Vriksha nursery

Vriksha nursery is a second generation nursery based in Mumbai where we strive to change the face of urban gardening in India with over 25,000 gardens executed in Maharashtra/Goa/Gujarat. We have a team of dedicated professionals who will leave no stone unturned to give you gardens of the utmost quality. Vriksha nursery has been synonymous with innovation in our field be it set landscaping(over 15000 teleserials/movies/adfilms), temporary landscapes (over 2500 exhibitions and weddings),ikebana flower arrangements, urban farming, rooftop gardens,living walls etc.
contact us :9820704069 Email: shaan_lalwani@hotmail.com
or better still
Drop by at: 1 ganga apts ,
irla railway soc(2nd last bungalow lane opp papilon hotel )
mumbai 400056.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Natural sweetening agents:a new healthy way to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Most of us know that processed sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup or sweet ‘n low are bad for us and that sugar in general, no matter what the source, is something we should limit. Fair enough. But when we have that craving, what’s the best natural sweetener to satisfy that sweet tooth?There’s much confusion over sweeteners on the market today. What I look for in a sweetener is not whether it has calories or not, but whether it has nutrients. If I’m going to eat something sweet, I want to make sure that it’s minimally refined and that I’m getting some sort of nutritional benefit.Table sugar provides you almost nil nutritional value and adds empty calories to the plate. Recognizing this fact, more and more people are turning away from table sugar and going towards other sweeteners. At the same time, even artificial sweeteners have been found to have a number of disadvantages.These artificial sweeteners are used in abundance in almost every "diet" drink, "lite" yogurts, puddings, and ice creams, most "low-carb" products, and almost all "reduced-sugar" products. Heck, even most protein powders are loaded with artificial sweeteners too .

Splenda is probably one of the worst offenders of claiming to be "healthy" as they say that it's made from real sugar. Don't be fooled! It's still an artificial substance. What they don't tell you is that

Splenda is actually a chemically modified substance where chlorine is added to the chemical structure, making it more similar to a chlorinated pesticide than something we should be eating or drinking.
As a horticulturist iv seen sugar processing first hand of lately the rise in popularity of Stevia got me thinking....im listing some freely available plants which are as sweet as they come healthy,non fattening & absolutely safe for diabetic patients.

Perilla frutescens:

Family :lamiaceae
Origin: Himalayas, India
Other local names: chinese basil ,banjara perrilia mint.

Uses:oil is used in perfume industry& sometimes as a spice in cooking.
flowers: coloring and pickling of fruits.
medicinal value: diaphoretic,sedative, anti inflammatory,cures cough.

this plant is 350 time sweeter than sucrose and is used in japan to sweeten tobacco.The bitter after taste and low water solubility are some of the plants drawbacks.

Lippia dulcis

Family: verbenaceae.

Origin: central america

Other local names:sweet lippa, Mexican lippa

Uses:a good natural cure for cough,cold bronchitis &asthma

the plant is a fast growing cover abundant all over Maharashtra.The only issue of this plant is its bitter aftertaste due to the presence of camphor and since this plant spreads like a weed no one really like growing them.

Stevia rebaudiana:

Family: Asteraceae

Origin:South america

Other local names:stevia,honey yerba,sweet herb.

Uses:its used as a natural low cal sweetener,its used in the treatment of diabetes, obesity,and helps lower blood pressure.A slender erect plant that grows to a ht of about a ft and a half.

Glycyrrhiza Glabra:

Family: fabaceae

Origin: Mediterranean region

Other local names: locorise

Uses:its used as a natural sweetener in food and the pharmaceutical industry , diuretic, laxative, stomachic agent.its almost 100 times sweeter than sucrose has a very slow onset of taste and a long lingering after taste

Hydrangea macrophylla:

Family: saxifragaceae

Origin: Japan

Other local names: amacha

Uses: Japanese use it to make a sweet which is used in local religious ceremonies.


Family: Liliaceae

Origin:mexico(Spanish and Portuguese explorers probably brought agave plants back to Europe with them)

Uses: making of tequila,making of agave nectar.

Agave nectar: It has a low glycemic level and is a safe alternative to table sugar. Unlike the crystalline form of fructose, which is refined primarily from corn, agave syrup is fructose in its natural form. This nectar does not contain processing chemicals. Even better, because fructose is sweeter than table sugar, less is needed in your recipes. It can be most useful for people who are diabetic, have insulin resistance (Syndrome X), or are simply watching their carbohydrate intake.

Some other natural sweeteners:

1)Honey:Sweet syrupy fluid made by bees from the nectar collected from flowers and stored in nests or hives as food. It is composed of fructose and glucose
Benefits: Honey tends to be low-glycemic. You can comfortably use this to sweeten your beverages.
Concerns: Both are high-caloric and high-carbohydrate, so use sparingly.

2)Barley Malt: has a flavored sweetness somewhere between dark molasses and honey. Barley malt works well in baking and making smoothies. The bonus in this natural sweetener is that it has several vitamins and minerals.

3)Coconut Sugar: made from coconut sap, resembles cane sugar, but is very low on the glycemic index. Very healthy, coconut sugar contains sulfur, healthy micronutrients, potassium and magnesium.

Some natural sugars to avoid:
1)Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, Canderel)
3)Sucralose (Splenda, Altern)
4)Acesulfame-K (Sunette, Sweet & Safe, Sweet One)
5)Refined Sugar


  1. Very informative and useful, did not know there are so many alternatives mostly heard of Stevia and we use Jaggery at home.

    Thank You.


  2. can i get a plant of Perilla from your nursery? i live in chembur

  3. can i get a plant of Perilla from your nursery? i live in chembur

  4. can i get a plant of Perilla from your nursery? i live in chembur

  5. There is certainly a great deal to learn about this subject.
    I love all the points you have made.
    Also visit my weblog - benefits of xylitol

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  7. Thanks for informing us about splenda and other things which are used in sugar and honey. Plz tell me that what will happened if we used sugar processing chemicals in splenda and honey.
    Can we used it or not ?