ArticlePDF Available

Stevia: Medicinal Miracles and Therapeutic Magic

Authors:
  • Bidhan Chandra Krishi Viswavidyalaya (Agricultural Univ)

Abstract and Figures

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bert., Asteraceae) has drawn the attention of health conscious fitness lovers all over the planet as a non-caloric sweetener. It was regarded by almost the whole world replacing saccharin. The major sweet compounds that are isolated from the stevia leaves are several glycoside compounds including stevioside, steviolbioside, rebaudiosides and dulcoside. Studies found that kaempferol can reduce risk of pancreatic cancer by 23%. Taking stevioside as a supplement can reduce blood pressure. Stevia has been studied in diabetic patients with impressive results. Stevia has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, diuretic and immunomodulatory effects. Being a non-carbohydrate sweetener, stevia would not favor the growth of Streptococcus mutans bacteria in the mouth which is attributed to be a causative agent of dental caries and tooth cavities. An extract can be obtained as a tincture of alcohol or glycerin. The concentrated stevia extract tincture can also be dried and purified to produce a fine white powder containing the full spectrum of steviosides. The paper presents a comprehensive review on present status, plant profile, composition, structure of major active compounds, their mode of action and research studies on medicinal benefits and therapeutic implications of S. rebaudiana across the globe.
Content may be subject to copyright.
International Journal of Crop Science and Technology
Volume 2, Issue 2, 2016, Page: 45-59
ISSN: 2458-7540
IJCST
Stevia: Medicinal Miracles and Therapeutic Magic
Pemba Hissay Bhutia 1, Amit Baran Sharangi2*
1,2 Department of Spices and Plantation Crops, Faculty of Horticulture, Bidhan Chandra Krishi
Viswavidyalaya (Agricultural University), Mohanpur-741252, West Bengal, INDIA
*
* Corresponding author email: dr_absharangi@yahoo.co.in
ABSTRACT
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bert., Asteraceae) has drawn the attention of health conscious fitness
lovers all over the planet as a non-caloric sweetener. It was regarded by almost the whole world
replacing saccharin. The major sweet compounds that are isolated from the stevia leaves are
several glycoside compounds including stevioside, steviolbioside, rebaudiosides and dulcoside.
Studies found that kaempferol can reduce risk of pancreatic cancer by 23%. Taking stevioside as
a supplement can reduce blood pressure. Stevia has been studied in diabetic patients with
impressive results. Stevia has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, diuretic and
immunomodulatory effects. Being a non-carbohydrate sweetener, stevia would not favor the growth
of Streptococcus mutans bacteria in the mouth which is attributed to be a causative agent of dental
caries and tooth cavities. An extract can be obtained as a tincture of alcohol or glycerin. The
concentrated stevia extract tincture can also be dried and purified to produce a fine white powder
containing the full spectrum of steviosides. The paper presents a comprehensive review on present
status, plant profile, composition, structure of major active compounds, their mode of action and
research studies on medicinal benefits and therapeutic implications of S. rebaudiana across the
globe.
Key words: Stevia, sweetener, stevioside, diabetes, health benefits, therapeutics
INTRODUCTION
Stevia rebaudiana (Bert.) is a herbaceous
perennial plant of the Asteraceae family.
The crop is native to Paraguay and by mid-
1970s, standardized extract and pure
stevioside was utilized commercially in
Japan for sweetening and flavouring foods
and beverage as a substitute for several
synthetic sweeteners. Leaves of this plant
produce zero-calorie ent-kaurene diterpene
glycosides (stevioside and rebaudiosides), a
non-nutritive, high-potency sweetener, and
substitute to sucrose, being 300 times
sweeter than sucrose (Ahmed et.al.,2011).
It is recommended for diabetes and has
been extensively tested on animals and has
been used by humans with no side effects.
Stevia, commonly known in Sanskrit as
“madhu patra,” meaning sweet leaf is a
natural and healthy alternative to sugar and
artificial sweeteners. It is also known as
“honey yerba” and “honeyleaf” and by
some other variations of these names. It is a
famous perennial shrub, belongs to the
family Asteraceae, genus Stevia and species
rebaudiana. It is extensively grown in the
subtropical regions, and has been available
since decades for its wide use as a
46
P.H. Bhutia, & A.B. Sharangi
sweetener in beverages and to mask the
bitter taste of certain herbal medicinal plants in several countries like Brazil,
Japan, and Paraguay (Parsons, 2001). It has
also been reported that S. rebaudiana, as a
non-calorie first natural sweetener used in
medicinal green teas for treating heart burn
and other ailments (Vanek et.al., 2001)
even though there are more than 200
species of the genus Stevia, only S.
rebaudiana gives the sweetest essence
(Savita et.al., 2004). Japanese have been
using stevia and its products in cooked or
baked goods, processed foods and
beverages, fruit juices, tobacco products,
pastries, chewing gum and sherbets
(Brandle, 1992)As it possesses flavor
enhancing property, it is used in food
products and soft (Carakostas et.al., 2008).
Today it is widely cultivated in countries
like China, Korea, Thailand, Brazil, Peru,
Paraguay and Israel.
Apart from its sweetness stevioside along
with related compounds which include
rebaudioside A and steviol offer many
therapeutic benefits that include
antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anti-
inflammatory, anti tumor, antioxidant,
antidiarrhoeal, diuretic and
immunomodulatory actions. Steviol
interacts with the drug transporters and for
this property of its, Steviol is proposed as
drug modulator (Goyal et.al., 2010,
Boonkaewwan et.al., 2008 and
Chatsudthipong, 2009). S. rebaudiana is
used for the treatment of various conditions
such as cancer (Yasukawa et al. 2002),
diabetes (Lailerd et al. 2004), obesity,
cavities, hypertension (Dyrskog et al.,
2005), fatigue, depression, and yeast
infection. It possesses hypoglycemic,
hypotensive, vasodilating, taste improving,
sweetening, anti-fungal, anti viral, anti
inflammatory, anti bacterial properties and
increases urination function of the body. It
has been found to be non toxic, non
addictive, non carcinogenic, non mutagenic,
non teratogenic and is devoid of genotoxic
effect. It does not affect blood sugar level
hence safe for diabetics (Alan 2002).
Keeping in mind the sweetening property
and other medicinal uses of Stevia
rebaudiana, an attempt has been made to
explore the use of Stevia rebaudiana as a
sweetener in comparison with the other
sweetener available in the market, so that
the diabetic and calorie conscious people
can add variety to the diet and relish the
food.
The paper presents a comprehensive review
on present status, plant profile,
composition, structure of major active
compounds, their mode of action and
research studies on medicinal benefits and
therapeutic implications of S. rebaudiana
across the globe.
PRESENT STATUS
Stevia is native of Paraguay and Brazil. It is
cultivated primarily in South America and
Asia. Countries growing Stevia include
Paraguay, Brazil, Canada, USA, China,
Korea, Taiwan, |Japan, and United
Kingdom. Worldwide, more than 100000
hectares are reported to be covered under
Stevia cultivation of which China has a
major chunk. Major food companies used
Stevia extracts to sweeten the foods for sale
in Japan, Brazil and Paraguay etc (Parsons,
2001). Until recently, stevia products could
be marketed in the U.S. only as dietary
supplements. However, a new U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) ruling has
cleared the way for stevia’s expanded use
and increased the market potential of this
crop. Stevia has huge demand potentials in
India, since it is a natural sweetner without
47
International Journal of Crop Science and Technology (IJCST)
calories, particularly considering the huge
diabetic population in this country. Though
Stevia is cultivated in India at present, but it
is only in a few hundred hectares and the
production is very negligible. All India
import figure of Stevia extract is around 5
tonnes per annum. Stevia production,
particularly considering the fact that it is
around 300 times sweeter than sugar, will
elegantly meet the requirement of
pharmaceutical industries and soft drink
industries in India (Ahmed et. al., 2011).
