No calories, no carbohydrates and no
fat, diabetic and candida safe, helps prevent cavities.
Stevia is a genus of about 150 species of herbs and
shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical
and tropical South America and Central America. Used for over 1500
years by the native Indians. With its extracts having up to 300
times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has garnered attention with
the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food
alternatives. Stevia has negligible effect on blood glucose;
therefore it is attractive as a natural sweetener to diabetics and
others on carbohydrate-controlled diets.
In the early 1970s, Japan began
cultivating stevia as an alternative to artificial sweeteners such
as cyclamate, saccharin and aspartame. The plant's leaves, the
aqueous extract of the leaves, and purified steviosides are used as
sweeteners. In health conscious Japan they are widely used in food
products, soft drinks (including Coca Cola), and for table use.
Japan currently consumes more stevia than any other country; there,
stevia accounts for 40% of the sweetener market,
other countries around the world have also been using stevia as a
sugar substitute, stevia may be used in cooking and baking as a
natural sweetener (there are several good stevia recipe books
available from quality book stores), adults and children alike may
enjoy dessert recipes without risk of weight gain, tooth decay or
hyperactivity, it also does not contain the negative side effects
reported with the use of artificial sweeteners. It can also
be blended into natural toothpowder or mouthwash recipes.
By the mid-1980's, stevia was poised to debut on the American marketplace, with Celestial Seasonings and Thomas J. Lipton Tea Company eager to market herbal teas using this herb that is natural, almost non-caloric and is safe for diabetics.
Suddenly, due to an
"anonymous trade complaint" from a company that did not want
stevia made available to consumers (generally
acknowledged as coming from the makers of aspartame), the FDA
banned import of the herb into the U.S., and initiated search and
seizures (complete with armed federal marshals) in manufacturing
facilities, storage warehouses - anywhere where there was potential
distribution or use of the herb. Claiming the herb as "a non-safe
food additive" despite acknowledging it has "been used throughout
history," the FDA refused to respond to petitions filed by the
American Herbal Products and Lipton Tea Company, denying official
GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) status, even trying to
prohibit the petitions to be filed, a routine procedure that does
not require any approval.
The FDA's citing of
"studies" regarding the safety of stevia are so incomplete and
unrealistic they are deemed absurd by most standards with the
professor of one study (Professor Joseph Kuc) stating the "studies
need to be redone," conceding his findings "do not constitute an
important reason for keeping stevia off the U.S. market." The FDA
refuses to even read or acknowledge studies indicating safety and
benefits of the herb from Japan and Germany.
Yet, the FDA shows a double standard regarding the tens of thousands of consumer complaints regarding aspartame (Nutrasweet and the like), much less the reports and studies of brain tumors, headaches, blindness and seizures. The potential deadly and toxic effects of this pharmachemical far surpasses any remote possible effects of stevia in even the highest dosages.
We are pleased to let you know that as of 2008 stevia was granted GRAS status in the U.S. and as of 2012 Canada has approved stevia for use in foods and beverages.
Many stevia consumers complain about a licorice like aftertaste caused by their stevia concentrate products. This unfortunate experience can be eliminated with a little knowledge learned regarding stevia There are large differences between stevia products. First in the variety of products:
A blend of stevia concentrate and a bulking agent...quality depends on the ingredients used by the manufacturer...try to avoid those with more than two or three ingredients.
This is the whole stevia leaf ground up and has a strong aftertaste which cannot be removed...it is the most natural form of stevia with the most nutrient value however most people do not like the strong taste...it can also be acquired un-ground in a "tea" cut which is good for adding to herbal tea mixtures...
A blend of stevia concentrate and water ...some manufacturers will add other ingredients be sure to check labels...you can make your own liquid at a fraction the cost of the pre-made by simply blending concentrate with warm purified water and adding to a dropper bottle...
The quality can vary hugely and this
is where it becomes a little tricky...
Without getting to technical the basic reason is that within a stevia leaf there are four major sweetening components...one which is well known is stevioside...you will see some people boasting 80% stevioside in their product and may think this is a high quality powder but that is misleading...what you want to look for is a high content of Rebaudioside A...preferably 80% minimum...Of the four sweet components within the stevia leaf studies have proved Rebaudioside A has the sweetest , purest taste. It only makes up about 3-4% of the leaf...stevioside is approx 17% ...
Unfortunately stevioside is the most widely used in N. America because it is less expensive and more readily available. In Japan where stevia is consumed widely they use almost exclusively the Rebaudioside A leaving the more bitter stevioside to be used in pet food were the consumer (Fluffy, Fido, Spot etc) is not as concerned with aftertaste. HerbCare Stevia Supreme Concentrate has a minimum Rebaudioside A content of 80%...making it a clean, pure and incredibly sweet taste, (approx 300x the sweetness of sugar) .
When purchasing a stevia concentrate do not be fooled by claims of 80% or 90 % stevioside...to avoid disappointment in this wonderful, healthy and natural herb ask what the Rebaudioside A content is!
Our Stevia Supreme contains a
minimum of 80% Rebaudioside A content. Rebaudioside A is the
sweetest component of the stevia, only making up approximately 3%
of a stevia leaf.
HerbCare Stevia ...Simply The Best!
The statements and articles on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA, Health Canada or any other agency.
We urge you to always seek competent medical advice for all health problems.
Copyright 2003 Herbcare All Rights Reserved.