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Stevia: Its Health Benefits, Applications, Side Effects and U.S. Political Implications

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Stevia, the new kid on the block for naturally safe sweetener alternatives. Learn of it's health benefits, side effects, application and yes, even political implications of a corrupt food industry working with world governments.

Political implications? What’s that got to do with Stevia? Well, unfortunately for consumers a lot but first a little behind the scenes look at the little green stevia plant and it’s health benefits, possibile side effects and commercialization which is where the U.S. political implications become tainted it seems.

Background Information:

Native to both subtropical and tropical North and South America, NativeStevia is one of about 240 herb and shrub species belonging to the sunflower family, Asteraceae. Botanically known by the name of Stevia Rebaudians is more commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or Stevia. (1)         

Used primarily as a sweetener and sugar alternative it possesses a licorice-like aftertaste and is of a longer duration taste onset than that of sugar. It is claimed that the leaves have from 30 to 45 times the sweetness found in ordinary table sugar.

The leaves which can be eaten fresh may be used in teas and foods.

Its Applications:

The applications of Stevia, as are health benefits, are almost infinite as God intended the plant to be and a more detailed breakdown of its applications is warranted: used in food products, the cosmetics industry, drug pharmaceuticals and medical applications, the only factor which holds Stevia from replacing sugar completely as a sweeterner are legal restraints put on it by the political and commercial interests of international governments -- beginning with the U.$. (2)

Stevia Food Benefits:

* Enhances taste, flavor and smells

* It’s a good cooking product due to being heat stable at high temperatures

* It has increased shelf life due to a naturally occurring anti-bacterial effect

 Stevia Cosmetic Benefits: Aids In Skin Disorders

* Has antioxidant properties

* Helps to smooth out wrinkles, heal skin blemishes, acne

* Tightens the skin like a facial mask while hydrating is 3 times better than glycerin

* Enhances fragrances and promotes both healthy hair and scalps

 Popular Food Products That Can Be Enhanced Include:

* Jams, sauces and pickles, chewing gum, soft drinks, fruit drinks and fruit juices

* As a sweetener for tea, coffee and other beverages

* Ice cream, yogurts, sherbets, pastries, pies, baking, candies,confectioneries

* Seafood and vegetables

Stevia Use in Dental Products:

* Toothpaste, dental floss flavor, mouthwash, flavored toothpicks

* Breath mints, sprayed breath freshener

Health Benefits:

* Stevia helps to lower calories consumed

* A significantly lower refined carbohydrate intake

* Consuming fewer calories

* Lower glycemic index count

 Stevia Use for Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Industries:

* Stevia is non-fermenting

* Safe and healthy enough to be used as a component in medicines

* A significantly lower refined carbohydrate intake

* Fewer calories

* Better taste

* Lower Glycemic index

* Used in treatment for psoriasis, seborrhea and dermatitis

* Vitamin sprays and children’s vitamins

* Vitamin drinks, bars, cookies and enriched water

Side Effects:

Many countries have not yet approved Stevia or have only approved it as a dietary supplement. Yet the health benefits far outweigh the negative side effects if any. (3)

Most negative side effects have resulted from an inconclusive study which was made on laboratory rats which showed hardly noticeable effects to toxicity.  The manner in which the studies were made is what was objectionable but not because any negative side effects were detected: the dosage given to the rats was way too high. To make the study comparable a human being would have had to have eaten half his body weight in Stevia leaves on a daily basis.  If the daily consumption of the Stevia leaves were calculated then even white table sugar would have to be considered a danger to people.

All in all, Stevia is one plant which is abundantly blessed with its modern day applications and health benefits. The side effects are almost non-existent. However, its political implications are far reaching and revealing of a very corrupt food industry with the U.S. Federal government acting as an accomplice in many cases.

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Sources:

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevia

(2) http://www.steviana.com/en/applications.html

(3) http://herbs.lovetoknow.com/search?q=stevia&no-cache=&search=Search

Written by Beverly Anne Sanchez, April 5, 2011

2 comments

Beverly Anne Sanchez
0
Posted on Apr 6, 2011
Ron Siojo
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Posted on Apr 6, 2011

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Beverly Anne Sanchez

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