Friday, 23 January 2015

STEVIA “A MIRACLE PLANT”

In Pakistan there are three main sources of sugar, i.e. sugarcane, sugar beet and saccharine (artificial sweetener). These sources tend to increase the glucose level in the body that leads to many lethal diseases like obesity, diabetics etc. among all the sources of sugar, stevia is  best sugar substitute with zero calorie and zero glycemic acid. It is thirty times more sweetener than the sugar. It is miracle plant. Stevia is native to South America. Stevia rebaundiana L. is a shrub like plant that grows up to 1m tall and leaf length varies from 2-3cm.  In Pakistan it is commonly known as methi patti.  While in other countries it is known as sweet leaf, sugar leaf or simply stevia. In Pakistan it is at introductory stage. In Brazil and Paraguay leaves are used as sweetening agent for 100 of years.(Leaves are the basic part of plant that is used for extraction.)
Medically stevia is very important for the remedies of high blood pressure, diabetics, obesity, infections, cavities, hypertension and fatigue.  It is also used to reduce the hypertension heart burn and uric acid level. In many countries it is approved as a food additive and sugar substitute.
Stevia leaves are excellent source of sweetener in cooking in Japan. . One fourth teaspoon of stevia is equal to one teaspoon of sugar. It is utilized in everything from soya sauce to soft drinks, pickles and confectionary products. It is the natural sweetener for centuries. The leaves of stevia have refreshing taste. It contains steviol glycoside which gives sweet taste. In Pakistan first time it is introduced by scientist of NARC (Islamabad). It is grown in 2003to check the climatic conditions / adaptation and also to check the viability of seed. It is easy to cultivate on small scale like in kitchen gardening, in pots and containers in our home.
By keeping in view all the above mentioned uses and benefits we assume that the stevia is better choice for next generation.

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