PLANT PROFILE
Stevia rebaudiana belongs to the family
Asteraceae (Kingdom- Plantae,Order-
Asterales, Family- Asterceae, Tribe-
Eupatoricae). The genus Stevia comprises
about 240 species, out of which the
important ones are namely S. anisostemma,
S. microntha, S. bertholdii, S. ovate
S.crenata, S. plummerae, S. dianthoidea,
S.salicifolia, S. enigmatica, S. serrata, S.
eupatoria, S. vircida, S. lemmonii etc.
Stevia, sweet leaf of Paraguay, is also
commonly known as sweet-herb, honey
yerba, honey leaf, yaa waan and candy leaf.
It is a perennial shrub that grows up to one
metre and has 2-3 cm long ovate leaves.
The colour of leaves are green, having no
odour which taste sweet. Moreover the
leaves are petiolate, acuminate, faces are
glabrous, planted cross wise. Flowers are
white, throats funnel form, lobes five.
For hundreds of years, indigenous people in
Brazil and Paraguay have used the leaves of
Stevia as a sweetener. They have also used
Stevia to sweeten other teas and food and
have used it medicinally as a cardio tonic,
for obesity, hypertension and heartburn and
also to help lower uric acid level. In
addition to being a sweetener, Stevia is
considered to be hypoglycemic, diuretic,
cardio tonic and tonic. The leaf is used for
diabetics, obesity, hypertension, fatigue,
depression, sweet cravings and infection.
Fig a. Stevia Herb
Fig b. Steviol
For hundreds of years, indigenous people in
Brazil and Paraguay have used the leaves of
Stevia as a sweetener. They have also used
Stevia to sweeten other teas and food and
have used it medicinally as a cardio tonic,
for obesity, hypertension and heartburn and
also to help lower uric acid level. In
addition to being a sweetener, Stevia is
considered to be hypoglycemic, diuretic,
cardio tonic and tonic. The leaf is used for
diabetics, obesity, hypertension, fatigue,
depression, sweet cravings and infection.
48
P.H. Bhutia, & A.B. Sharangi
CHEMICAL CONSTITUENTS OF
Stevia rebaudiana
Over 100 photochemicals have been
discovered in Stevia. It is rich in terpenes
and flavonoids. It consists of eight
glycosides named as stevioside (5-10%, Fig
b), steviolbioside, rebausiosides A-E (1-
2%), and dulcoside A(0.4- 0.7%). of these
eight glycoside, the one called stevioside
(Fig c) is 300 times sweeter than sugar.
Fig c. Stevioside
The Stevia plant has sweet components in
leaves called steviol glycosides(Fig d),
which share a common steviol backbone.
Carbohydrate residues (mainly glucose) are
attached to the steviol backbone in various
configurations to form the wide variety of
sweet compounds found naturally in the
stevia leaf. Steviol glycosides are poorly
absorbed in the body and pass through the
upper gastrointestinal tract, including the
stomach and small intestines, fully intact.
Once steviol glycosides reach the colon, gut
bacteria hydrolyze steviol glycosides into
steviol by snipping off their glucose units.
Steviol is then absorbed via the portal vein
and primarily metabolized by the liver
forming steviol glucoronide, and then
excreted in the urine Research has shown
that there is no accumulation of stevia (or
any by-product of stevia) in the body during
metabolism. It is a result of this essentially
49
International Journal of Crop Science and Technology (IJCST)
poor absorption in the digestive tract which
ultimately contributes to the fact that stevia
has zero calories and does not raise blood
glucose or insulin levels when digested.
Fig d. Steviol glycoside
There are multiple steviol glycosides that
have now been approved for use including
those listed in the table below. The
formulas and molecular weights vary, as
does the conversion factor which allows
for the calculation of “steviol equivalents”.
Notably, global regulatory agencies have
created maximum use limits in their
respective safety assessments which are
expressed as steviol equivalents to account
for the varying chemical structures of the
steviol glycosides approved for use.
Through the use of this conversion factor,
the limits are adjusted accordingly to reflect
the molecular weight of each given steviol
glycoside.
CHEMICALS FOUND IN Stevia
rebaudiana
Apigenin-4'-o-beta-d-glucoside,
austroinulin, avicularin, beta-sitosterol,
caffeic acid, campesterol, caryophyllene,
centaureidin, chlorogenic acid, chlorophyll,
cosmosiin, cynaroside, daucosterol,
diterpene glycosides, dulcosides A-B,
foeniculin, formic acid, gibberellic acid,
gibberellin, indole-3-acetonitrile,
isoquercitrin, isosteviol, jhanol,
Table1: Chemical compounds present in Stevia
Trivial name
Formula
MW (g/mol)
Conversion factor X
Steviol
C20H30O3
318.45
1.00
Stevioside
C38H60O18
804.87
0.40
Rebaudioside A
C44H70O23
967.01
0.33
Rebaudioside C
C44H70O22
951.01
0.34
Dulcoside A
C38H60O 17
788.17
0.40
Rubusoside
C32H50O 13
642.73
0.50
Steviolbioside
C32H50O13
642.73
0.50
Rebaudioside D
C50H80O28
804.87
0.40
Rebaudioside E
C44H70O23
967.01
0.33
Rebaudioside F
C43H68O22
936.99
0.34
50
P.H. Bhutia, & A.B. Sharangi
kaempferol-3-o-rhamnoside, kaurene,
lupeol, luteolin-7-o-glucoside,
polystachoside, quercetin, quercitrin,
rebaudioside A-F, scopoletin, sterebin A-H,
steviol, steviolbioside, steviolmonoside,
stevioside, stevioside a-3, stigmasterol,
umbelliferone, xanthophylls, etc are the
common chemicals found in Stevia.
Fig e. Transglycosidation of steviol to
form steviollmonoside, stevioside &
rebaudiosideA
MODE OF ACTION
Glycosides contain glucose and other non-
sugar substances called aglycones. The
tongue's taste receptors react to the glucose
in the glycosides: those with more glucose
(rebaudioside) taste sweeter than those with
less (stevioside) (Anonymous, 2015). Some
of the tongue's bitter receptors react to the
aglycones. In the digestive tract,
rebaudiosides are metabolised into
stevioside which is subsequently broken
down into glucose and steviol. The glucose
released in this process is used by bacteria
in the colon and not absorbed into the
bloodstream (Koyama et al, 2003). Steviol
cannot be further digested and is excreted.
