What is Stevia?

The Plant

Stevia PlantSo what is stevia? Stevioside is an all natural extract of the stevia rebaudiana plant that is commonly referred to as stevia. It is 300 times sweeter than sugar and contributes NO calories! It is a white or off white powder. It can be made into a liquid concentrate as we do.

It is not some laboratory developed "Frankenstein" sweetener like aspartame, saccharine, or modified sugar (like sucralose, also know as Sunette that has chlorine added to the sugar molecule).

Safety

Is stevia safe? Pure Stevioside is completely safe. It has been safely used in the USA and around the world for decades. It has been endorsed and promoted by many doctors such as Dr. Oz. It has 0 carbohydrates, 0 calories and no sugar. It is a great dietary supplement if you have high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, have a sweet tooth, are diabetic or persons with hyperglycemia, have candida, are overweight, following a low carb diet, concerned about cavities, or simply want to cut down on your sugar or artificial sweetener intake.

Many companies sell Stevioside (stevia) which contain other ingredients. Our product is 100% pure unadulterated Stevioside. Nothing else added!

Did You Know...

  • There has never been a reported adverse reaction to the use of stevioside.
  • Stevioside aids digestion by stimulating the pancreas.
  • Dr. M.S. Bertoni wrote some of the earliest articles on stevia in 1905 stating, "The principal importance of Ka he'e (stevia) is due to the possibility of substituting it for saccharine." (sic)
  • A study conducted at the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark, found that stevioside enhances insulin secretion from mouse pancreatic islets in the presence of glucose.
  • In the 1970s the Japan started using stevioside in Japanese Diet Coke. To this day... no reported health problems!
  • The first stevia crop was harvested in 1908.
  • Stevioside has been used for many years in the treatment of diabetes among Indians in Paraguay and Brazil, exhibiting a blood glucose-lowering effect.

History

Stevia was "discovered" by Spanish Conquistadors in South America in the sixteenth century. They learned about stevia from the local Guarani and Mato Grosso Indians who used stevia leaves to sweeten their medicines and teas. They called the plant CAA-HEE (Honey Leaf).

The early European settlers used stevia leaves to sweeten their teas, foods and drinks. They called it Yerba Dulce (Sweet Herb). Later the Gauchos of the region used Stevia leaves to sweeten their Mate tea.

Modern scientific interest in the Stevia plant dates to the early 1900’s. In 1899 Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni was first botanically described by the botanist M.S. Bertoni. In 1908 Rasenack reported the presence of various sweeteners in Stevia and in 1931 Briedel and Lavieille began to crystallize Stevioside an extract of the stevia leaf.

International Fame

InternationalAround 1970 Japan began to prohibit the use of artificial laboratory made chemical sweeteners, due to health concerns. Convinced of the safety of Stevia and Stevioside it approved the plant as sweeteners and flavor enhancers for food use in Japan. This move intensified the already ongoing Japanese studies of Stevioside for commercial production and use. By 1977 the Maruzen Kasei Co., Ltd. started extracting Stevioside on a commercial basis in Japan.

Stevioside has been approved and widely used in Japan for over 25 years. It is also approved and used in Brazil, Paraguay, Korea, Thailand, and China among others. It is used in modern industrial countries as a table top sweetener, in soft drinks, baked goods, pickles, fruit juices, tobacco products, confectionery uses, jams and jellies, candies, yogurts, pastries, chewing gum, sherbets, toothpaste, etc.

In fact Stevia and its extract Stevioside have reportedly captured over 50% of the Japanese market. In China it has captured from 15%-75% of various food stuffs such as baked goods, canned foods, pickles, beverages, alcohol, fish, meat, gum, and more. Major multinational food companies convinced of its safety, use Stevia extracts to sweeten foods for sale in Japan, Brazil, China, and other countries where it is approved as a table top sweetener.

1990 Purdue University Dental Science Research Group studies Stevioside for fluoride and cavity reduction. Stevioside has won special interest from diabetics, persons with hyperglycemia, overweight persons, people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and the diet conscious. Stevia and stevioside had been safely used in this country for decades. But in the 1980’s, shortly after the Monsanto owned artificial sweetener aspartame was approved for use and the trouble for stevia and stevia extract stevioside began. Out of the blue, in the late 1980’s the FDA banned Stevia and Stevioside. Even owning a plant was illegal!

In 1991 the FDA reversed itself and allows Stevia and Stevioside to be sold in the USA as dietary supplement. In 1991 after much protest, letter writing, congressional questioning, and legal challenges, the FDA finally relented and declared that stevia and stevia extract stevioside could be imported and sold in the USA........with the caveat that it was labeled and only sold as a dietary supplement, or component of a dietary supplement.

Pure unadulterated stevia is completely safe for human consumption and this has been proven by numerous studies around the world.