Some more info on Stevia
Stevia is an herb that is not used as a folk remedy, tonic, nor does it come with speculation of spiritual healing. It is an herb with a sweetness 10 - 15 times more than sugar in it's raw leaf form, and can reach up to 300 times sweeter than sugar when extracted into a concentrated liquid. An herb for health? Most definitely ! Especially for those who need or want to lower their sugar without chemical replacements.
It is an interesting herb to read about. It is native to the high altitudes of Paraguay and Brazil and has been used by the native people of those areas for centuries. It is also grown in the high areas of China and Japan where it is used a lot!
I was shocked to find so much documentation about this herb indicating it was dangerous and illegal, with no reasons except that it was "unapproved". All other arguing documents stated "no adverse effects" associated with this herb. I even found an order to confiscate this in all forms at that U.S. borders, but this was an old document (an import alert from 1991). In 1995, it was revised to allow stevia into the States as a supplement, but not labeled as a sweetener. Where was all this coming from? Probably the sugar and artificial sweetener companies.
At any rate, stevia is on the rise and people are taking notice and trying it. Below are some links along with a few recipes for converting from sugar to stevia.
Below follows the Stevia Pettition:
Currently used in 10 countries, including Japan, Paraguay and Brazil, stevioside is an extract from the leaves of the stevia plant. The leaves are 300 times sweeter than sugar. The leaves are known to be non-toxic and benign. The stevia is a South American shrub also grown in Asia and parts of California. Indian tribes in South American have ued stevia for centuries as a digestive aid and as a topical dressing for wound healing. Recent studies indicate that it can increase glucose tolerance and decrease blood sugar levels. Stevia gained great popularity in the 1980's in the United States. Celestial Seasonings used it as a flavoring for many of their teas. In 1986, without warning, the FDA came into their warehouse and seized their stock of stevia. No reason was given for the seizure; the company was simply told they could not use it in their teas.The extract stevioside is presumed safe, although it slightly alters the taste of food and can leave an aftertaste. In 1991, the FDA banned stevia, claiming it was
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