MEDICINAL AND ETHNO-
MEDICINAL IMPORTANCE
Stevia has its legendary due to its various
mode of actions such as, sweetener,
hypoglycemic, hypotensive (lowers blood
pressure), cardiotonic (tones, balances and
strengthens the heart), antimicrobial
activities (Taylor, 2005). Different studies
and documents proved that stevia has its
own and natural constituents which are very
much helpful for human health. Among
various uses, sweetener is the main use of
stevia. Some ethnological uses has been
recorded (Taylor, 2005) which are enlisted
in the table (Table 2):
Table2: Ethnomedicinal uses of stevia
in different countries
Country
Ethnomedicinal uses
Brazil
Usually used for cavities,
depression, diabetes,
fatigue, heart support,
hypertension,
hyperglycemia, infections,
obesity, sweet cravings,
tonic, urinary
insufficiency, wounds
Paraguay
Diabetes
South
America
diabetes, hypertension,
infections, obesity
United
States
candida, diabetes,
hypertension,
hyperglycemia, infections,
and as a vasodilator
51
International Journal of Crop Science and Technology (IJCST)
THERAPEUTIC IMPLICATIONS
Anti-hyperglycemic effect
Stevia has a revitalizing effect on the beta
cells of pancreas, also improves insulin
sensitivity and promotes additional insulin
production. Chen et al., 2005 revealed that
stevioside was able to regulate blood
glucose levels by enhancing not only
insulin secretion but also insulin utilization
in insulin deficit rats. The later was due to
decreased phosphophenol pyruvate
carboxykinase gene expression in rat liver
by stevioside’s action of slowing down
glucogenesis. Stevioside reduces the
postprandial blood glucose levels. Several
human trials conducted in normal healthy
volunteers have shown that extracts of
Stevia rebaudiana leaves could increase
glucose tolerance in humans. Therefore
stevia may be advantageous in the treatment
of type 2 diabetes (Jeppesen et al., 2006,
Chen et al., 2005, Anton et al., 2010,
Gregersen et al., 2004 and Barriocanal et
al., 2008).
Anti hypertensive effect
Physiological and Pharmacological
experiments have suggested that stevioside
from the leaves of stevia act as a typical
systemic vasodilator. Melis MS et al in their
studies have demonstrated that stevioside
from Stevia rebaudiana leaves provoked
hypotension, diuresis and natriuresis in both
normal and hypertensive rats. An increase
in the renal plasma flow and glomerular
filtration in rats had been observed in
normal rats and the effect was attributed to
the vasodilatation of afferent and efferent
arterioles (Melis, 1996 and Melis, 1995).
Human studies have also suggested its
beneficial role in hypertension for its
vasodilator property. It was suggested that
750 1500 mg/ day of stevioside, reduces
systolic blood pressure by 10 11 mmHg
and diastolic blood pressure by 6 -14
mmHg within one week of starting the
treatment (Ferri et al., 2006 and Maki et al.,
2008). It is found that stevioside causes
vasorelaxation by inhibition of Ca++ influx
into the blood vessels (Ulbricht et al.,
2010). Therefore, stevia could prove to be
beneficial in hypertensive patients.
Anti- oxidant effect
Being natural stevia is potential source of
natural antioxidants. Varieties of
antioxidants were obtained from the
extracts of Stevia rebaudiana, they include,
opigenin, kaempferol and quereitrin that
inhibited DNA strand damage. Isosteviol, a
derivative of stevioside inhibits angiotensin
II induced cell proliferation and endothelin
I secretion while attenuation of reactive
oxygen species generation (Ghanta et al.,
2004 and Stoyanova et al., 2011). Hence it
could be beneficial in a variety of diseases
like cancer, reproductive problems and
developmental defects.
Anti -cancer effect
Although limited evidence are available,
animal studies by Yasukawa et al 2006
indicate that the four isolates of steviol
glycoside - stevioside, rebaudiosides A & C
and ducloside A from Stevia rebaudiana
have a strong inhibitory effect on 12- 0-
tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA)
induced inflammation in mice which is
suggestive of its anticancer effect (Raskovic
et al., 2004 and Yasukawa, 2002).
52
P.H. Bhutia, & A.B. Sharangi
Antimicrobial effect
The ability of Stevia to inhibit the growth
and reproduction of bacteria and other
infectious organisms is important in at least
two respects. First, it may help to enhanced
products report a lower incidence of colds
and flues, and second, it has fostered the
invention of a number of mouthwash and
toothpaste products. Tadhani M. B. and
Subhash R. (2006) reported that
Streptococcus mutans, Pseudomonas
aeruginos, Proteus vulgaris and other
microbes do not thrive in the presence of
the nonnutritive Stevia constituents. This
fact, combined with the naturally sweet
flavour of the herb, makes it a suitable
ingredient for mouthwashes and for
toothpastes. The patent literature contains
many applications for these kinds of Stevia
based products. Stevia has even been shown
to lower the incidence of dental
caries. Evidential research reports indicate
that derivatives prepared by stevia isolates
which included octa - acetylombuoside,
ombuine and retusine were found to have
antimicrobial action against few types of
gram positive bacteria (Tomita et al., 1997).
Jayaraman et al (2008) revealed that the
antimicrobial and antitumor activities of
Stevia rebaudiana leaves extracted using
various solvents, and is therefore, a
potential drug that requires further studies
and development.
Anti-inflammatory and immuno-
modulatory effect
Anti-inflammatory refers to the property
that reduces inflammation or swelling.
Anti-inflammatory drugs make up about
half of analgesics, remedying pain by
reducing inflammation as opposed
to opioids, which affect the central nervous
system. Stevia has been found to attenuate
synthesis of the inflammatory mediators in
LPS stimulated THP-1 cells by interfering
with the I Kappa B kinases (IKKbeta) and
Kappa B signaling pathway thus beneficial
as anti-inflammatory and
immunomodulatory substance (Bookaewan
et al., 2006). Stevia is also rich in beta
carotene, ascorbic acid, protein, calcium,
iron, magnesium, phosphorus and numerous
other phytochemicals. Hence the herbal
derivative apart from its sweetening
property also is beneficial with its nutritive
value. Other proposed uses include alcohol
abuse, anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic,
antitumor, diuretic, digestive aid, food
additive, immunomodulation and obesity
(Chatsudthipong, 2009).
Drug interactions
Stevia has diuretic effect so it decreases the
excretion of lithium with resultant increase
in plasma lithium concentration and leads to
lithium toxicity (Melis, 1996). Given along
with antidiabetic agents like glimepride,
pioglitazone etc. may cause decrease in
blood sugar levels hence needs close
monitoring of blood sugar levels. Stevia
plant which interact with monoketocholate
(a substance that may affect glucose and
lipid levels), diuretics, anti-inflammatory,
anticancer agents or hypocalcaemia agents
(Raskovic et al., 2004).Verapamil tends to
increase the renal and systemic effects of
stevia (Melis, 1991).
Hypoglycaemic action
Hypoglycemia, is known as low blood
sugar is when decreases to below normal
and symptoms including clumsiness,
trouble talking, confusion, loss of
consciousness, seizures, or death. A feeling
53
International Journal of Crop Science and Technology (IJCST)
of hunger, sweating, shakiness, or weakness
may also be present. Hypoglycemia, is
known as low blood sugar is
when decreases to below normal and
symptoms including clumsiness, trouble
talking, confusion, loss of
consciousness, seizures, or death. A feeling
of hunger, sweating, shakiness, or weakness
may also be present. (Yanai et al., 2015;
Schrier, 2007) hypoglycemia caused kidney
failure,certain tumors, liverdisease, hypothy
roidism, starvation, inborn error of
metabolism,severe infections, reactive
hypoglycemia, and a number of drugs
including alcohol.( Schrier, 2007). Low
blood sugar may occur in babies who are
otherwise healthy who have not eaten for a
few hours. (Perkin, 2008).
