10 Things You Didn't Know About Stevia
Date Posted:1 January 2019
- Stevia is an all natural sweetener. Artificial sweeteners such as Equal contain aspartame (Wikipedia) that may have negative health effects on humans.
- Stevia is easy to grow in aquaponics or hydroponics. It is a sub-tropical plant with it's ideal growing temperature between 15 and 26 degrees.
- To harvest Stevia, the leaves are dried and crushed leaving a green powder which is used as a sweetener. Harvest the leaves before the plant goes to bud.
- The plant can be harvested up to 5 times a year for up to 6 years as long as the roots are cared for and the plant is cut right back after harvest.
- The main pests for Stevia are aphids, slugs and white flies.
- The glycosides found in the leaves, veins and stems are more than 40 times sweeter than sugar.
- In 1970 the Japanese government banned the use of synthetic sweeteners and allowed the use of natural steviosides (Stevia extracts). Japanese have now been using Stevia for 45 years with no drawbacks on consumption.
- Stevia sweeteners were illegal up until 2008 in Australia. In October 2008, Stevia was approved by the Australian food authority for human consumption.
- Brazil and China are the biggest producers.
- Stevia has the therapeutic properties of fighting diabetes, obesity and hypertension. With approx 1.7 million Australians diabetic (according to Diabetes Australia), growing Stevia and using as an alternative to sugar is a way to promote health of your friends and family.