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Nicotine Fix0

http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevendepolo/3038512708/

Believe it or not, cigarettes can be a good thing.  They have beneficial uses   that go beyond clouding your lungs with smoke.

For example, cigarette tobacco makes a great anesthetic for a bee sting.  Simply rip open the cigarette, pull out a wad of tobacco, lick it, and stick it on the sting.  You’ll get quite a good numbing effect.

And if you are still battling bugs in your garden, the alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants, which includes tobacco, can also be used as an insecticide.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andrewbain/766040444/in/photostream/

A commonly used insecticide in the 1880s, nicotine is  toxic to insects—particularly aphids, thrips, fungus gnats, leafhoppers, and asparagus beetle larvae.

The best way to utilize tobacco is to make a nicotine tea.  Soak a cup of plant leaves or cigarette butts in warm water for about 30 minutes.   Add a dash of soap, strain through a cheesecloth, and  you should be all set.   

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wheatfields/2671524520/

But don’t drink this tea.  Put some into a spray bottle and shower the leaves of your plants.  For ground critters, pour a little of the solution around the stem of the plant.  Be careful around young plants, as it can harm them.  It’s also a good idea to avoid using toxic tea on pepper, eggplant, and tomato plants.

So keep makin’ those smokes, oh giant conglomerates!  Even if sales are diminishing due to smarter consumers,  your product may still have a future in killing bugs. 

by John Barker

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