Herbal Products - Stevia, Safed Musli, Chlorophytum Borivillianum, Chlorophytum Arundinaceum, Chlorophytum Tuberocum
chlorophytum borivillianum chlorophytum arundinaceum, chlorophytum tuberocum, chlorophytum malabericum, chlorophytum attenuatum, chlorophytum breviscapum, borivilianum chlorophytum

Cultivation of Medicinal Plants

Cultivation of Aromatic Plants


Stevia is an incredibly sweet herb, obtained by a natural selective breeding process of the sweetest Stevia parent plants. The sweetener, stevioside, extracted from the plants, is 300 times sweeter than sugar. The fresh leaves have a nice liquorice taste. What makes the Stevia plant so special is that it can be used to replace sugar (sucrose). Many different uses of Stevia are already well-known: as table sugar, in soft drinks, pastry, pickles, tobacco products, candy, jam, yoghurt, chewing gum, sorbets... The dried leaves of Stevia are about 40 times sweeter than sugar.

The documented properties of Stevia are antibacterial, anti fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-yeast, cardiotonic, diuretic, hypoglycemic and hence a boon to diabetic people, hypotensive, tonic, and vasodilator. Indeed, the leaves contain diterpene glucosides with a sweet taste but which are not metabolised and contain no calories. The biggest part of the sweet glucosides consists of the stevioside molecule.

Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni (Bertoni) is a perennial herbaceous plant and is part of the Asteraceae family. This family includes well-known plants such as dandelion, sunflower and chicory. The history of the culture of Stevia mainly stems from Paraguay and Brazil. Originally Stevia only grew in the northern regions of South America but its cultivation has become popular worldwide. . The plant has been known for centuries by the native Guaranay-Indians for the sweet taste of its leaves. They use it, amongst other things, to make "mate" herbal tea. Stevia is often referred to as the "sweetest plant of the world".

Jeevan Herbs & Agro Farm is one of the pioneer cultivators of Stevia in the country and is dedicated to high quality, organic cultivation of Stevia along with other medicinal plants.

Its leaves are about 5 cm long and 2 cm wide and are planted crosswise, facing each other. In the wild, the height of the plant varies from 40 to 80 cm but when cultivated, the Stevia can become 1 metre high. Stevia can be grown on relatively poor soil. The plants can be used for commercial production for 6 years, during which five times a year a harvest takes place of the part of the plant that is above the ground. The roots remain in place and so the plant regenerates again. Plants, which are 1 metre high, have a dry weight of 70 g on average. The dry weight of the leaves can vary from 15 to 35 g per plant.

Stevia Plant
Stevia Plant
A healthy Stevia Plant at Jeevan Herbs at flowering stage

Ready Stevia Plant
Ready Stevia Plant
Ready Stevia Plants in Jhaf Nursery

The principal advantages of Stevia are the following:
  1. It is a completely natural non-synthetic product; o Stevioside (the sweetener) contains absolutely no calories;
  2. The leaves can be used in their natural state;
  3. Thanks to its enormous sweetening power, only small quantities need to be used;
  4. The plant is non-toxic;
  5. The leaves as well as the pure stevioside extract can be cooked;
  6. No aftertaste or bitterness;
  7. Stable when heated up to 200 degrees;
  8. Non fermentative;
  9. Flavour enhancing;
  10. Clinically tested and frequently used by humans without negative effect;
  11. Ideal, non-addictive sweetener for children.
Cultivation Process of Stevia

Stevia Land Preperation
Stevia Land Preperation
Land Preparation
The land sites are plowed and or cultivated twice to prepare a fairly smooth, firm-planting surface.

Transplants from cuttings would be superior, however cost makes it prohibitive. Stevia must be propagated from seed in plug trays placed in a greenhouse for a period of 7 to 8 weeks.

Depending on different climatic conditions Stevia is cultivable throughout the year except for times when it is extremely hot or cold. Stevia plug plants are planted into the field on either 53 cm or 61 cm row spacing with a total plant density in the order of 100,000 plants per hectare.

Stevia Plant Nursery
Stevia Plant Nursery
The plant appears to have low nutrient requirements, however a soil test should be conducted. Jeevan Herbs and Agro Farms is committed to and encourages total organic cultivation.

Normally, the Stevia plant requires frequent, shallow irrigation. Generally, one applies irrigation if the stem tips are drooping at least one time per week.

Weed Control
This crop also requires hand hoeing and weeding.

Insect pest pressures other than cutworm are minimal. Septoria disease can cause considerable damage to the Stevia crop. Animals seem to like the sweet taste of Stevia, too.

Time of harvesting depends on land variety and growing season. Generally it can be scheduled when plants are 40-60 centimeters in height. Shorter days induce flowering. Optimum yield (biomass) and stevioside quality and quantity is best just prior to flowering. The plant will tolerate very low temperatures.

Drying of the woody stems plus the soft green leaf material is completed immediately after harvesting utilizing a drying wagon or a kiln. Depending on weather conditions and density of loading, it generally takes 24 to 48 hours to dry Stevia at 40°C to 50°C. An estimated 21,500 kg/ha of green weight is dried down to 6,000 kg/ha of dry weight.

Immediately following drying, a specially designed thresher/separator is necessary to separate dry Stevia leaves from its stem. Stem and leaf portions tend to be equally represented at 3,000 kg/ha each.

Economics of Stevia

Provisional Cost to Cultivate Stevia in One Acre of Land First Year Second Year
Green Manuring Rs. 2,000.00 Rs. --
Compost - 5 Trolleys @ Rs. 500 each Rs. 2,500.00 Rs. --
Vermicompost 1000 kgs @ Rs. 3.5 per kg Rs. 3,500.00 Rs. --
Land Preparation + Bed Raising Rs. 3,000.00 Rs. --
Drip Irrigation Rs. 30,000.00 Rs. --
Planting material 30,000 plants @ Rs. 4.00 Rs.1,20,000.00 Rs. --
Sowing Rs. 2,000.00 Rs. --
Weeding Rs. 3,000.00 Rs. 3,000.00
Irrigation & Supervision Rs. 2,500.00 Rs. 2,500.00
Harvesting & Drying Rs. 5,000.00 Rs. 5,000.00
Packing, Transportation & Miscellaneous Rs. 11,500.00 Rs. 11,500.00
Total Cost   Rs. 1,85,000.00 Rs. 22,000.00
Total Output - 2250 Kg. of Dry Leaves
@ Rs. 90.00 per Kg.
Rs. 2,02,500.00 Rs. 2,02,500.00

Net Profit

Rs. 17,500.00

Rs. 1,80,500.00

Note: Prices as per the prevailing market rates. Multiplication of plants depends on proper implementation of package of practices, proper land preparation, weed & pest management, moisture in the soil, careful harvest etc.

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