Friday, April 23, 2010

A Sweet Story...!

The other day I was in Home Depot, looking at the plants. You know how it goes this time of the year, right?

While checking out the herbs and such, I was surprised to find some Stevia bedding plants. Now, it's not normal to find this at the local nursery, as it is primarily considered a "health additive" plant.

If you know anything about this plant, you know just how it can be used as a healthy alternative sweetener, as it is nearly 400 times sweeter than sugar!

The story of this marvelous plant is the same as many other plants "discovered" by modern researchers in the rain forest...even though the plant has been in use by the native people for centuries!

Here is a brief history for you.

Modern scientific interest in the Stevia plant dates to the early 1900’s. It was "discovered" by Spanish Conquistadors in South America in the sixteenth century. They learned about it from the local Guarani and Mato Grosso Indians who used its leaves to sweeten their medicines and teas. They called the plant CAA-HEE (Honey Leaf).

The early European settlers the used leaves to sweeten their teas, foods and drinks. They called it Yerba Dulce (Sweet Herb). Later the Gauchos of the region used Stevia leaves to sweeten their Mate tea.

In 1899 Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni was first botanically described by the botanist M.S. Bertoni. In 1908 Rasenack reported the presence of various sweeteners in Stevia and in 1931 Briedel and Lavieille began to crystallize Stevioside.

Around 1970 Japan began to prohibit the use of artificial sweeteners, a move that intensified the already ongoing Japanese studies of Stevioside for commercial production and use. By 1977 the Maruzen Kasei Co., Ltd. started extracting Stevioside on a commercial basis in Japan.

Stevioside has been approved and widely used in Japan for over 20 years. It is also approved and used in Brazil, Paraguay, Brazil, Korea, Israel, Thailand, and China among others. It is used in modern industrial countries as a table top sweetener, in soft drinks, baked goods, pickles, fruit juices, tobacco products, confectionery uses, jams and jellies, candies, yogurts, pastries, chewing gum, sherbets, etc.

Here in the USA in 1990 Purdue University's Dental Science Research Group had done three studies on Stevioside. The first regarding Stevioside’s compatibility with fluoride, the second with respect to Stevioside properties to inhibit plaque growth, and a third concerning Stevioside relating to reduction in cavities.

Stevioside has gained special interest to diabetics, persons with hyperglycemia and the diet conscious. Stevia had been safely used in this country for decades years, but in the 1980’s, after artificial sweeteners were approved for use the trouble began. In the late 1980’s the FDA banned it finally allowing it to be sold as a Dietary supplement in the 1991.

Well,here ya go! Another case of a natural plant that can serve us both as a food supplement and health aid being kept from us by the FDA and other agencies in order to "protect" us! I am so tired of the folks in charge completely ignoring the positive uses of natural medicines...simply because they are either being pressured by the companies that feel threatened by competition, or just plain bought off!

Another intrusion into the lives and affairs of the average order to "protect" them! Kinda gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling, doesn't it?

Yeah, right!!

I seriously think that the PTB are more and more are managing to push all the right buttons, in spite of themselves! Nearly everyone I talk to lately has just about had enough. EVERYONE...!!

If you are interested in learning more about this plant, check out this site right here that has way more about it than I could put here in this post!

Now, let's get some fresh coffee and sit in the kitchen for a bit! And before you ask, YES, I do use it in my coffee!


The cottage by the Cranelake said...

I´ve heard the name before, but really knew nothing about this plant. Thanks for the info! It´s amazing sometimes how they "protects" us :-) :-) happens over here too.
Have a great day now!

Momlady said...

Mornin' HJ...I've tried it and find it almost too sweet. It also leaves a nasty taste in my mouth much like artificial sweetners do. To each his/her own. Enjoy the coffee and Spring weather!

The Sprouting Acorn said...

