Stevia


Stevia is a Natural Sweetener and a very good alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. It is a small green plant bearing leaves which are sweet. 

Stevia has been around for centuries, but it's only recently that it has gain much recognition and approval as a safe alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. 

Some countries have accepted it as a food additive while others consider it as a dietary supplement. Stevia basically adds a sweet taste to food and drinks like sugar does, but that's where the similarity ends.

Unlike sugar, Stevia has zero calories, zero carbohydrates and zero GI (glycemic index), and even offers great health benefits: it is anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, anti-glycemic and anti-hypertensive. It is an exceptional aid in weight loss and weight management because it contains no calories and reduces one's cravings for sweets and fatty foods. Stevia, therefore, can be used freely by people with blood sugar, blood pressure or weight problems.

Unlike artificial sweeteners, Stevia is natural and the sweet glycosides do not break down in heat which makes Stevia an excellent sweetener for cooking and baking. 


 Sweet Benefits of Stevia


Stevia is one of the most health restoring plants on earth.


Weight management: Stevia sweetness is not due to carbohydrate-based molecules but to non-caloric molecules called glycosides, so it is exceptional when trying to loose weight.

Cravings: In addition to reducing cravings for sweets, Stevia helps when trying to give up drinking or smoking.

Stevia act as general tonic which increases energy levels and mental acuity.

Stevia has a regulating effect on the pancreas and helps stabilize blood sugar levels bringing it toward a normal balance. Stevia is therefore useful to people with diabetes and hypoglycemia.

Cardiovascular: Stevia acts as a cardiovascular tonic, helping to lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. (Studies indicate that stevia does not affect normal blood pressure).

Stevia inhibits the reproduction and growth of bacteria and other infectious organisms. This may explain why users of Stevia report a lower incidence of colds and flu.

Fights Cavities: Many people report significant improvement in oral health after adding Stevia to their toothpaste or using it as a mouthwash to treat bleeding gums. 

Good Digestion: Stevia users also report improved digestion, gastrointestinal function and quicker recovery from minor illness. Stevia tea is good to sooth upset stomach.

Skin Care: Stevia is useful in healing skin problems. Concentrates may be applied as a facial mask for 45 minutes to soften and tighten skin. A drop of concentrate may be applied directly to any blemish, acne outbreak and lip or mouth sore. Reportedly, cuts and scratches heal more rapidly when stevia concentrate is applied.

Fights yeast Infections: "Sweet chrysanthemum" does not feed candida or other yeast and is anti-fungal.


 


Scientific Name: Stevia Rebaudiana, Sweet chrysanthemum leaf, Sweet leaf, sugar leaf, or honey sweet leaf.


Stevia is a small green plant that takes only 3 months to grow and it reaches 30 cm height. 

It is a genus of about 240 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical regions from South America.

Safety of Stevia


In general, Stevia is a natural herb with centuries of safe usage by people in South America. There has never been a complaint that Stevia, in any of its consumable forms, has caused any harmful side effects in the 1500 years of use in Paraguay from where the plant is native. After more than 60 years of usage in Japan, no adverse reactions or findings have been recorded against Stevia.

Stevia is being used in drinks, teas, candies, ice cream and other consumer products by companies around the world. It shows no toxicity risk and poses no threat to health. 

The debate over Stevia started in the US when the FDA banned stevia as a "Sweetener" but allowed it as "dietary supplement". Because the stevia plant itself cannot be patented it posed a challenge to the established sugar and artificial industry.

The ban was removed in 2008 when companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.developed their own derivatives which have been approved by the FDA. In the present, Stevia is approved as a "food additive" and safe for human consumption.

Stevia is found in the market in many forms:

  • Fresh Stevia leaves is its most natural, unrefined state. A leaf from stevia plant chewed is very sweet and can be used in tea but is not suitable for cooking.
  • Dried leaves are much sweeter than fresh ones. Stevia also comes as a finely green powder.
  • Stevia extract in the form of a white powder has a bitter chemical aftertaste due to being highly processed; in our opinion not a real food.
  • Liquid stevia is either powder stevia mixed with water or directly extracted with water or alcohol. It is the best for cooking.

We carry Stevia in the form of dried leaves in bags of 25                 grams.

Stevia New Life is a ColombiaExotic brand.  


                                  Add lemon and ice for a nice lemonade. 

Preparation


Add a handful of dried stevia leaves to a liter of water and leave it through the night. Remove the leaves the next morning. Use to sweeten your beverages as you normally would.

You can also boil water and add the stevia leaves for tea or tea sweetener.  

Stevia enhances flavour. Its sweetness can bring out food's flavours, like sugar does.

It is Non-fermentable, so it is not suitable for making fermented foods and drinks. 

It is Heat stable or heat resistant so it can be used for cooking.

The stevia powder is water soluble just like sugar. 

You can use Stevia in baking just like sugar but stevia does not brown in baked goods like sugar does. If you want your baked goods to brown, you would want to use half stevia and half sugar (or another sweetener like honey or maple syrup).