Thursday, June 13, 2013

Stevia rebaudiana - a plant you should become friends with!

Stevia rebaudiana

by Madison Reed

Have you heard about the amazing sweet-leafed herb Stevia? You can find live plants at your local nursery and grow them easily outdoors, harvest the sweet leaves throughout the growing season to sweeten your drinks, sweeten muffins, fruit salads, and salad dressings, and then take the plants indoors in the winter if you live in a zone that drops below freezing. Stevia is as easy to grow as Basil. It doesn't grow well from seeds, so you should buy live plants if you want to grow it at home.

New Earth Resource Company, located in Huntington, West Virginia, USA always has fresh dried certified organic Stevia leaf, and a variety of naturally flavored and plain highly concentrated Stevia extracts and just plain Stevia dry extract powder.  They'll also ship it to you.  It's very light weight.  By all means, you should be transitioning yourselves away from white sugar and artificial sweeteners now, and using Stevia instead! The benefits to your health can be quite sweet. Here are some interesting facts that you should know, taken from Mother Earth News:

1. Researchers in Taiwan gave 106 people with high blood pressure, ages 28 to 75, either a placebo or stevia extract (250 milligrams three times a day). After three months, blood pressure in the stevia group dropped significantly, with no side effects.

2. Other Taiwan scientists gave 168 adults with high blood pressure, average age 52, either a placebo or stevioside (500 milligrams three times a day). After one week, the stevia group showed lower blood pressure, and it remained low for the two years the study lasted.

3. Danish researchers gave a dozen type-2 diabetics a test meal plus a placebo or stevioside (1 gram). Thirty minutes later, the stevioside group had significantly lower blood sugar. The researchers said stevia may be “advantageous in the treatment of type-2 diabetes.”

4. Indian researchers have discovered that stevia is rich in antioxidants, which means that it should help prevent the nation’s three top killers: heart disease, cancer and stroke. Indeed, a Chinese animal study shows that a compound in stevia, isosteviol, helps prevent brain damage from stroke.

5. An Indian animal study shows that stevia boosts immune function, particularly the ability of white blood cells to devour invading germs.


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