Facts You Didn’t Know about Stevia
Over in Paraguay and North America, there is a plant that grows wild. Known as the Stevia plant. There are many different varieties of this plant or species. Variants as they are sometimes referred to. It is wild and it can grow freely and rapidly. A natural resource from the earth.
When the natives/residents of the lands discovered the plant, they realized that it had its uses. This was many many years ago. Like a lot of remote places. The fruits of the lands were used to survive. Whether it be for growing food or grazing livestock. The elements dictating survival of the fittest.
This particular plant has done just that. It has obviously survived for a reason. That reason being for us humans.
After one particular native American was brave enough to taste this plant in its natural form. He discovered that it had a very sweet and pleasing taste to it. He took some home for his wife to cook. Boiling the leaves with other food sources was popular and so was crushing and grinding the leaves to make a powdery substance that could be sprinkled over the meal.
A must to sweeten the flavor of tea as well.
It started being used on a regular basis. The natives tending to this plant as if their own. Taking the roots and planting them on their own farmlands.
Stevia then became more popular with the native Americans and Paraguayans. The cultivation then widened.
Word got out about this overseas and other people started to gain interest.
Is Stevia Safe?
The interest became business. There was a lot of skepticism at first with this new plant.
Was it poisonous? Now hundred if not thousands of native Americans cannot be wrong. It wasn’t poisonous. However, like any plant or new idea. It had to be investigated. Especially when there are concerns with the sale of consumption to the mass population.
The scientists went over to take a more in-depth look at this new plant. Intrigued by the quality of the taste that had been described. Liaising with the farmers and officials.
Studies were carried out on the plant and there was no accurate conclusion to determine harm or poison. With the two hundred and forty different species that are known, Stervia Rebaudiana was noted for its Steviol glyceride. The sweet compound. Satisfied with this, business started to flourish. It was taken back to the mainland.
The species of plant that was known as the sweetest was picked for human consumption. Known as Rebaudiana Bertoni or Stevia which is its common name. Now harvested in other countries with similar environmental conditions. Manipulating the climate in order for the plant to grow as natural as possible. (Also still widely grown in its originating country.)
The industry began. As it was natural in taste, and had no added chemicals, it was recognised as a herb. A remedy as well for people who suffer from certain ailments that can cause long term illnesses.
The term sweetener, derived from its taste. Is now what we see as a replacement for sugar. Which is made from the sugar cane. Brilliant news as Stervia doesn’t contain the calories and glucose that sugar does. It was found to be better for us.
- Grown with us in mind
The ideal use of the leaves were taken to the next level and manufactured into larger quantities. The crushing of the leaves to make the powder became the sugar substitute and the boiling of the leaves to make the oils became an additional food additive. It is widely sold in packets and bottles for this very reason today.
Some countries still have skepticism and have ensured caution is aware. Possibly not poisonous but could have indications of cancerous growth within the human body as the plant was found to contain carcinogen. A hormone in the compound that is mutigen. It can manipulate and reproduce cells. Any form of reproduction of potential harmful cells is recognized as hazardous to human life. There was a call for more research to be done. A second opinion was needed. In 2008, it was finally approved by the FDA after more extensive research and case studies. The legal level of intake was announced and now mentioned as per law abiding standards on the packaging.
Stervia as a substitute for sugar is being more and more commonly used in prepared over the counter meals. You can buy it pure in small amounts or in quantity. Depending on your needs.
The sweetener itself has more flavor than sugar and is healthier as well. And what with it being used for more than fifteen hundred years, it is a good natural resource.
Being as Stervia or Rebaudiana Bertoni is organic or a natural resource, it became a must in the cupboards for anyone who prefers natural substance rather than chemical. There was no need to add anything to the actual leaves themselves once ground into powder except the packaging. Any additive would be for color but that is optional.
Since the nineteen seventies Stervia has been used in Japan for the coca cola drink as the other sweeteners used such as cyclamate and saccharin were found to have hyper active elements or prone to giving us high blood pressure. The stevioside from the Stervia plant had the opposite reaction and was deemed more safe. The population’s reaction to this was greatly appreciated for health reasons. So it has actually turned a few coins as well as a few heads. It is starting to take over.
Like most plants that are grown in the wild, there can be ways to manipulate their environment and grow them in your own backyard or even down the allotment. People have been doing the same with potatoes and other vegetable and herbs for years as with the native americans and are becoming more popular, especially as they can be quite expensive in shops and online. The conditions need to be extremely hot as the Rebaudiana plant does originate from a hot climate. A green house is in order. The larger companies use this method and then once harvested they are taken to the next stage in the development of extracting the compounds and drying them into crystal form.
You don’t need to do this yourself, it is more for mass production of sales purposes. You can use it in its natural form. Make sure that you only grow the Rebaudiana species of the plant though, otherwise you could end up with a very bitter taste in your tea. Grind the leaves like you do with any other herb and use to sweeten your drink or food.
Very simple, quick, natural and easy.
Most people like the convenience of it being preprepared so it is available to buy. Just pop it in your cupboard after your regular routine shop. There are also many places where you can order it online.
The thought that always comes to mind in adults is, the safety of their children. Especially with the extensive research done and the warnings about how much to consume. So the product Servia sweetener is still questionable. Yes it is harmless, yes you need to prepare it properly and use as per directions of use.
Most plants you will find have the same compound or similar to mutagenic. It is part of the genetic makeup of the plant itself, as it reproduces its own cells to form its natural substance. The replication process as it grows and survives. Very similar to human beings as we all have cells that reproduce and mutate, mature over time.
The understanding of this is the key to the understanding of what is deemed safe.
As a natural grown herb. It has these qualities. It has defense mechanisms, It is knowing how to manipulate and stimulate any growth that maintains safe and long lasting life. The herb itself does this well on its own. A natural product for a child to use and less harmful than others sweeteners in the market place. Pure. The scientific study into diabetes can tell you this. Sugar is also known to be addictive. Stervia is not.
- The fact that it has been proven to not cause hyperactivity and is replacing other sweetener substitutes tells us that is good for us.
- The lack of glucose is eliminating the threat of decay.
- Get rid of weight issues unlike sugar and other products.
- Non addictive
Best practice if you are concerned about the above is to research before you start using Stervia. Whether it be for your morning tea or to add on your child’s breakfast cereal. It is a natural and easy way to maintain health and stability. It is good both for children and adults.
As the plant or herb as it is also known is used in more and more food products, bi products and additives. More research will inevitably be done as the reaction to other chemicals might start any form of chain reaction in the mutagenic compound. The governing bodies will keep an eye on this and will adhere to any given issues, so rest assured.
The mention in certain areas of a synthetic version may become available on the market. With this in mind. Please refer to the above mentioned paragraphs on the stability of the plant itself. The natural form is the best form, any cheaper variations for purposes of marketing may be harmful.
If the Rebaudiana Bertoni plant has been growing and surviving for as long as it has, there is no reason to copy it. There are many other species and some have not been discovered or properly evaluated yet. There are more and more chances of organic realism of food herbal remedies.
The Stervia sweetener is an additive and a remedy itself. Tried, tested and proven.
Remember that stevia is a natural product and as such, it has a shelf life. Many of the store-bought products will have long life and the expiration date will be listed on the packaging. If you store it in a cool, dry place, most versions of stevia will last up to six months before going bad. Expired stevia has a horrible aftertaste which is much stronger than the expected taste of liquorice, but it won’t do you any harm so don’t worry about any potential effects on your health.