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Stevia - Sweet Herb

The Herbal Sugar Substitute

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Stevia

Stevia Sweet Herb Plant - Source: Reader's Digest, Magic and Medicine of Plants

  • 30 times sweeter than sugar
  • Helps to keep the body's blood sugar in balance
  • Placed directly in cuts and wounds, more rapid healing, without scarring, is observed
  • Low caloric, aids weight management
  • Improved digestion
  • Effective results applied to acne, seborrhea, dermatitis, eczema, etc.
  • Beneficial for hypoglycemics
  • Increases energy levels and mental activity
  • Reduces desire for tobacco and alcoholic beverages

FDA's Position on Stevia

In December 2008 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Stevia product rebaudioside A (rebiana) as a general purpose sweetener. Rebiana is an ingredient derived from the leaf of the stevia plant.

Stevia Zero-Calorie Products

Companies are marketing products featuring zero-calorie sweetener made from rebiana. Trademarked stevia sweetners are Truvia™ (Coca Cola and Cargill) PureVia™ (Whole Earth Sweetener Company LLC and PepsiCo).
    Sources: Marketwatch.com, npr.org

Previous FDA Reports

In 1995, the FDA revised an earlier 1991 import alert to allow Stevia and its extracts to be imported as a food supplement but not as a sweetener. Yet, it defines Stevia as an unapproved food additive, not affirmed as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) in the United States. The following is a portion of this revised alert:

If stevia is to be used in a dietary supplement for a technical effect, such as use as a sweetener or flavoring agent, and is labeled as such, it is considered an unsafe food additive. However, in the absence of labeling specifying that stevia is being or will be used for technical effect, use of stevia as a dietary ingredient in a dietary supplement is not subject to the food additive provisions of FD & C ACT.

Reader's Digest: Magic and Medicine of Plants
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