Stevia - the "Herbal Advantage" over sugar (and its substitutes)
Perhaps nothing better exemplifies what we mean by "Herbal Advantage" than one of our most popular products - the herb Stevia, a plant whose sweetness far exceeds that of sugar (despite having no calories) with a traditional medicinal reputation to boot.
In an age when consumers are advised to beware of the caloric and glycemic drawbacks of sugar and other "natural" sweeteners, and synthetic substitutes such as aspartame have become associated with a variety of health complaints, many are now rediscovering the advantages of Stevia prized for centuries by the native culture of Paraguay.
Stevia (short for Stevia rebuadiana Bertoni), is now grown commercially and used throughout much of the world, from its native South America to the Far East. In Japan, where Stevia and its extracts have captured more than 40 percent of the sweetener market, scientific studies have confirmed that it poses no health problems or adverse reactions. Stevia extracts have also been widely used to sweeten various food items marketed in these countries by well known international corporations.
If it has been somewhat slower to catch on in the United States, there's a reason. During the 1980s, the Food and Drug Administration, by means of an "import alert," sought to discourage the consumption of Stevia, not because of any health-related complaints, but apparently in response to a "trade complaint" filed by a large unidentified company. Since the passage of the 1994 Dietary Supplement and Education Act, however, stevia has continued to be available as a dietary supplement, only without any reference to its use as a sweetener. That's something that many consumers have since been able to discover for themselves, with a little help from the Internet and a number of informative publications offering a wealth of information on the herb's role as a safe and beneficial sweetening agent.
What many of Stevia's users may not have known, however, are the various health benefits long attributed to it, which are finally beginning to get the attention they deserve. Recent studies, for instance, suggest that stevia may help fight infections, has a regulating effect on the pancreas and may help to stabilize blood sugar levels, which would make it ideally suited for diabetics and those suffering from hypoglycemia, as well as candidiasis. Traditionally, it has also been used as a tonic for the heart, as a means of lowering hypertension and uric acid levels, and to alleviate acidity and excess gas. Many users, in fact, have come to regard it as something that helps them to maintain a "perfect health balance".
According to a recent report on Stevia, authored by two Japanese researchers, the herb possesses, among other health-enhancing attributes, "extremely strong anti-oxidizing power" and "is reported to have the power to dissolve and detoxify dioxin, nicotine, and histamine," a cause of allergies.
In essence, Stevia may be the natural solution to the many health problems that have been associated with excessive sugar consumption, especially the current prevalence of obesity and diabetes. It's a solution that was there all along, with none of the added health concerns that have been created by the development of artificial sweeteners.
The advantage of Herbal Advantage over other brands of stevia
Stevia is intensely sweet, necessitating the use of very small amounts. At Herbal Advantage, we not only grow our own Stevia, but have spent many years in developing an exclusive variety, using cross-pollination and selection techniques, that has both a better flavor profile and an enhanced sweetness. The result is Stevia that's one-and-a-half times as sweet as that grown in South America and China. We have also recently increased our production of our "Super-Sweet Stevia" to meet a growing customer demand.
At Herbal Advantage, our super sweet Stevia products include the white Stevia extract powder (1 lb = about 300 lbs sugar) and the green Stevia leaf (1 lb = about 100 lb. sugar). The green Stevia leaf is available in whole, cut, or powder forms. The white powder, which dissolves completely in hot or cold liquid, makes an ideal tabletop sweetener. The leaf forms are best for cooking or baking, and retain all the medicinal benefits of the Stevia plant. The cut variety is also highly recommended as a sweetener for teas.
The added advantages of dealing with Herbal Advantage
Having been in the business of growing herbs for decades and at our present location for more than ten years, we take pride in our specialized knowledge and the lengths to which we go to accommodate our patrons. As a result, Herbal Advantage is where you're offered the advantages of superior products and fast, effective personal service at a reasonable price. Our operating philosophy is: If our customers aren't happy, than neither are we.
If you've had enough of answering machines and impersonal, faceless computer transactions, you'll find dealing with Herbal Advantage a most refreshing change. If you're unable to find what you're looking for, you're welcome to phone or e-mail us. We promise you'll get a personal response. We also welcome your suggestions and comments. And if you're ever out this way, please feel free to stop by and visit us.
After all, we're from Missouri, which means we not only want to be shown, but want to show you what we're all about!