Stevia is a sweetest herb which is known for its values to make beverages sweeten, it also helps in regulating the blood glucose level. Those who want to lose weight can also take help from this amazing herb. It has ability to heal the wound quickly. For the purpose of dental health, haircare and also skin care the herb proves amazing.
The Genus Stevia belongs to the composite family that is Asteraceae. It also comprises about 240 plant species too, and among all of them Stevia Rebaudiana which is commonly known as Stevia has become the main interest as it has herbal benefits. The main and the common feature of the Stevia is its sweet compounds that are present in the leaves and other parts of the plant. The herb also refers to the Sugar leaf, sweet leaf or sugar plant. Tropical and also subtropical South America are the native land of this herb. Now a day, the plant of Stevia is mass cultivated all around the world.
The plant of Stevia is a perennial variety and that is the reason it thrives very well in the soil and also have an excellent drainage system. It grows like a shrub and the height is about 4 feet. If you want to do mass cultivation, then the seeds of Stevia can be sown after the frosting is over. The soil, which has a temperature from 50-60 degrees Farenheit proves excellent for cultivation. Also the Stevia plant also works as a repellent and because of its repelling characteristics, it is safe from insects and also all the wonder is done due to its excess sugar content. The maintenance and also harvesting of the Stevia plant is not so difficult.
Plant Extracts- The leaves of the Stevia are employed for the purpose of getting extracts. To extract Stevia, the leaves are harvested in the winter season when there is cold climates. Only then the more sugar accumulates in the leaves. When you expect frosting in that cold climate, cover or well-protect the leaves of Stevia and you can do this with the help of plastic bags or sheets. When the leaves of Stevia harvested, then sun dry them properly as it will allow the air circulation properly. The dries from of Stevia leaves are processed for the extraction of the liquid extracts. These extracts are about 300 times sweeter than any of the table sugar.
Uses of Stevia- Stevia is known as a sweetener and its sweetened property is because of the two components Stevioside and Rebaudioside that are present in the plant. It is also loaded with potassium, niacin, Vitamin C and also magnesium. The benefits of the plant are not under cover as now all the world know about the benefits of Stevia and some of the common ones are mentioned below:
Sweeteners’- You can find the Stevia sweeteners easily in the market and these are low in calories and also have low glycemic contents. They can be used as the alternatives of sugar. For preparing ice-cream, sweeteners and sweet foods Stevia extracts are used.
Tea Leaves– Fresh leaves of Stevia plants are used for preparing tea and also coffee. Also, to get the fresh leaves is not difficult as you can easily get them as compared to the dried form of Stevia leaves. They are also excellent in taste too.
Health Benefits of Stevia
Diabetes– For diabetic patients, Stevia can be proved a healthy sweetening agent. People who are not diabetic but are concerned about inducing of sugar can also have as the replacement of sugar. Stevia has an ability to not to raise the level of blood sugar. The beverages like cakes, tea, coffee, milk shakes, and cookies, which are prepared from the stevia leaves can be easily eaten by the diabetic patient which thinking of increase of blood sugar level of the body.
Dental health- Most of the sweet beverages can put bad effects over cavities, but if the sweet beverages are made up of Stevia then you need not to have any of the dental issues. On the other hand, Stevia is helpful in treating the bleeding gums and other teeth issues. Those who are the regular user of Stevia mouthwash or Toothpaste are totally free from any of the dental issues.
Hair and Skincare– Stevia is also blessed with nutrients that are blessing for both skin and also here. Even it can be incorporated with your regular skin care or hair care. After using them, you will definitely see a huge difference in your hair and skin too. As the Stevia has anti-microbial actions, then it can also keep you away from skin infections.
Heal the Wound-Stevia has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. If you apply the extract of Stevia plants or Stevia leaves over the wound then it will give way to quick healing of cuts and also wounds. Whenever, you have any wound, wash it properly. Now, put the ;eaves or the Stevia extract over wounds. Tie a clean cloth over it. Its healing properties will make the wound heal faster.
Side Effects of Stevia:
As the stevia plants have benefits, but it also puts some side effects in some cases.
Metabolic Damage- Some of the experiments have made over the animals which shows that if the large dose of Stevia if given then it can cause interferance with the absorption of carbohydrates in the body and as a result, it hampered conversion of food in energy.
Reproductive Issues- An experiment which was done in 2006 over rats said that if they were fed with the Stevia and also its derivative steviol. Then it puts side effects over both males and female reproductive organs. Also the weight and the sperm production. In some cases the babies have come in small sizes and some cases it results as infertility.
Cancer- There are many tests have done over the Stevia and some of them said that Stevia can cause cancer and also the fact is disputed. An experiment done in laboratory says that Stevioside derivative Steviol changes to mutated compound and this mutation changes to the cancer cells.