It is probably the presence of the
steviosides themselves that has made stevia
effective for hypoglycemic action. Stevia is
believed to be helpful for hypoglycemia and
diabetes because it nourishes the pancreas
and thereby helps to restore normal
pancreatic function. Oviedo, et.al., (1970)
reported a 35.2% fall in normal blood sugar
levels 6-8 hours following the ingestion of a
Stevia leaf extract. Other workers (Singh et
al., 2013; Jeppensen et al., 2003; Kinghon
et al 2002; Chen et al., 2005) have reported
similar trends in humans and experimental
animals. Peoples of Paraguay use Stevia
leaf tea in the treatment of diabetes.
Similarly, in Brazil, Stevia tea and Stevia
capsules are officially approved for sale for
the treatment of diabetes although, Stevia
does not normally lower blood glucose
levels.Till to date, however, almost all
research findings on the effectiveness of
stevia remained inconclusive. The mild
acting nature of the plant and its total lack
of toxic side effects argue against the need
for extensive and expensive research
programs. However, many of the anecdotes
reporting a definite and significant blood
sugar lowering action in diabetics, and a
pronounced exhilarating effect in
hypoglycaemic, are sound enough to justify
considerable experimental work in the area.
Cardiovascular action
Significant research work has been done on
the effects of Stevia and stevioside on
cardiovascular functioning in man and
animals. Some of this work was simply
looking for possible toxicity, while some
was investigating possible therapeutic
action. In neither case have significant
properties been found. When any action at
all is observed, it is almost always a slight
lowering of arterial blood pressure at low
and normal doses, changing to a slight rise
in arterial pressure at very high doses. The
most curious finding is a dose dependent
action on heartbeat, with a slight increase
appearing at lower doses, changing to a
mild decrease at higher doses. In both
instance is the result remarkable, and it is
extremely doubtful that humans would
experience any effect at normal doses. The
long-term use of Stevia would probably has
a cardiotonic action, that is, would produce
a mild strengthening of the heart and
vascular system.
Digestive Tonic Action
Brazil literature shows that Stevia ranks
high among the list of plants used for
centuries by the "gauchos" of the southern
plains to flavour the bitter medicinal
preparations used by that nomadic culture.
For example, it was widely used in their
"mate." Through much experimentation,
these people learned that Stevia made a
significant contribution to improved
54
P.H. Bhutia, & A.B. Sharangi
digestion, and that it improved overall
gastrointestinal function. Likewise, since its
introduction in China, Stevia tea, made
from either hot or cold water, is used as a
low calorie, sweet-tasting tea, as an appetite
stimulant, as a digestive aid, as an aid to
weightmanagement and even for staying
young.
Effects on the skin
liquid extract of Stevia has the ability to
help remove skin problems. Researchers
reported that it is effective when applied to
acne, seborrhea, dermatitis, eczema, etc.
When placed directly in cuts and wounds a
more rapid healing without scarring is
evidenced. Frequent application of Stevia
poultices and extracts is believed to
smoothen skin with softer feelings when
touched. Stevia is also known for skin
shining and tightening properties, and has
found its way in several commercial skin
tighting product or anti-wrinkle product.
ADVERSE EFFECTS AND
CONTRAINDICATIONS
Stevia is considered to be safe, with
minimal side effects that include; nausea,
abdominal fullness, myalgia, muscle
weakness, dizziness, asthenia and allergy
(Genus, 2003 and Goyal et al., 2003) and
also used with caution in diabetes as it is
known to reduce the blood sugar levels.
In hypertensive patients it is used with
caution as it is likely to reduce the blood
pressure.
It may affect the renal activity and
perfusion, sodium excretion and urinary
flow hence, cautious use is indicated in
patients with renal disease or with
impaired renal function (Melis, 1996).
With lack of evidence for its effect on
pregnancy and lactation. Stevia is not
recommended during pregnancy and
lactation.
CONCLUSION
Stevia is now being used worldwide. Its
medicinal values and stimulating actions
are time tested. The busy and stressful life
styles of present days alarmingly increase
the incidence of diabetes, hypertension and
obesity particularly affecting the young
adults. These are to be addressed properly
or a serious consequence is inevitable.
Among various chemical constituents of
stevia, stevioside has a potential mode of
actions in controlling type 2 diabetes.
Therefore, it has attracted all the attention
of people so that it may be used safely. The
huge demand, promts the biotechnology
companies to produce stevia through tissue
culture in a commercial scale and marketing
stevia in different form such as leaf powder,
liquid and fresh leaves. Moreover, Stevia
having a natural sweetening activity and
pharmaceutical properties, it can be a part
of high throughput biotechnological
techniques for animal health studies. Stevia
is a natural sweetener with virtually calorie
free status causes less harm, benefits
several health conditions and has a bright
future in the days ahead.
REFERENCES
Ahmed, B., Hossain, M., Islam, R., Saha,
A. K. and Mandal, A. 2011. A review on
natural sweetener plant stevia having
medicinal and commercial importance.
Agro. Glasnik, 73: 75-91.
Aladakatti, Y. R., Palled, Y. B., Chetti, M.
B., Halikatti, S. I. 2012. Effect of irrigation
55
International Journal of Crop Science and Technology (IJCST)
schedule and planting geometry on growth
and yield of stevia (Stevia rebaudiana
Bertoni.). Karnataka Journal of
Agricultural Sciences, 25: 25-35.
Ali, A., Gull I., Abdul M., Saleem, A.,
Shagufta Naz; Naveed, N H. 2012. In vitro
conservation and production of vigorous
and desiccate tolerant synthetic seeds in
Stevia rebaudiana. Journal of Medicinal
Plants Research, 6: 1327-1333.
Aminha, S., Soumya, A. N., Raju, V. G.,
Goud, B. M. and Quadri, S. A. P . 2014.
Isolation and extraction of artificial
sweetner (Stevia). World Journal
Pharmaceutical Research, 3: 481-486.
Anonymous 2015.
http://steviapoint.com/what-is-
stevia/growing-stevia/ (Retrieved on
17.07.2015)
Anton, S. D., Martin C. K., Coulon, S.,
Cefalu, W. T., Geiselman, P.,. 2010. Effect
of stevia, aspartame and sucrose on food
intake, satiety and postprandial glucose and
insulin levels. Appetite, 55: 37-43.
Barriocanal L. A., Palcois, M., Benitez, G.,
2008. Apparent lack of pharmacological
effect of steviol glycosides used as
sweeteners in humans. A pilot study of
repeated exposure in some normotensive
and hypotensive individuals and in type 1
and type 2 diabetics.Regul Toxi. Pharm.,51:
37-41.
Bookaewan, C., Toskulkao, C., and
Vongsakul, M. 2006. Anti inflammatory
and immunomodulatory activities of
stevioside and its metabolite steviol on
THP-1 cells. Journal of Agricultural and
Food Chemistry, 54: 785-789.
Boonkaewwan, C., M, Toskulkao, C. and
Rao, M.C. 2008. Specific
immunomodulatory and secretory activities
of stevioside and steviol in intestinal cells.
Journal of Agricultural and Food
Chemistry, 56: 3777-3784.
