Table of contents:
- Features of stevia
- Growing stevia
- Reproduction and planting of stevia
- The healing properties of stevia
- Healing infusion of stevia
Video: Stevia - Both Sweetness And A Healer
Features of stevia
For the first time I got acquainted with this unusual plant at the dacha of Vladimir Nikolaevich Silnov. He took me around his plot, showing me his rich economy - beds, flower beds, an apiary, greenhouses.
He had a lot of wonders due to luck. And now, at the southern wall of one of the greenhouses, I saw several pots with plants that slightly resembled mint, but their carved leaves were bright green and more juicy. Vladimir Nikolaevich explained that this is the famous stevia, which is famous for its sweetness, ten times higher than the sweetness of sugar.
Plant nurseries Stores of goods for summer cottages Landscape design studios
I became interested in this plant and tried to find out as much as possible about it.
For a long time, stevia remained a wonder for most of the inhabitants of Russia. And this is understandable - it comes from South America, or rather, it grows in natural conditions in the warm and humid subtropical climate of Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina. There stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), or honey grass, as the locals call it - the Indians - is a perennial shrub up to 1 meter high. Since stevia for its normal growing season requires temperatures ranging from 15 to 30 ° C, it is clear that in the conditions of our country it is rather difficult to provide such conditions year-round.
But, as it turned out, interest in her was still shown. N. I. Vavilov sent stevia seeds to VIR from his trip to South America. However, they did not ascend. As modern experience has shown, this is generally characteristic of the seeds of this plant - low germination. Recently, a woman dacha complained to me that out of ten purchased and sown stevia seeds, only one has sprouted from her.
However, the fame of this super-sweet plant prompted Soviet scientists to experiment on growing stevia. It, by decision of the government, began to acclimatize in Ukraine, and after the collapse of the USSR, experiments continued in the Voronezh region.
Kittens for sale Puppies for sale Horses for sale
The most enthusiastic people - gardeners who are always happy to try any new product - have become interested in stevia. They began to grow it in different parts of the country. Moreover, there is a lot of information about the amazing healing properties of this honey plant.
It turned out that its leaves contain many amino acids, vitamins, microelements. As a result, it has a beneficial effect on various human organs, strengthens the immune system.
You can grow stevia outdoors or in pots. On the beds, it can develop normally because of its temperature preferences, perhaps only in the southern regions of Russia and then only in an annual culture. In the Middle Lane and here, in the North-West, keen gardeners and summer residents grow stevia in pots - in the summer in greenhouses, in the winter - on the windowsills. You can just plant the grown seedlings in a greenhouse, but stevia cannot overwinter in our climate, which means that you will need to transfer it to the cellar for the winter or transplant it into a pot and place it on the windowsill.
Reproduction and planting of stevia
Reproduction takes place using seeds or cuttings. Since cuttings can be taken from a plant, and you do not always have it, you still have to start with seeds. They are very small in stevia. Therefore, they need to be sown in pots (drainage is required in a pot) in the same way as flower crops with small seeds are usually sown on seedlings - spread over the soil surface, pressing a little, then gently water and cover the pot with glass or film. Probably those gardeners who did not sprout stevia sowed the seeds too deep.
And the care for the seedlings on the windowsills is the same. They require regular watering (but not overflowing). Experienced gardeners who have already grown stevia recommend filling the pots with soil that is half peat compost and equal parts (1/4 the volume) of garden soil and coarse sand. They also advise to fill the pot with this soil, first up to half, and then, as the plant grows, add earth.
The soil must be constantly moist. And, which is very important, the temperature during cultivation is needed in the range from 22 ° C to 28 ° C. Since this subtropical plant, in addition to high temperature, also needs high humidity - up to 80%, the first time, while the seedlings are small, you can keep it under a transparent bag, maintaining a humid microclimate, and when it grows up, you need to humidify the air with a spray.
In greenhouses, when it gets warm, stevia is placed on the south side to provide plenty of light and warmth. True, this has one drawback: stevia is a short-day plant, with a long daylight hours, as in the North-West, it stretches and does not bloom. But, as studies have shown by scientists, the highest sweetness content in stevia occurs precisely during flowering. The sweetness of this plant also depends on temperature and light - the higher the better. And if you want to achieve flowering stevia, you have to shade it.
To get a bushy plant in a pot, you will have to pinch the stevia. Otherwise, it will drive out a long, up to 80 cm, stem, on which there will be few leaves, for which it is grown. Therefore, when the stevia plant grows to a height of 20 cm, you need to pinch its stem.
To do this, they retreat from the top by 4-5 cm and pinch the internodes in the middle. As a result, lateral shoots will go from the dormant buds. Then they will also need to be pinched to get a lush bush with numerous leaves. And the cut off top can be rooted like a cutting and then a new stevia plant can be obtained.
When keeping stevia in pots or growing in beds, be sure to maintain constant soil moisture, and spray the plant with a sprayer. Need weeding from weeds and top dressing, for example, with a solution of fresh mullein.
For the winter, the pots or one pot can be placed on the windowsill, or, having cut off the stems at a height of 5-10 cm, placed in a cool basement or cellar, and returned to the windowsill in spring to get cuttings for propagation from the plant that has started growing.
The healing properties of stevia
Gardeners and florists who grow stevia in greenhouses or on windowsills can tear off individual leaves all summer long and use them to sweeten teas, drinks and for medicinal purposes. You can also pick off all the leaves from the cut bushes, dry them and chop them.
You will get a green powder that will do the same. Those who do not grow this plant can look for stevia extract sugar substitutes in pharmacies and supermarkets. So did I. Alas, the stevia packaging turned out to be imported - made in Germany. Maybe one day our enterprises will start producing such tablets and other preparations from stevia.
In the beginning, Europeans appreciated stevia as a sweetener. Indeed, it is a good sweetener, and research by scientists has shown that it is a non-carbohydrate sweetener, which means it has no calories, it can be used for diabetics, as well as for those who are struggling with obesity and overweight, as it regulates blood sugar levels. helps to reduce harmful cholesterol. Stevia leaves are used for dermatitis, eczema, cuts, burns. It strengthens the cardiovascular system, is useful for the digestive system, has a beneficial effect on the liver and gallbladder, and helps to strengthen the teeth and gums.
And now the simplest way to prepare a healing infusion, which helps with many diseases or exacerbations.
Healing infusion of stevia
Take one teaspoon of dry stevia leaves powder, place it in a thermos or some container and pour a glass of boiling water over it. Keep in a thermos or in a container on a water bath for 20 minutes. Then you need to strain the resulting sweet infusion. It should be drunk with stomach diseases, obesity.
This infusion can also be used to treat non-healing wounds (apply cotton wool or gauze soaked in infusion to wounds). You can also use the infusion for rinsing the mouth and throat with gingivitis and tonsillitis.