Stevia is known as a new substitute for regular table sugar but this naturally grown product has been used for over 1500 years. South America and Central America use the leaves to sweeten tea, have as a treat and also for medicinal purposes. Japan has been using stevia sweetener since 1971. The benefits of pure stevia are multifold and beginning to make an impact around the world.
By extracting the glycosides from the leaves of this plant, either powder or liquid can be used in the place of regular sugar. An excellent replacement for artificial sweeteners that can harm the body, stevia has no harmful chemicals. Pure stevia can be digested without any side effects but beware, the stevocides (extract from leaves) are 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar.
There are no calories in pure stevia which makes it a great product for those watching calories and carbohydrates. Most people do not realize just how many calories are consumed by adding table sugar to recipes. Stevia is also good for those trying to lower their blood pressure naturally. If you suffer from diabetes, this natural sugar will help to even out your blood count. Dentists that have studied stevia have found that it prevents the development of plaque, a major contributor to cavities.
The nutritional value of stevia is by far greater than sugar or artificial sweeteners. In its natural, pure state, stevia has nearly 100 different types of vitamins and minerals. These phytonutrients will decrease in value when stevia is refined but the comparison to what your body has been tolerating for decades is astounding.
The responses from pure stevia users has been very positive and offer more good news for health related issues. One lady states that by using pure stevia in the place of sugar for sweetened drinks, she has seen a significant difference in her two young children. A great help in children diagnosed with ADD was also shared but you should always check with a health professional before using exclusively for a diagnosed medical problem.
It is possible to grow your own pure stevia since this plant is a member of the Chrysanthemum family. By growing and harvesting your own crop, you will be able to dry, crush and enjoy the sweet taste of sugar while giving your system a welcome nutritional treat. These plants like warm dry air so if you live in an area that gets frequent frosts, try growing in a container inside.
Pure stevia is the recommended way to receive the greatest amount of nutritional value but extracts that are completely safe but with far less vitamins and minerals. Buying dried leaves or growing your own stevia plants will give you pure stevia at its finest. Countries such as Japan, China, Thailand, India, Portugal and Brazil have used pure stevia for over 40 years without any side effects. The more we learn about this amazing plant that has a host of benefits, the more we wonder why anyone would want to use plain sugar. Pure stevia could very well be in our future for better health.