Brandle, J. E. and Rosa, N. 1992.
Heritability for yield, leaf: stem ratio and
stevioside content estimated from Landrace
cultivar of Stevia rebaudiana. Canada
Journal of Plant Science, 72: 12631266.
Brandle, J. E. and Telmer, P. G. 2007.
Steviol glycoside biosynthesis. Phytopath.,
68: 1855-63.
Cabanillas, C. and Diaz, M. P. 1999.
Influence of the conditions of storage on the
seed quality of Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni)
Bertoni. Acta-Horticulture, 502: 255-259.
Carakostas M. C., Curry L. L. and Boileau,
A. C. 2008. A naturally occurring steviol
glycoside, for use in food and beverages.
Food Chemistry. Toxicology, 7: 1-10.
Chalapathi, M. V., Shivaraj, B. and Parama,
V. R. R. 1970. Nutrient uptake and yield of
stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) as
influenced by methods of planting and
fertilizer levels. Crop Research, Hisar.,14:
205-208.
Chatsudthipong, V. and Muanprasat, C.
2009. Stevioside and related compounds:
therapeutic benefits beyond sweetness.
Pharmaceutical Therapeutics, 121: 41-54.
Chen, T., Chen. S., Chan, P. and Chu, Y.
2005. Mechanism of the hypoglycemic
effect of stevioside, a glycoside of Stevia
rebaudiana. Plant Medicine, 71: 108-213.
Das, K., Dang, R. and Shivananda, T. N.
2006. Effect of zinc on biomass production
56
P.H. Bhutia, & A.B. Sharangi
of Stevia rebaudiana - natural sweetener.
Biomed., 1: 234-236.
Das, K., Dang, R. and Shivananda, T. N.
2008. Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) - a sugar
substitute for Indian sub tropics. Journal of
Interacademic, 12: 581-587.
Perkin, Ronald M. 2008. Pediatric hospital
medicine : textbook of inpatient
management (2 ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters
Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams &
Wilkins. p. 105. ISBN 9780781770323.
Dyrskog, S. E., Jeppensen, P. B Colombo
M. and Abudula, R. and Hermansen, K.
2005. Preventive effects of soy based diet
supplemented with stevioside on
development of type 2 diabetes.
Metabolism, 54: 1181-1188.
Dzyuba, O. O. 1998. Stevia rebaudiana
(Bertoni) Hemsley - a new source of natural
sugar substitute for Russia. Rastitel'-nye-
Resursy, 34: 86-95.
Enkeshwer, P. R., Sandhya T. and
Sumariya, H. K. 2010. Experimental
studies on the effects of certain growth
regulators on seed germination of Stevia
rebaudiana Bertoni. Biosci. Biotech. Res.
Asia, 7: 407-412.
Ferri, L.A., Alves, Do. Prado, W., Yamada,
S. S., Gazola, S., Batisla, M. R. and
Bazotte, R. B. (2006). Investigation of the
antihypertensive effect of oral crude
stevioside in patients with mild essential
hypertension. Phytopath. Res., 20: 732-736.
Francine, M. K., Louise, W. A., Pythagore,
F. S., Barbara, A. T., Gustave, S. and
Boudjeko, T. 2014. Antioxidant properties
of cell wall polysaccharides of Stevia
rebaudiana leaves. J. Coastal Life Med.,
2: 962-969.
Gardana, C., Simonetti, P., Canzi, E.,
Zanchi, R. and Pietta, P. 2003: Metabolism
of stevioside and rebaudioside A from
Stevia rebaudiana by human microflora.
Journal of Agricultural and Food
Chemistry, 51:6618-6622.
Ghanta, S., Banerjee, A., Poddar, A.,
Chattopadhyay, S. 2007. Oxidative DNA
damage preventive activity and antioxidant
potential of Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni)
Bertoni: A natural sweetener. Journal of
Agricultural and Food Chemistry,
26:10962-10967.
Goyal, S K; Samsher; Goyal, R K 2010.
Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) a bio-sweetener.
International Journal of Food Sciences and
Nutrition, 61: 1-10
Gregersen, S., Jeppesen, P. B., Holst, J. J.
and Hermansen, K. 2004.
Antihyperglycemic effects of stevioside in
type 2 diabetic subjects. Metabo. Clin. And
Exp., 53: 73-76.
Gupta, M., Bisht, S., Singh, B., Gulati, A.
and Tewari, R. 2011. Enhanced biomass
and steviol glycosides in Stevia rebaudiana
treated with phosphate-solubilizing bacteria
and rock phosphate. Pl. Growth Reg., 65:
449-457.
Gupta, P. S., Sundaram, S. and Rai, G. K.
2013. Nutritional and therapeutic values of
Stevia rebaudiana. J. Med. Pl. Res., 7:
3343-3353.
Hajihashemi, S., Geuns, J. M. C. 2013. Free
radical scavenging activity of steviol
glycosides, steviol glucuronide,
hydroxytyrosol, metformin, aspirin and leaf
57
International Journal of Crop Science and Technology (IJCST)
extract of Stevia rebaudiana. Free Rad.
Antioxi., 3: S34-S41.
Herranz, Lopez, M., Barrajon, Catalan, E.,
Beltran Debon, R., Joven, J. and Micol, V.
2011. Potential medicinal benefits of high
intensity sweetener from Stevia. Int. Sugar
J., 113: 792-797.
Javad, S., Amna, T. and Aslam F. 2014.
Optimization of the microwave assisted
extraction and its comparison with different
conventional extraction methods for
isolation of stevioside from Stevia
rebaudiana. Asian Journal of Chemistry,
26: 8043-8048.
Jena, P. K., Goyal, A. K. and Bhardwaj, A.
2011. Growth pattern and biomass yield of
Stevia rebaudiana (Bert.) grown under
polyhouse conditions in relation to climate
change. Journal of Plant Development
Sciences, 3: 317-320.
Jeppensen P.B., Gregersen S., Rolfsen
S.E.D., Jeppensen M., Colombo M. and
Agger A. 2003. Antihyperglycemic and
blood-pressure reducing effects of
stevioside in the diabetic Goto-Kakizaki rat.
Metabolism, 52(3): 372-378.
Kamalakannan, A., Valluvaparidasan, V.,
Chitra, K., Rajeswari, E., Salaheddin, K.,
Ladhalakshmi, D. and Chandrasekaran, A.
2007. First report of root rot of stevia
caused by Sclerotium rolfsii in India. Plant
Pathology,56: 350.
Karimi, M., Ahmadi, A. Hashemi, J.,
Abbasi, A. and Angelini, L.G. 2014. Effect
of two plant growth retardants on steviol
glycosides content and antioxidant capacity
in Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni). Acta
physiologiae plantarum, 36 (5), 1211-1219.
Kinghorn A.D. And Soejarto D.D. 2002.
Discovery of terpenoid and phenolic
sweeteners from plants, Pure Appl. Chem.,
74(7): 1169-1179.
Koyama E, Kitazawa K, Ohori Y, Izawa
O, Kakegawa K, Fujino A, Ui M.2003 In
vitro metabolism of the glycosidic
sweeteners, stevia mixture and
enzymatically modified stevia in human
intestinal microflora. Food and Chemical
Toxicology, 41(3) : 359374.
Kumar, R., Sharma, S. and Sharma, M.
