor. Further, the sweetness of the plant does not go into solution; for example, when making tea it becomes sweeter by adding stevia.
The list of such nesaharonosnyh sweet stevia plant is not limited. Several years ago I learned of the existence of "sweet herb of the Aztecs." According to the literature, this plant contains gernandiltsin sweetener that is 500 times sweeter than sugar.
The botanical name of "Aztec grass" - Lippi sweet (Lippia dulcus, or Phyla scaberrime, or Lippia mexicana). Lippi sweet belongs to the family Verbenaceae. Homeland Lippi - Central America, Nicaragua. This herb has long been used by the Indians as a sweetener.
Even under optimal conditions of the seeds germinate Lippi long time - about a month. The seedlings grow slowly at first, and only after the 3-4 true leaves, their growth is accelerating. With a lack of light and low humidity Lippi suffer and could lose nearly all their leaves, but under favorable conditions, they quickly come to life.
My friend stood Lippi month without watering - he went on holiday, and the neighbors did not water his plants, even though he asked them about it. When he returned, the plant looked completely lifeless and earth com dry completely. Nevertheless, he still has watered it, and a week later suddenly there are new leaves on the seemingly dried shoots. Grass quickly recovered and gave a lot of greens. Apparently, in the nature of sweet grass Aztecs able to transfer severe droughts.
Under favorable conditions, the Aztec sweet grass blooms profusely and continuously. Lippi flowers are very small (less than a millimeter), gathered in large inflorescences in the leaf axils. Samoplodnye plant and forms seeds without cross-pollination, but only under favorable conditions. With a lack of light and heat the seeds are not formed Lippi.
Seeds ripen gradually Lippi, and they are collected selectively. At the beginning of ripening aggregate fruits they become loose and begin to crumble. In this state, they must be collected, since overexposure blocked on the plant results in the loss of significant amounts of seed. Lippi stems dried on paper, and lay the seeds collected in storage.
Cuttings root easily Lippe is in the water and in the soil. Rooting is necessary to take good ripe stalks with 5-6 pairs of leaves and put it in water or put in the seedling house cup. The first time to reduce evaporation is desirable to cover the cutting plastic bag. At room temperature, rooting Lippi is usually within two weeks. In the open ground to plant it is possible only with the establishment of high temperatures. In areas with cold summer preferably grown in greenhouses Lippi.
On the bright southern sun in our hot climate plants oppressed Lippi leaves become bronzed. Therefore, we have developed Lippo best in partial shade under trees with sparse foliage (eg, in the shade of peach tree).
The content of the sweetener in the aboveground part of the plant is highly dependent on the growth conditions and the age of the Lippe. Most were sweet leaves from the central part of shoots grown at low temperatures (about 25 degrees), with a moderate amount of nitrogen fertilizer. Old leaves Lippi (aged more than two months) start to taste bitter.
Raw material cut shoots Lippi who have not yet started lignificated, and dried in the shade, as well as any herb. Subsequently dried sweet grass Aztecs can be added to tea or home-made.