Yeah, I've been doing a little reading up on this plant, seems it was those already "sweetening" the market who threw the biggest tantrum when it came to Stevia and the US markets. I would think between this plant and honey, one's sweet tooth should be covered, and in a natural way…

I just purchased two starts of this plant at a local herb farm. Can't wait for the harvest! :)

Are you using it from plant form? Or are you purchasing it through your health food store? I'd love to hear from people who are harvesting the plant and some of the methods they're using in prep and storage.

Catherine said...

Ordered 2 Stevia plants and 3 Chocolate mint plants this year. Plan on drying the leaves and mixing them to make my own no-calorie chocolate-flavored sweet tea. Yum.

The Sprouting Acorn said...

Chocolate mint was one of the things on my list, but this place didn't have it. If you don't mind saying, where did you order out of?

Sissy said...

I just last night lugged my stevia plant from the bathtub (winter quarter) to the porch. Tiny twigs survived. Its not a perrenial.

Yes, everybody who is aware are fed up completely with the PTB.

Speaking of which: just learned a bill has been signed to RFID US ALL. Now how can we escape that? Not only to get chipped but it will have the ability to push a button and delete us as useless elderly. Apparently the PTB will now really play "God"!

Seems to do no good to talk to people regarding what is being done to us daily. So many just ignore and want to stay in their complacence.

And how about the concentration camps built up all over this country? Do you know about them?
Life is very scary anymore.

Sissy said...

Stevia may easily be found at local nurseries these days; at least in my neck of the woods.

Catherine said...

@ The Sprouting Acorn
I ordered it from Jung's. 3 plants for $15.95. And it DOES smell just like a peppermint patty! Got the Stevia from Gurney's (it's not available in nurseries around here [E.KY.]).

Mechanic in Illinois said...

All I see is that we better be healthy or the government is going to exterminate us. Looks like stevia is a good start. Thanks for another great lesson.

HermitJim said...

I'm surprised that you haven't heard of it, or seen it around somewhere! However, different countries have different views of this plant!

I can only say that you must be very careful when using it, as it can be way too sweet!

Thanks for the visit today!

Hey Momlady...
It does take some practice and patience to get used to how it taste and to how sweet it is!

With some of these leaves and some honey...I should be good if sugar runs out, ya know?

Hey, thanks for coming by, my friend!

Hey Acorn...
I think you're right about big business trying to stop the use of this competing plant. However, I see that Coke and Pepsi are now trying to get the government to allow them to add it to some soft drinks.

I have the liquid form and only because it was given to me a long time ago. This stuff last forever!

I'll be drying and grinding the leaves when I get my plants!

I do appreciate you coming by today!

hey Catherine...
That chocolate mint is some good stuff! I think it's good to have a variety of mints to keep a change of taste going, ya know?

Thanks for dropping in today!

Hey Sissy...
Right you are about this becoming a very scary place! Hopefully some of us will hold vigil over the doings of big brother!

Thanks for coming by today!

HermitJim said...

Hey Mechanic...
It is totally up to each and every one of us to watch out for our own well being, and NOT let B.B. be in charge of our health issues!

I think the most important thing any of us can do for our own health is to be very aware of what's going on in D.C.

At least, as much as e are allowed to know!

Hey, buddy! Thanks for coming by today!

JoJo said...

Good Morning My Special One,
I am late today had to go for blood work that didn't happen. Boy did I need some coffee too.
Anyway this is very interesting indeed. I am not a sweetner kind of person, but all this artifical stuff is kind of scary. So why not use natures bounty.
Weather here is awful it is 47 at 10:30am brrrrrrrr, Am I really in still in Tucson?

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
I could send you some of our weather if you want! 80 degrees and misting rain! Talk about muggy!

Garden is doing good. The roses seem to really like the weather, as I have a bush that hasn't bloomed in four years...and it is completely covered with roses!

Boy, the patio sure smells good right now from all the rose bushes!

Thanks, sweetie, for coming by today!