2014. Growth and yield of natural-
sweetener plant stevia as affected by
pinching. Indian Journal of Plant
Physiology, 19: 119-126.
Lailerd, N., Saengsirisuwan, V., and
Slonigar J. A. 2004. Effect of stevioside on
glucose transport activity in rat muscle.
Metabolism, 53: 101-107.
Lavini, A., Riccardi, M., Pulvento, C.,
Luca, S. de., Scamosci, M. and d'Andria, R.
2008. Yield, quality and water consumption
of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni grown under
different irrigation regimes in southern
Italy. Italian Journal of Agronomy., 3: 135-
143.
Maki, K .C, Curry, L. L., Carakostas M. C.
2008. The hemodynamic effects of
rebaudioside A in healthy adults with
normal and low normal blood pressure.
Food Chemistry Toxicology, 46: 40-46.
Megeji, N. W., Kumar, J. K., Virendra,
Singh., Kaul, V. K. and Ahuja, P. S. 2005.
Introducing Stevia rebaudiana, a natural
zero-calorie sweetener. Current Sciences,
88: 801-804.
58
P.H. Bhutia, & A.B. Sharangi
Mehta, M. and Dadhich, L. K. 2014. Stevia
rebaudiana (natural sweetener anti-diabetic
plant) a review of potential therapeutic
properties. Advances of Plant Science, 27:
265-268.
Meireles, M. A. A., Wang, G., Hao, Z.,
Shima, K. and Silva, J. A. T. 2006. Stevia
(Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni): futuristic view
of the sweeter side of life. Florida
Ornamental Plant Biotechnology, 416-425.
Melis, M. S. 1995. Chronic administration
of aqueous extract of Stevia rebaudiana in
rats: renal effects. Journal of
Ethnopharmacology, 47: 129-134.
Melis, M. S. 1997. Effects of Steviol on
renal function and mean arterial pressure in
rats. Phytomedicines, 3: 349-352.
Melis, M. S., Sainati, A. R. 1991. Effect of
calcium and verapamil on renal function of
rats during treatment with stevioside.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 33: 257-
262.
Parimalavalli, R. and Sri, S. R . 2008.
Natural intense sweetener Stevia
rebaudiana a future crop of India. Indian
Journal of Arecanut, Spices Medicinal
Plants ,10: 111-117.
Parsons W. T., Cuthbertson, E. G. 2001. In:
Noxious weeds of Australia. Edn 2, CSIRO
Publishing, Collings wood, Australia,
ISBN 978-0-643-06514-7.
Periche, A., Castello, M. L., Heredia, A.,
Escriche, I. 2015. Influence of drying
method on steviol glycosides and
antioxidants in Stevia rebaudiana leaves.
Food Chemistry, 172: 1-6.
Raskovic A, Jakovijevic, Mikov M. 2004.
Joint effect of commercial preparations of
Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni and sodium
monoketocholate on glycemia in mice. Eur
J. Drug Metab. Pharm., 29: 83-86.
Rayaguru, K. and Khan, M. K. 2008. Post-
harvest management of stevia leaves.
Journal of Food Science and Technology,
Mysore, 45: 391-397.
Savita, S. M., Sheela, K., Sunanda, S. 2004.
Health implications of Stevia rebaudiana.
Journal of Human Ecology, 13: 191-194.
Schrier, Robert W. 2007. The internal
medicine casebook real patients, real
answers (3 ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott
Williams & Wilkins.
p. 119.ISBN 9780781765299.
Sen, S., Biswas, G., Basu, S. K. and
Acharya, K. 2012. Management of leaf spot
disease of Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni with
antagonistic bacteria. Australian Journal of
Crop Sciences, 6: 350-356.
Sharmila, S., Preeti, U., Humera, A. and
Muneem, A. M. 2013. Comparative study
of antioxidant activity of methanolic and
ethanolic extracts of Stevia rebaudiana
leaves. Research Journal of
Pharmaceutical Biological and Chemical
Sciences, 4: 674-679.
Singh,S.; Garg, V. and Yadav, D. 2013.
Antihyperglycemic and antioxidative ability
of stevia rebaudiana (bertoni) leaves in
diabetes induced mice. International
Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical
Sciences, 5(2):297-302.
Skaria, B. P., Joseph, R., Mathew, G.,
Mathew, S. and Joy, P. P. 2004. Stevia - a
sweet herb. Indian Journal of Arecanut
Spices Medicinal Plants, 6: 24-27.
59
International Journal of Crop Science and Technology (IJCST)
Stoyanova, S., Genus, J., Heideg, E. 2011.
The food additives inulin and stevioside
counteract oxidative stress. International
ournal of Food Science and Nutrition,
62:207-214.
Taylor, L. 2005. The healing Power of
Natural Herbs. Edn 1, Square One
Publishers, Garden City Park, New York,
2005, ISBN, 0-7570-0144-0.
Thiyagarajan, M. and Venkatachalam, P.
2012. Large scale in vitro propagation of
Stevia rebaudiana (Bert) for commercial
application: pharmaceutically important and
antidiabetic medicinal herb. Industrial
Crops and Products, 37: 111-117.
Tiwari S. 2010. Stevia rebaudiana: A
medicinal and nutraceutical plant and sweet
gold for diabetic patients. International
Journal of Pharmaceutical and Life
Sciences, 1: 451-457.
Tomita, T., Sato, N., Arai, T., Shiraishi, H.,
Sato, M., Takeuchi, M. and Kamio, K.
1997. Bactericidal activity of a fermented
hot-water extract from Stevia rebaudiana
Bertoni towards enterohemorrhagic
Escherichia coli O157:H7 and other food-
borne pathogenic bacteria. Microbiology
and Immunology, 41: 1005-1009.
Ulbricht, C., Isaac, R., Milkin, T., Poole, E.
A. and Rusie, E. 2010. An evidence based
systematic review of stevia by the Natural
Standard Research Collaboration.
Cardiovascular Haematological Agents in
Medicinal Chemistry, 8: 113-127.
Wolwer Rieck, U. 2012.The leaves of
Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni), their
constituents and the analyses thereof: a
review. J. Agri. Food Chem., 60: 886-895.
Yanai, H; Adachi, H; Katsuyama, H;
Moriyama, S; Hamasaki, H; Sako, A. 2015.
"Causative anti-diabetic drugs and the
underlying clinical factors for
hypoglycemia in patients with
diabetes.". World Journal of
Diabetes, 6 (1): 306. PMID 25685276.
Yasukawa, K. 2002. Inhibitory effect of
stevioside on tumor promotion by 12-0-
tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate in two
stage carcinogens in mouse skin. Pharm
Bull., 25: 1488-90.
Yin, X. Y., Ge, L., Liu, C., Han, Z. and
Sun, X. 2014. Techniques of direct sowing
and seedling transplanting of Stevia
rebaudiana. Sugar Crops China.,1: 55-57.
Zahida, R., Mudasir, R., Suhail, I. Souliha
R. and Bahar, F. A. 2013. Effect of
different levels of farmyard manure and
nitrogen on the yield and nitrogen uptake
by stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni)
.African Journal of Agricultural Research,
8: 3941-3945.
... Stevia has additionally been displayed to have against disease, mitigating, diuretic, and immunomodulatory impacts. Being a non-starch sugar, stevia would not lean toward the development of Streptococcus mutans microbes in the mouth which is ascribed to be a causative specialist of dental caries and tooth depressions [Sharangi and Pemba, 2016]. ...
