is a cash crop with low risk and assured tax-free returns in a period
as short as 6 months. Scientific cultivation and careful selection of
planting material can yield very high returns for three years as
compared to traditional crops.
to the increased awareness towards use of Herbal and traditionally
accepted medicinal plants, a very good market domestic& international
is coming up for the medicinal plants and Herbals.
the most lucrative Herbal plant is Stevia "Stevia rebandiana" or
Stevia , a native of paraguay, which provides a whopping Rs.11.05
lakh returns in a cycle of three years per acre.
is a native to Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, & Paraguay where the
native Gurney have used Caa-ehe (Stevia) for over 1500 years to
sweeten otherwise unpalatable medicinal drinks.
Members of Composite family (Sunflower) Stevia is a sweet herb and is
fast becoming major source of high potency bio- sweetener for the
rapidly growing market for "natural" foods replacing chemical
sweeteners like Aspartame, Saccharine and Splenda and even table
sugar. Dry Stevia leaf is up to 30 times sweeter than sugar.
sweetness in Stevia is mainly attributed to two compounds viz.
Stevioside 15 to 20% and rebaudiosideA (1-3%) which can be up to 250
times sweeter than sucrose.
side has a few advantages over artificial sweeteners in that it is
stable at high temperatures(100.C) and a ptt range of 3-9 and does not
Darlene with cooking.
IN AYURVEDIC FORMULATIONS
As we all know stevia is gaining
wide popularity in India due its sweetness that comes with out
harmful calories. We should stop co relating stevia with cane
sugar. Raw Stevia leaves can be useful for man kind in more than
one way. Since Stevia leaves if consumed regularly can have
multiple curative properties that can be immensely helpful for
stabilizing disturbed metabolism of humans caused by wrong eating
habits and sedentary life style.
STEVIA FOR TOOTH CARE:
As we all know that most of the dental formulations in powder ,
herbal or paste form use large quantities of sugar for imparting
sweet taste . since the sweetness is so much a integral part of
our daily life it is very difficult to imagine a teeth cleaning
preparation without customary sweet taste .
In most of the cases sugar is most
preferred sweetening agent. But many times some important aspects
are neglected such as-
Stevia whole leaf powder offers a
ideal alternative to replace sugar in the dental powders and
pastes . Not only the stevia eliminates the requirement of sugar
but its anti bacterial activity actually enhances the protective
and curative properties of dental preparations.
STEVIA FOR DIABETIC CARE
: It has been proven by a Dutch / Japanese
scientists in the year 2003 that Stevia leaves if consumed
regularly have great potential in reducing the dependence on the
oral and inject able insulin. Regular intake of stevia leaves
induces the beta cells of pancreas to produce more insulin. This
interesting property of Stevia leaves opens up number of
possibilities for Ayurvedic and herbal drug manufactures to –
STEVIA FOR HYPERTENTION:
As we all are aware of the fact that most of the diabetics do
suffer form hyper tension at some stage of their life . The
earliest clinical studies have amply demonstrated that Stevia
leaves have potent action in reducing cronic hypertension. Stevia
leaves if consumed regularly have excellent scope to be used as a
single medicine for control of Diabetes as well as hypertension.
STEVIA AS A GENERAL TONIC
: Dried stevia leaves contain many vitamins and
trace elements such as selenium, cobalt , chromium etc. We all
know that these elements are potent antioxidants. Hence it has
been proven that stevia can be used in herbal tonic formulations
with promising results.
STEVIA AND WORLD HEALTH
ORGANIZATION : The WHO in its report on Food
additives has clearly defined role of stevia in control of
diabetes and hypertension. WHO also has ascertained the safety of
stevia as a food additive .Number of research projects are being
carried out trying to ascertain the use ful ness of stevia leaves
in diseases as diverse as AIDS to tooth decay ! . This implies
that uses of stevia leaves to cure / control various diseases
would see dramatic increase in near future.
SAFETY OF STEVIA :
There are many views and confusions with regard to safety of
stevia leaves and extracts. Stevia has been consumed for last
many centuries in southern America and for last four decade in
Japan and south Korea etc. There are number of research papers
that have been published around the world about safety of stevia
Sun fruit has acquired number of
papers on these subjects. Sun Fruit is also in the process of
conducting clinical trails so as to collect data in India for
uses of Stevia for
Diabetes as well as Hypertension..
If you have any questions about safety of stevia please do not
hesitate to communicate with us so that we can immediately revert
back with answers to satisfy you.
HOW TO USE STEVIA LEAVES
: Stevia can be used as a sweetener of choice in
Ayurvedic formulations . There are more than one ways that the
stevia leaves can be used in Ayurvedic formulations. One can use
it in dry ground form specially in tooth powders etc. Stevia can
also be used in crude extract form ( boiling stevia leaves in
water for 30 minutes results in dissolving active ingredients in
water at the rate of two percentage points) This resultant
solution can be used in Herbal formulations
QUALITY OF STEVIA LEAVES
: If you have decided to use stevia leaves in
your products you should always be diligent about –
Are your stevia
leaves harvested from proper variety ? since the advent of
stevia farming in India there are number of so called small
companies who are selling planting material of wild and low
quality stevia plants. Since the wild stevia plants are easy to
multiply and can be sold at reduced price. These wild varieties
produce leaves that are inferior in sweet glucosides as well as
in other important phyto chemicals that are responsible for
medicinal properties of Stevia
Are your stevia
leaves properly dried : Since it is found that mostly when the
leaves are not properly dried then the active ingredient of
Stevia leaves that determine the effectiveness of stevia as a
medicine are drastically reduced.
