Questions and answers about HiStevia™ stevia:

Questions and answers about HiStevia™ stevia:

Q: What is stevia?
A: Stevia, or Stevia Rebaudiana, also known as sweet herb or honey leaf, is a small perennial shrub that belongs to the chrysanthemum family of plants. Stevia is the only known species at present which possesses an inordinate ability to sweeten. Stevia in its natural herbal form is approximately 10 to 15 times sweeter than cane sugar. Stevia in its refined form called steviosides or stevia extract powder is rated at 200 to 400 times sweeter than cane sugar.

Q: What is the difference between steviosides and rebaudiosides?
A: The stevia leaf contains glycosides, which are the sweet components of the leaf. The glycosides are known as steviosides. Usually Steviosides is consistant of 5 single compound --- rebaudioside A(RA), rebaudioside C(RC), stevioside(STV), dulcoside A(DA) , steviobioside(STVB), among these 5 sweet compounds, Rebaudiosides A are the sweetest compounds.

Q: What is the difference between stevia and other sweeteners?
A: Stevia is 100% natural. It has zero calories and is derived from the leaf of a stevia plant. It does not include any added chemicals. Further, stevia is stable at high temperatures (thus safe for cooking purposes) and has been shown in clinical trials to have many health benefits.

Q: What are the health benefits of stevia?
A: Because stevia is natural and derived from the leaf of stevia plant, it does not contain any harmful chemicals often found in artificial sweeteners. Stevia is safe for diabetics, has been shown to help prevent tooth decay, and has even been recommended by the World Health Organization for use as a treatment for hypertension. By replacing sugar with stevia, consumers could potentially decrease caloric intake, helping to reduce obesity and other associated health risks.

Q: Can Stevia replace sugar in the diet?
A: Yes. Sugar is virtually devoid of nutritional benefits and, at best, represents empty calories in the diet. At worst, it has been implicated in numerous degenerative diseases. Stevia is much sweeter than sugar and has none of sugar's unhealthy drawbacks.

Q: How sweet is Stevia?
A: The crude Stevia leaves and herbal powder (green) are reported to be 10-15 times sweeter than cange sugar. The refined extracts of Stevia called steviosides (a white powder, 80-95% steviosides) are 200-400 times sweeter than cane sugar. which is incredibly sweet and needs to be diluted to be properly used. Both products have a slight bitter aftertaste, also characteristic of licorice.

Q: Can Stevia replace artificial sweeteners in the diet?
A: Yes! Stevia offers a safe, all-natural, alternative to these "toxic time-bombs." And industrial usage in Japan, Korea, China and many other countries around the world proves that this substitution is both practical and economical.

Q: How many calories are in Stevia?
A: Virtually ZERO. And the refined Stevia extracts are considered to be non-caloric.

Q: Will Stevia raise my blood sugar levels?
A: Not at all. In fact, according to some research, it may actually lower blood sugar levels.

Q: Can I use Stevia if I am diabetic?
A: Diabetes is a medical condition which should be monitored and treated by a qualified physician or health care practitioner. However, Stevia can be a part of a healthy diet for anyone with blood sugar problems since it does not raise blood sugar levels. If in doubt, ask your doctor. However, if they do say no, ask them politely for the current research to support their opinion.

Q: Can I combine Stevia with other sweeteners?
A: Most certainly. However, sweeteners in general should be used in moderation in a balanced healthy diet. And refined and artificial sweeteners should be avoided altogether.

Q: Will Stevia harm my teeth?
A: Apparently not. Two tests conducted by Purdue University's Dental Science Research Group have concluded that Stevioside is both fluo-ride compatible and "significantly" inhibits the development of plaque, thus Stevia may actually help to prevent cavities.

Q: Can Stevia be used in cooking and baking?
A: Absolutely! Industrial research in Japan has shown that Stevia and Stevioside extracts are extremely heat stable in a variety of everyday cooking and baking situations.

Q: Does Stevia contain vitamins and minerals?
A: Raw herbal Stevia contains nearly one hundred identified phytonutrients and volatile oils, including trace amounts of Rutin (from the Callus) and B-Sitosterol (from the leaves). However, in the quantities typically consumed, the nutritive benefits will be negligible. The extracts of Stevia, being more refined, will contain far fewer of these phytonutrients and volatile oils.

Q: Why is the whole leaf powder green and the stevioside white? Do you use bleach to whiten the powder?
A: The whole leaf powder is in its natural, unprocessed state. It is just the leaves of the stevia plant ground into powder that retains the natural green color. The steviosides has gone through an extraction process to isolate the sweet glycosides of the leaves thereby making it a much sweeter product. This extraction process removes the naturally occuring chlorophyll and leaves the naturally white glycosides behind. No bleach or other chemical whiteners are used.

Q) Where is Stevia cultivated?
A) Mainly in Paraguay, Brazil, Japan and China. There are other growers scattered across the Pacific Rim. Stevia is also being cultivated in Southern Ontario and Mexico. Surprisingly, it has been successfully grown in California and the South of England as well.

Q) How has Stevia been used in food applications?
A) First, as a prepackaged replacement for sugar and artificial sweeteners. Second, it has been used in various food products, including the Japanese sugar-free versions of Wrigley's gums, Beatrice Foods yogurts and even diet Coke. It has also been used in Japanese style pickles, dried seafoods, fish meat products, vegetables and seafoods boiled down with soy sauce, confectioneries and a host of other products. Whether it will reach into food applications such as these in the U.S. market depend largely on the FDA's regulatory position and health industry efforts to re-classify Stevia as a GRAS (generally recognized as substance.

Q) Is Stevia safe?
A) In general, Stevia is an all-natural herbal product with centuries of safe usage by native Indians in Paraguay. It has been thoroughly tested in dozens of tests around the world and found to be completely non-toxic. It has also been consumed safely in massive quantities (Thousands of tonnes annually) for the past twenty years. Although one group of studies, perform 1985 through 1987, found one ofthe metabolises of steviosides, called Steviol, to be mutagenic towards a particular strain of Salmonella bacteria, there is serious doubt as to whether this study is applicable to human metabolism of Stevia. In fact, the methodology used to measure the mutagenicity in this test was flawed according to a follow-up piece of research which also seriously questioned the validity of the results. For myself, I intend to use the product with both confidence in nature and respect for the healthy moderation and balance which nature teaches us.

Q) What is the future of Stevia?
A) Very bright, as long as the gene stock of the Native Paraguay Stevia Rebaudiana species is preserved in the wild. Overharvesting and foreign transplantation has depleted this stock which contains the greatest possible gene diversity, essential to the strength and continuance of the species.