Book
Full-text available
... Stevia has additionally been displayed to have against disease, mitigating, diuretic, and immunomodulatory impacts. Being a non-starch sugar, stevia would not lean toward the development of Streptococcus mutans microbes in the mouth which is ascribed to be a causative specialist of dental caries and tooth depressions [Sharangi and Pemba, 2016]. ...
... Pure Stevia extract has been approved and used in many countries (Samuel et al. 2018). The use of Stevia in food and drugs has been reported for many health benefits against oxidative stress, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, dental caries, etc. (Sharangi and Bhutia 2016). Considering the useful characteristics of this plant, the objectives of this study were to investigate the phytochemicals, antioxidant, and antiglycation properties of S. rebaudiana, Bertoni variety Morita II, and their correlation with each other. ...
Article
Stevia rebaudiana, a natural sweetener and a non-caloric sugar substitute, is known to exhibit several medicinal properties including anti-diabetic effects. However, its mechanism of action, as an antidiabetic agent, is not completely understood. In this study, aqueous, methanol, and ethanol extracts of leaves were used. Among all the extracts, the methanolic extract exhibited the highest TPC (41.00 ± 0.69 mg GAE/g DW), TFC (22.66 ± 0.036 mg QE/g DW), FRAP activity (2.50 ± 0.09 mmol of Fe2+/g DW) along with lowest IC50 values for ABTS (3.8 ± 0.01 µg/mL), and nitric oxide radical scavenging activity (150 ± 0.05 µg/mL), whereas ethanolic extract showed the lowest IC50 value of 41 ± 0.20 µg/mL against DPPH than the aqueous (80 ± 0.09 µg/mL) and methanolic (70 ± 0.10 µg/mL). However, aqueous extract showed a strong correlation between phenolic content and antioxidant capacities with R2 values of 0.961 (DPPH), 0.990 (ABTS), and 0.916 (nitric oxide) assays, respectively. Additionally, the aqueous extract inhibited 17.41 ± 0.11% activity of α-amylase and 8.30 ± 0.95% of α-glucosidase. Moreover, the antiglycation properties of the aqueous extract were confirmed with observations like reduction in browning (34.95 ± 11.09%), fructosamine formation (80 ± 5.12%), carbonyl content (11.68 ± 2.12%), and protein aggregation, in an in vitro glycation system. Furthermore, the extract showed high efficiency in protection against H2O2-induced DNA damage. It can also be used as a source of antiglycation and antioxidant agent for the management of glycation-induced disorders like diabetes. This report also shows a positive correlation between phytochemicals present in the Stevia and their associated antioxidant power. Moreover, these antioxidant compounds can prevent the consequences of AGEs formation.
... And it was reported that medical plants (chamomile, fennel and ginger) had ability to reduce dysmenorrhea level [25]. Another study analyzed the herbal association of dysmenorrhea. ...
... Stevia rebaudiana, as a non-nutritious natural sweetener has risen as a safe sugar substitute for human health. In addition to the sweetening potential, it has numerous therapeutic advantages, as it has diuretic (Bhutia and Sharangi, 2016), antihypertensive (Chan et al., 1998), antihyperglycemic (Jeppesen et al., 2003), antidiarrheal and immune modulator properties (Chatsudthipong and Muanprasat, 2009). The sweet components of stevia are called steviol glycosides which are found in the stevia leaf, used in an extensive range of food items as a non-calorie sweetener. ...
Article
Full-text available
Stevia is perennial herb belongs to asteraceae family. It is popularly known as sweet leaf, candy leaf, sweet herb and honey leaf which are used to treat diabetes to bring down glucose levels, enhance insulin secretion and in various pharmaceutical formulations. A laboratory experiment was conducted at University of Horticultural Sciences, Bagalkot during 2019-2020 to assess the seed quality parameters of stevia by treating the seeds with different treatments. The experiment was laid out in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with ten treatments in four replications. The seeds of stevia treated with GA3 at 10 ppm soaked for 12 hours had took minimum days for first seed germination (3.00 days), recorded maximum germination (62.25%), root length (10.30 mm), shoot length (14.15 mm), seedling vigour index (1522), seedling dry weight (2.90 mg per 10 seedlings) and field emergence (47.75%). The growth regulator GA3 at 10 ppm found to be superior in improvement of seed quality parameters of stevia compared to other treatments.
Chapter
Full-text available
Stevia is a perennial, small, wild and bushy plant belonging to the Asteraceae (Compositae) family. Its origin is known as the Amambi mountains on the border of Brazil and Paraguay. Stevia can be used as powder stevia, concentrated stevia extract and powder stevia extract obtained by drying and grinding leaves. The Stevia rebaudiana plant generally has being prominent with its sweetening property. However, it is used for various purposes in food and medicine with its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. The most important compounds that give the plant 100 to 300 times more sweetness than sucrose are steviol glycosides. It has also been noted that stevia leaves contain flavonoids and phenolic compounds that impart antimicrobial and antioxidant properties to foods. In this study, botanical and chemical properties, usage areas and health effects of Stevia rebaudiana plant has been referred.
Chapter
With the global shift of conventional agriculture towards sustainable food production, one of the biggest challenges associated is crop losses due to plant pathogens. The ill effect of chemical pesticides on the environment and the rapid emergence of pest resistance has necessitated the deployment of viable alternatives for pest management. RNA interference (RNAi) is one of the most promising and targeted approach to minimize the incidence of pests and pathogens in crop plants. RNAi in crop protection can be achieved not only by plant-incorporated protectants via plant transformation (transgenic mean) but also by non-transformative strategies such as spraying of dsRNAs as direct control agents, resistance factor repressors, or developmental disruptors. This technology utilizes the exogenous application of double-stranded RNAs (dsRNAs), short interfering RNAs (siRNAs), and hairpin RNAs (hpRNAs). Nevertheless, several critical factors need to be thoroughly examined for effective and safe utilization of these tools as sustainable solutions for modern crop protection practices. Despite few challenges, a number of experiments have demonstrated that exogenous RNA application is a potential tool to replace transgenic crop-mediated RNAi. The major challenges involved are stability in the environment, sophistication in the application methods and associated costs. The advantages include target specificity, environmental friendly nature and the lower possibility of resistance development in target pests and pathogens. Taken together, GMO-free RNAi crops may contribute immensely towards sustainable agriculture and global food security in near future.
Chapter
Full-text available
Kalapara is an Upazila of Patuakhali District in Bangladesh. The purpose of this study was to analyze the agricultural conditions and to present a comprehensive picture of the agricultural circumstances in Kalapara Upazila's five unions and eight mouzas.. This questionnaire-based study used face-to-face interviews to collect data. 64 local residents from the study area were interviewed. To analyze the collected data, Microsoft Excel and SPSS were used. Air quality, rainfall and thunder levels, water quality and source with utilisation, natural and man-made catastrophes, soil condition, agricultural chemical use, fish farming, and labor conditions were all investigated in this study. The findings reveal that specific areas' air and water quality need to be addressed, preparations for natural catastrophe must be taken, and use of toxic chemicals should be restricted. Findings and recommendations of this study might help developing agricultural sector in Kalapara. There may be some areas for further investigation in future.
