Organic Stevia! Till yesterday, people used to take sugar supplements to balance their daily diet and cut down sugar from their daily routine, and guess what? I come across an amazing herb that is a sugar substitute and works well in any sweet dish we use, STEVIA.
A plant grown in South America, Stevia is considered one of the great natural sweeteners, which helps cut the size of sugar in your diet. Stevia leaves have found a special place in the culture of Paraguay for centuries.
Once you bite into stevia leaf, you taste the whole stevia plant. BUT, since it’s organic, it doesn’t mean it’s safe! Well, we all know everything has its possible pros and cons depending on which purpose and in how much quantity we consume.
However, before getting insight into its negative and positive effects on the body, first, we need to know how to grow stevia leaves and what it takes growing organic dried stevia leaves.
Growing Stevia Leaves
The stevia leaves are easy to grow as long as you provide it with some sun, lots of water and treat it like any other herb. So, the materials you’ll need to grow stevia leaves are;
- Container or any raised bed
- Stevia plant – it’ll be best if you start from a root
- Some Gravel – to put in the bottom of pot / potting soil
1: Put Gravel & Soil in Container – Put some gravel and potting soil in a container; I will suggest mix both as it gets excellent drainage, and it’s perfect for herbs in most house plants if you mix it gravel, half gravel, and half soil, they all do well
2: Put Plant in Container – Fill the container about ¾ complete, put stevia plant into a container
3: Cover with Soil & Gravel – Cover the container with soil and gravel about two or three inches, so that the whole plant is covered at least two or three inches
4: Pat Down the Soil – Pat it down a little bit, so it stays a little more compact
5: Add Water & Put in Sun – Now, add water and put in a sunny hot spot. If you’ve su8nny window inside, then you can also treat it like a house plant, but it’s elementary to grow stevia leaves as long as you keep it in the sun.
Let it, keep it well watered, and let it dry out in between; this way, you can have your sugar substitute, which’s healthy!
Positive & Negative Effects of Stevia On Health
In terms of health benefits, it’s the main calories that gain weight and lead to other issues. This sweet-leaf spice has numerous well-being profiting plant-inferred Phytochemical intensifies which help controlling glucose, cholesterol, pulse, notwithstanding its utilization as a characteristic sugar.
With the ascent famous for low-calorie food options, stevia has considered well-being cognizant wellness sweethearts over the planet.
Stevia spice parts are shallow in calories. Parts by parts, its dry leaves have about multiple times more pleasantness than sugar. This pleasantness quality in stevia is because of a few glycoside compounds, including; sativoside, stevioside, rebaudioside A-E, and dulcoside.
Apart from being a near-zero food ingredient, stevia extracts have several unique properties: long shelf life, high-temperature to9lerance, and non-fermentative.
The organic dried stevia leaves further help reducing blood sugar levels. The reduction in blood glucose level and increased liver concentrations of glucose 6, phosphate, and glycogen.
Since stevia has slightly higher doses than sweeteners, this further helps in lowering blood pressure. Being a non-carbohydrate sweetener, stevia would not favour the growth of streptococcus mutans bacteria in the mouth attributed to being a causative agent of the dental carrier and tooth cavities.
Adverse Effects of Stevia Leaves
Dizziness – an uncontrolled consumption of stevia sometimes can lead to health problems, like many people have reported dizziness after eating stevia
Abdominal Distress – consumption of stevia may also cause bloating or fullness and a feeling of nausea in some people.
Muscle Pain – Muscle ache after the consumption of stevia may also take place in some cases due to reaction with it.
Low Blood Pressure – If stevia helps lower blood pressure, it can also increase blood pressure if not controlled by the intake limit. This becomes more cautious if you’re already taking medicine for blood pressure.
Numbness – Numbness or loss of sensation in hands and other organs have also been many times after consumption of stevia leaves.
Allergic Reaction – Allergy to the plants in the family Asteraceae or Compositae, where stevia also belongs, may cause specific problems. Therefore, it is advised not to use stevia if you have this allergy.
Low blood Sugar levels – As stevia is good for lowering blood sugar levels, stevia consumption and medicines for lowering blood pressure may cause problems.
Toxic During Pregnancy – Consumption of stevia in Pregnancy can pose various threats, and sometimes it can even prove harmful. Hence, it is advised not to use stevia in Pregnancy.
Anti-Fertility Effect – Stevia consumption may lead to contraceptive effects in men and may cause various anti-fertility effects.
How to Use Organic & Dried Stevia Leaves?
Using Fresh Stevia Leaves
The fresh stevia leaves are often used as a sweetener in beverages like; sauces, lemonade, and tea. A newly fresh mint and stevia leaves make a refreshing herbal tea when soaked in hot boiling water.
Moreover, fresh stevia leaves are also added to foods as a sweet and edible garnish. Though fresh leaves are less sweet than organic dried leaves, they’re much more precious than sugar.
Always taste your beverage before serving to make sure it isn’t over-sweeten.
DIY Dried Stevia
When preparing powdered sweeteners using dried stevia leaves, bundle and hang fresh stevia plant stems upside down in a warm, dry area. Until it doesn’t dry thoroughly, then strip the leaves from stems.
Fill a blender, food processor, or espresso processor to half full with dry leaves and cycle at high velocity for a couple of moments. Store the powdered sugar in a hermetically sealed holder.
Use stevia powder in plans that require sugar; however, make changes in the sum utilized because of its thick pleasantness. An overall general guideline is that two tablespoons of stevia powder approach 1 cup of sugar.
Besides, it’s also used in making syrups, that’s why it has high demand in the market, and challenging competition among leading organic dried stevia suppliers.