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"When one observes the first plant, nothing particu lar about it summons the attention, but when even a small piece of the leaf is placed in the mouth, one is amazed by its sweetness. A mere fragment or leaf is enough to sweeten the mouth for an hour. "

 


These few simple words, published in 1899, opened one of the most remarkable chapters in the history of the Botanical Science. " El Caa-ehe (Eupatorium rebaudianum, species nova) "Rev. Agr., Ascunion 1:35-37, 1899 M.S. Bertoni, and introduced a potentially revolutionary plant in Paraguay known as stevia, or" honey leaf ". In South America the plant is especially known by the name yerba dulce. For centuries the Guarani Indians of Paraguay, which use the plant, call the Caa-ehe, Azuka-CAA, Kaa-he-e or Ca-a-yupe. Most of these names refer to the sweet nectar-like taste of the leaf. Stevia is referred to by the Guarani Indians added to many of their medicines and to their diets. The Guarani Indians are one of the most developed native cultures, in the field of philosophy, nutrition and medicine compared with a similar group in the world. Their roads are still vaguely understood by other people. An example of this is the use of stevia.

Despite that stevia was used for centuries by native Americans, it was only discovered in 1899 by the "civilized" man.

M.s. Bertoni (quoted above) noted that the natives their bitter drinks veraangenaamden with stevia. To Bertoni is the discovery of the new plant species attributed: Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni.

It is amazing to consider that although most of the important herbs and spices of the world known, described, classified and are scattered all over the world, one of the most beautiful plants in the world was discovered over a century ago. Experts estimate that South America is a source of dozens, perhaps hundreds of plant species with properties in such drastic as stevia, which still remain unused and by no one else recognized as by the native population.

The main impulse for the search for stevia was the discovery of Bertoni that the herb possesses an extraordinary sweetening properties. A good quality of the leaves is estimated on a fresh force that 30 times sweeter than sugar or sucrose.

The sweet components of stevia sweeteners are widely viewed as the of the future. In countries where currently artificial sweeteners on the edge of forbidden, searched hard for new, safe, non-caloric sweeteners. In other countries, where corporations hold exclusive rights to produce sweeteners, is anxiously looked at the arrival of new, safer sweeteners, over which it has no control. For these companies is the emergence of a totally natural, non patentable sweetener, the ultimate horror.

Stevioside and rebaudiosiden are the main components in the leaves of the stevia plant are found. This steviolglycosiden may be used as sweeteners.