Are your stevia
leaves hygienically grown ? Since most of the times stevia
leaves are grown using plenty of inorganic fertilizer these type
of Stevia leaves are generally inferior in active ingredients
that determine the use full ness of stevia leaves in medicine.
Are you assured
of continuous supply of standardized stevia leaves ?
The cost of planting material
Cost of cultivation & input expenses
Labour charges during planting
Harvesting & Processing Expences
RETURN IS Rs. 2,00,000/- YEARLY AND IT GOES UPTO 3-5 YEARS
Soil Type and land
preparation :- Stevia plant grow best in rich, well drained soils
like red and sandy loam soils. The soil should be of fine tilt and
natural ph. level. The land should be initially harrowed and then
ploughed to break down the clods .The site should not be susceptible
to flooding of or pudding. Ridges are prepared with potato planter 2"
apart. Stevia plants are planted 25,000-30,000 with plant to plant
distance 8-9 cm.
plant will grow to about 1-2' high and wide.
Controlled/sprinklers irrigation is the best method of irrigating
Stevia plants to avoid damage by excessive levels of moisture.
Frequent light watering is recommended during the summer months while
during winter months as the bed starts loosing moisture .
Fertilizer :- Stevia
plants responds well to fertilizers with lower nitrogen content than
fertilizer with Phosphoric Acids or potash content. Most organic
fertilizers would work well since they release Nitrogen slowly. Since
the feeder roots of Stevia plant tend to be very near to the surface,
normally Vermicompost, @ 2-3 tonnes per acre should be mixed in the
soil brfore making the ridges. Nitrogen application is must for the
production of dry matter and good harvest of leaves. Evergreen
(organic liquid manure) is recommended for the purpose.
weeding and maintenance:-
There is no pest and disease incidence in this crop. In case any
disease symptom is noticed, spraying of neem oil diluted in water is
the best organic method. Removal of weeds can be done manually. Since
the crop is grown on raised beds, intercultural operations are easier
by manual labor. Flowering of the plant should be avoided. Pinching of
the apical bud would enhance bushy growth of the plant with side
Harvesting:- First harvest
can be made after 3 months while the subsequent harvest can be made
every 3 months for 3-5 years. The plants are cut just before flowering
as the sweetener in the leaf is the maximum at that time. Leaves are
harvested by plucking in a small quantity or the entire plant with the
side branches being cut by leaving 10 to 15cm from the base. The
expected yield would be 2000 kgs of dried leaves per acre.
Post Harvest:- The harvested
branches are dried in shade and the dried leaves are stripped off from
the branches. The dried leaves are powdered sieved and the fine powder
is stored in containers.
Marketing :- Though
relatively new to India it's marketing infrastructure is fast taking
shape. The farmers should form their consortium to get good price for
their produce and to eliminate the middleman in the domestic market
and export market both. Being a medicinal plant coming under
horticulture crops, Stevia cultivation entitles one to tax- free
returns. Subsidy may also be available from National Medicinal Plants
Board. Financial support from Banks should be available for the
cultivation of Stevia.
1. Fresh Stevia
2. Dried Leaves/Powder.
3. Stevia Extract.
4. Liquid Concentrates.
· In the 70's & 80's Stevia was developed as a
sweetener/Flavor enhancer which has since been used widely for
this purpose in Japan, China, Korea, Israel, Brazil and Paraguay.
· In Japan about 51% of the sweetener market is Stevia
· Stevia is useful in regulating blood sugar, preventing
hypertension, treatment of slain disorders and prevention of tooth
decay. Studies show that it is a natural antibacterial and
antiviral agent as well. On top of that, calorie and carbohydrate free
and hence a great sweetener choice for diabetics, and those watching
their weight .
· Stevia, therefore, opens up new avenues for crop
diversification and a viable alternative to sugarcane. There is
a potential to use Stevia in soft drinks, confectionery and
bakery etc. Instead of sweeteners with known adverse side effects in
the long run. Stevia prevents tooth decay with its microbial property.
Majority of the supplementary food products for diabetic patients
emphasize on the fibre & protein content the addition of the Stevia
leaves, dried or in powder form, in such products would not only aid
in increasing the natural sweetness but would also help in
rejuvenating the pancreatic gland.
· Apart from this, Stevia is nutrient rich, containing
substantial amount of Protein, Magnesium, Miocene, riboflavin, Zinc,
Chromium, Selenium, Calcium & Phosphorus, Besides Stevia can also be
used as a household sweetener in preparation of most Indian