Did you think that cane sugar is the only natural solution to all things sweet?
Since this sweet little plant of Stevia or sweet leaf can produce extracts up to 300 times sweeter than sugar!
Stevia, a genus that classifies about 240 different species under its bracket, has one thing in common for each.
They produce leaves with a natural sweetness of at least 35-40 times that of sugar.
Despite being a lesser popular alternative to sugar, it is considered to be a healthier one.
Read on to find out why.
Stevia And Its Health Benefits
Stevia rebaudiana or Sweetleaf is a naturally occurring herb in the subtropical regions of North And South America and started gaining popularity worldwide as a potent sweetener with an untraceable effect on blood glucose.
This effect is attributed to the low carbohydrate and low sugar levels of the herb and is highly beneficial for people on a carbohydrate-controlled diet.
Further research also proved its beneficial effects on treating high blood sugar and obesity.
In fact, Stevia is also considered as a traditional sweetener that is added to herbal teas to treat heartburns and other similar ailments in countries like Bolivia, Paraguay, and Brazil.
Stevia And Its Controversy
Despite its varied uses in medicine, infusions, teas, and other edible preparations, there has been great controversy revolving around the banning of the herb in America by the FDA in 1991.
Grave health concerns were the reason for this ban and these were met with similarly profound counterclaims.
While the ban persists in several regions of the world, the concerns are highly debatable as several developed countries like Japan continue to legally cultivate Stevia as a natural sweetener.
So much so, that Stevia holds ground over 30% of the Japanese sweetener markets!
With Japan starting the cultivation of Sweetleaf in 1971, slowly but surely, several nations are adopting this sweeter and sugar-free alternative.
In fact, to meet the demands and to beat the low success rate of natural seed germination, commercial enterprises often opt for cloning to accelerate the cultivation process.
If you wish to make a sweet addition to your garden, you can get Stevia seedlings from specialized herb nurseries.
And if you decide to do so, do not forget to hit us up with success stories and queries. Our comments section is open for you!