The Pros and Cons of Stevia Sweeteners
For those looking to keep their calories and weight in check Stevia is the best available product in the market. Originating in South America, Stevia for decades has been used as a substitute for sugar in tea. Since Stevia is composed of non caloric based glycosides it does not add to your calories or weight unlike sugar or other sweeteners which are carbohydrate based. Stevia these days is also finding use for its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-hypertensive qualities. Though Stevia has its advantages many physicians disapprove of prolonged usage of Stevia.
Blood Pressure & Stomach Problems
Stevia helps in reducing blood pressure hence for those who want to keep their weight in check and also lower their elevated blood pressure, Stevia can literally allow them to keep their cake and eat it too. Stevia also helps improving digestion and relieve minor stomach ailments like acidity and gastric.
Stevia is known to interact adversely with the medications for elevated blood pressure hence individuals on blood pressure medications are susceptible to sudden drops in blood pressure causing hypotension. Hypotension occurs almost immediately after the consumption of Stevia resulting in breathlessness, dizziness, weakness and fatigue.
Stevia though improves digestion; it initially causes nausea and bloating. These symptoms though reduce with time discontinuation of Stevia is suggested if the condition persists or worsens.
Stevia has properties that help in the reduction of sugar levels in the blood. Hence it is widely used by diabetic patients across the world as a safe sugar substitute.
Stevia reacts with the diabetes medications to cause sudden drops in sugar levels in the blood leading to hypoglycemia. Hence individuals on diabetes medications are generally advised to avoid the use of Stevia. It is also known to impair kidney function while causing problems in urinary flow and in the emission of sodium. Hence Stevia is not recommended for use by pregnant or breast-feeding women.
Stevia is many times sweeter than sugar and only needs a tiny amount for sweet results in recipes. Though it has a distinctive taste it is easy to adapt to.
Certain research about Stevia has thrown up reports suggesting that it might act as a contraceptive inhibiting conceiving. This contraceptive effect of Stevia was observed in both men and women. Studies have also shown the conversion of Stevia into a mutagenic compound that can cause cancer.
Skin and Hair
The concentrate of Stevia when mixed with regular shampoo can treat dandruff, dry scalp and thinning hair. It is also used to treat skin infections like itching, eczema, acne, dermatitis and chapped lips. Stevia concentrate is also used for smoothening out of wrinkles, blemishes, age lines and other effects of ageing on the human skin.
Stevia belongs to the daisy family and cause severe allergic reactions in anyone who has known allergies to daisies, chrysanthemums or marigolds. The allergic reaction causes wheezing, sneezing, headaches and itching after the consumption of Stevia.