Powdered, Extracted with Alcohol, Minimum 90% Steviosides content, Extract Ratio: 15:1 (wt. by wt.), Solvent for Extracti
Stevia is an herb cultivated from the leaves of a South American evergreen shrub that was first “discovered” in Paraguay by 16th century Spanish explorers. There are more than 100 species of stevia distributed throughout the world, but only the South American species used for thousands of years in Paraguay and Brazil contain stevioside, a glycoside that is up to 300 times sweeter than cane sugar. Although the herb started slowly in the U.S., it is now found in many soft drinks, baked goods and other processed foods. Aside from the fact that a little goes a very long way, stevia does not increase blood sugar levels. It is also an alternative to aspartame and other no-calorie, artificial sweeteners.
Stevia is a member of the Asteraceae family.
Cultivated varieties of stevia can reach 3 feet in height, where as wild stevia
will usually reach around 2 feet. This spindly plant's root system has both fine
roots that spread out along the soil surface and a thicker deeper root that
burrows deep into the ground.
The plant's many-branched stems that grow from these roots are hairy, and
wand-like. Its fibrous, dark green leaves are opposite and toothed and prolific.
Despite not being an aromatic plant, when its leaves are picked and placed on
the tongue they are sweet to the taste. Dried stevia leaves are even sweeter
than their fresh counterparts.
Stevia's white flowers are tubular and bisexual.
Background:In an age where the average person's diet consists primarily of sugar, stevia is a nice supplement that is much healthier for the body. Unlike artificial sweeteners, stevia is an all natural sugar substitute. The leaf of a stevia plant is actually up to twice as sweet as real sugar. And, unlike artificial sweeteners and sugar, Add to foods and beverages to taste.
Description: Stevia is a plant that is native to Brazil and Paraguay. It is now cultivated in many Asian countries, where its use is very popular.
Safety: There is no negative safety information available for this herb. Consult your health care provider before beginning use of any herb.
History and use
The plant Stevia rebaudiana has a long history of ethnomedical use by the Guaraní, having been used extensively by them for more than 1,500 years. The leaves have been traditionally used for hundreds of years in both Brazil and Paraguay to sweeten local teas and medicines, and as a "sweet treat".
In 1899 Swiss botanist Moisés Santiago Bertoni, while conducting research in eastern Paraguay, first described the plant and the sweet taste in detail. Only limited research was conducted on the topic until in 1931 two French chemists isolated the glycosides that give stevia its sweet taste. These compounds, stevioside and rebaudioside, are 250–300 times as sweet as sucrose and are heat-stable, pH-stable, and not fermentable.
The exact structure of the aglycone and the glycoside was published in 1955.
In the early 1970s, sweeteners such as cyclamate and saccharin were suspected of being carcinogens. Consequently, Japan began cultivating stevia as an alternative. The plant's leaves, as well as the aqueous extract of the leaves and purified steviosides, were developed as sweeteners. The first commercial stevia sweetener in Japan was produced by the Japanese firm Morita Kagaku Kogyo Co., Ltd. in 1971. The Japanese have been using stevia in food products and soft drinks, (including Coca Cola), and for table use. Japan currently consumes more stevia than any other country, with stevia accounting for 40% of the sweetener market. In the mid 1980s, stevia began to become popular in U.S. natural foods and health food industries, as a non-caloric natural sweetener for teas and weight-loss blends. The makers of the synthetic sweetener NutraSweet asked the FDA to require testing of the herb. In 2008, it was deemed “No objection” by the FDA.
Today, Stevia rebaudiana is cultivated and used to sweeten food in East Asia including Japan, China (since 1984), Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia. It can also be found in Saint Kitts and Nevis, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Israel. China is the world's largest exporter of stevioside.
Stevia rebaudiana plants which are found in the wild in semiarid habitats ranging from grassland to mountain terrain, do produce seeds, but only a small percentage of the seeds germinate. Planting cloned stevia is a more effective method of reproductionon: Ethyl Carbonate 10%, Residual Solvent: Less then 0.1%, Sweetness: Compared to sugar - greater than 250 times