Stevia plants in Pakistan

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Stevia is cultivated in many countries, but China is the leading exporter of stevia products currently. Stevia provides an important role in biodiversity due to how little land is required to grow it, allowing farmers to diversify their crops.

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Unlike commodity crops, stevia is grown on smaller plots of land and provides supplemental income to more commonplace crops.

As stevia is intensely sweet, it typically requires only one-fifth of the land and much less water to provide the same amount of sweetness as other mainstream sweeteners.

There are 150 species of stevia, all native to South and North America.

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The sweetness of the stevia leaves is caused by eight glycosides contained within them. These glycosides are stevioside, rebaudioside A, C, D, E, and F, steviolbioside, and dulcoside A. Stevioside is the most abundant of these components; the leaves of some cultures contain up to 18 percent stevioside.

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Some of the common and trade names for stevia sweeteners are Enliten, PureVia, Rebaudioside A/Reb A, Rebaudioside B, Rebaudioside C, Rebaudioside D, Rebiana, Stevia, Steviacane, Steviol Glycosides, Stevioside, Stevia Extract In The Raw, and SweetLeaf.

Uses of Stevia

DANDRUFF AND HAIR HEALTH

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Stevia concentrate is believed to be beneficial for dandruff, dry scalp, and dull, dry and thin hair. People have noticed stronger, dandruff-free and rejuvenated hair after the regular use of Stevia. Simply mix 3-4 drops of Stevia concentrate into your regular shampoo and wash as normal. Also, after shampooing, using stevia tea as a conditioner and rinsing it out after 5 minutes can help retain natural hair colour and strength.

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DIABETES

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Studies show that Stevia may stabilize blood sugar levels, increase insulin sensitivity, may even promote insulin production by promoting the pancreas health, discourage glucose absorption in the blood, and inhibit candidiasis – a yeast infection that flourish with sugar. Stevia is a great low carb, low sugar and low calorie sugar alternative and the steviol glycosides are not metabolized by the body and are excreted in the urine without getting accumulated in the body. A Study also suggests that Stevia may inhibit the craving for sweet and oily or fatty foods.

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Drinking tea made with crushed raw Stevia leaves, or with its extract or tea bags two to three times daily may help with hyperglycemia. To make Stevia tea, heat – not boil one cup of water and let a tea bag or 1teaspoon of its leaves steep in it for 5 -7 minutes. Drink it hot or cold. Or 3-4 drops of Stevia extract can be added to warm or cold cup of water. Also stevia can be used as a natural alternative to any other artificial sweetener being used

GINGIVITIS

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Study shows that antibacterial properties of Stevia may help with gingivitis, cavities, tooth decay and mouth sores. It may suppress the development and reproduction of infectious organisms in the gums and teeth, inhibit the growth of plaque and may improve overall oral health. People who have used Stevia as a mouthwash has reported significant decrease in gingivitis and other mouth infections. Simply gargling with Stevia mouthwash and brushing with Stevia added toothpaste may be beneficial. To make Stevia mouthwash, add 3-4 drops of Stevia extract in half a cup of lukewarm water or steep half a cup of tea with its leaves or teabag and gargle three to four times daily especially in the morning and at night. For toothpaste, mix 2 drops of Stevia extract to the regular toothpaste.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (HYPERTENSION)

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A few longer term studies done over a period of 1 and 2 years show that stevia may lower elevated blood pressure levels. Simply drinking Stevia tea twice daily may help stabilize the blood pressure levels.

OSTEOPOROSIS

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A study performed on chickens shows that by adding Stevia leaf powder to chicken feed it significantly increased calcium metabolism in the chickens and had 75% decreased eggshell breakage. A patent application for possible Osteoporosis treatment with Stevia suggests that stevia may help promote absorption of calcium in the body and help improve bone density. Suggested remedy is to make Alfalfa and stevia tea by steeping Alfalfa herb and Stevia half teaspoon each for 5-7 minutes. Drink it two to three times daily. Adding vitamin D powder to the tea or taking its supplements can be beneficial too.

WEIGHT LOSS

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Recent medical research suggests that low at carbohydrates, calories and sugar Stevia may be beneficial in weight management. One preliminary research suggests that Stevia may interfere with the functions of hypothalamus and may aid weight loss by curbing the hunger sensation. Hypothalamus is a part of the brain which controls hunger, thirst and fatigue along with its other functions. Anti-glycemic activity of Stevia may also control blood glucose levels which is one of the major causes of weight gain. Stevia works as a tonic to increase energy levels in people battling for weight loss. Suggested remedy is to drink one cup of Stevia tea or mix 10-15 drops of Stevia concentrate in one cup of cold or warm water. Drink it 15 minutes before every meal.

WRINKLES AND OTHER SKIN CONDITIONS

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Stevia is believed to be a remarkable healing agent for skin disorders. Its antioxidant, antibacterial and antiseptic activity may help with wrinkles, skin blemishes, dermatitis, eczema, acne outbreaks, scarring, rashes, itchiness and chapped lips. A small amount of Stevia concentrate applied directly onto the affected skin may promote the healing process. To smooth out the wrinkles, before going to bed, apply a paste made by crushed Stevia leaves or its liquid concentrate evenly all over the face and let it dry for fifteen to twenty minutes. Wash and pat dry your face and apply a few drops of extra virgin coconut oil on the face and leave it on over night to benefit from its antioxidant effects.

What are the Side Effects of Stevia?

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There are not any reported side effects of Stevia when taken in moderation. Based on intensive global researches and scientific reports, The World Health Organisation (WHO) of the UN and Food and Drug Administration of the US had approved the use of Steviol glycosides as safe and has established an acceptable daily intake of 4mg per kg of body weight. However, if you are taking any medication for diabetes or hypertension, due to its anti-glycemic and anti-hypertensive activity supervised Stevia consumption is advised. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult your physician before using Stevia therapeutically.

Where and How to Buy Stevia

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Stevia is available at organic grocery and herbal food stores in the form of raw dried leaves, white or green powder, sugar tabs, granulated or crystalline sugar, concentrate, and flavoured and nonflavourd liquids. When buying Stevia look for Stevia rebaudiana because it is considered the best type and the FDA approved steviol glycosides are extracted from this genus in the whole Stevia family.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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