Article
Full-text available
The traditional drug knowledge provides a platform to further modern research as it provides a comprehensive and multi-therapeutic view of the indigenous medicinal plants based on traditional practices. The present study aimed for exploring the flora of Indo-Gangetic plains in the context of ethnopharmacological practices by keeping in view the rich biodiversity of the region. The study comprised only significant medicinal plants in terms of their therapeutic efficacy and conservation practices adopted by local people having 114 medicinal plant species belonging to 67 families. There is ample scope for experimenting with innovative drug designing from ethnopharmacological knowledge.
Article
Full-text available
Stevia is a sweet herb of Paraguay. Since it is a non-calorie sweetener, it is an alternative source of natural sugar. Stevia (honey leaf) is Stevia rubaudiana (Bertoni)(Asteraceae: Compositae). Identified by Dr. Moises Santiago Bertoni, Director, College of Agriculture, Asunciona from jungles. Leaf is 30 times sweeter than sugar. It regulates blood pressure, skin disorders and prevents tooth decay. It is anti-bacterial and anti- viral. The leaves are calorie and carbohydrate free, hence used by diabetic patients. (calorie free bio- sweetner). Sweetness is due to Steviosides and Rebaudiosides (diterpene glucosides). As sweetening agent it is used in several countries like Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Brazil and Paraguay. The rebaudioside- A is 30 % sweeter and tastier than steviocide. The steviocides are 200- 300 times sweeter than sugar.
Article
Full-text available
Stevia rebaudiana, the sweet herb is commonly known as honey leaf in Indian market. Stevia is gaining significance in different parts of the world and is expected to develop into a major source of high potency sweetener for the growing natural food market. A thorough review has been made to visualize the contribution of different investigations on stevia. Extensive work has been done on its cultivation practices and other agro parameters have been identified for the sweetening potency. Stevia can be grown easily in pots, house gardens or as a commercial field crop. The plant is totally innocuous, posing no threat to human life and health, holding out in fact great hope of the production of a non calorie sweetener with health benefits. Published literature on the post-harvest practices of stevia leaf in India is limited. Stevia is the safest natural sweetener, and it can substitute sugar in various preparations and formulations. It has been used as a medicinal plant to treat many ailments including diabetes, high blood pressure, digestive disorders and several skin defects. The leaves contain glycosides, which taste sweet, but do not provide calories. The major glycoside is stevioside (10% of total glycoside), which accounts for its incredible sweetness.
Article
Full-text available
Recent clinical trials indicated that the intensive glycemic control do not reduce cardiovascular disease mortality among diabetic patients, challenging a significance of the strict glycemic control in diabetes management. Furthermore, retrospective analysis of the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes study demonstrated a significant association between hypoglycemia and mortality. Here, we systematically reviewed the drug-induced hypoglycemia, and also the underlying clinical factors for hypoglycemia in patients with diabetes. The sulfonylurea use is significantly associated with severe hypoglycemia in patients with type 2 diabetes. The use of biguanide (approximately 45%-76%) and thiazolidinediones (approximately 15%-34%) are also highly associated with the development of severe hypoglycemia. In patients treated with insulin, the intensified insulin therapy is more frequently associated with severe hypoglycemia than the conventional insulin therapy and continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion. Among the underlying clinical factors for development of severe hypoglycemia, low socioeconomic status, aging, longer duration of diabetes, high HbA1c and low body mass index, comorbidities are precipitating factors for severe hypoglycemia. Poor cognitive and mental functions are also associated with severe hypoglycemia.
Article
Full-text available
Stevioside is a natural acaloric stevioside being extracted from Stevia rebaudiana but 150-200 times sweeter than sucrose. In present study a comparison was made between conventional methods of extraction i.e., soxhlet extraction and cold maceration and modern method of extraction i.e., microwave assisted extraction for the rapid and efficient extraction of stevioside from Stevia rebaudiana. It was found that microwave assisted extraction gave the maximum amount of stevioside (0.7658 mg/g of dry leaf powder) while using lesser time of extraction (120 seconds) with a little amount of solvent used (10 mL/g). Another advantage of the method was the maximum quantity of stevioside was obtained from water which is an environment friendly solvent.
Article
Stevia rebaudiana is a natural herbal low-calorie sweetener of the composite family, a native of North Eastern Paraguay. The study was conducted to determine the effect of consumption of Stevia rebaudiana on selected non-insulin dependent Diabetics and Hypertensives. This sweetener has slight after taste bitterness but allows people to keep their sugar and energy intake low and yet enjoy the sweet taste of foods and beverages. Stevia leaf powder was incorporated and standardised in selected recipes. Out of the 10 standardised recipes, sweet bun and chikki were selected and fed to groups of diabetic (N=6) and hypertensive (N=8) respectively belonging to the age group of 35 – 55 years for a period of 30 days. Sweet bun had 100 percent sugar replacement where as chikki had 50% jaggery with stevia leaf powder. The results revealed that the effect of consumption of stevia products on blood sugar levels are in variance, but the mean values of serum insulin and urine sodium level increased and the mean values of blood pressure, lipid profile and weight of subjects decreased. But the results were found to be statistically non-significant. Thus, it can be concluded that stevia could be a potential hypoglycemic effect provided the study is conducted on a large sample size for an extended period of time under controlled conditions. It is also found to have anti-hypertensive effect, however long term studies on sizable sample are necessary.
Article
The leaves from Stevia rebaudiana have been used as a source for natural sweeteners for decades in several Asian countries. Stevioside, the major sweet compound from this plant, is 300 times sweeter than sucrose, but has a little bitter aftertaste. Stevia refined extracts have been used in the US since 1995 only in the dietary supplements market. In 2008, American FDA finally gave the approval for Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status to highly purified rebaudioside A. France also approved rebaudioside A for food and beverages in 2009. Most of the European Union countries are awaiting the EU approval on stevia products by 2011. Market share of stevia-derived sweetener is likely to increase as it begins to take share of both the aspartame and saccharine markets. Pharmacological studies have exposed medicinal benefits of compounds from Stevia. Findings suggest that Stevia-related compounds exert a broad spectrum of therapeutic effects on human health, including being antihypertensive, antihyperglycemic, antioxidant, effective against some viral infections, and having antiinflammatory and antitumor properties.
Article
Cancer prevention is an important problem in the field of public health. Glycyrrhizin, a natural sweetening agent, is one of the components of licorice and caffeine in coffee and tea. Glycyrrhizin and caffeine were found to inhibit tumor promotion by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) in two-stage carcinogenesis in mouse skin. Furthermore, the combined treatment of glycyrrhizin and caffeine is more effective than their single treatment on tumor promotion by TPA in mice following initiation with 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene.
Article
Stevia rebaudiana (Bert.) Bertoni is a herbaceous perennial native to the highlands of Paraguay. A number of compounds in the leaf tissue have a potential food use as low-calorie sweeteners. The purpose of this work was to determine if sufficient genetic variability was present in a landrace cultivar of stevia to allow selection of lines with agronomic and chemical properties suitable to local production conditions. Leaf yield, leaf:stem ratio and stevioside concentration were all found to be highly heritable. Leaf-yield levels were comparable to those in other stevia-producing areas. Stevioside concentration was higher, probably as a result of production under long days. These initial results also show that improvement of stevia through selection is possible and that it has potential for production in southwestern Ontario.Key words: Response to selection, low-calorie sweetener