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In April 2010, steviol glycosides that are more than ninety-five per cent pure will be allowed in the European Union. It is a sweetener. There are many studies done and the substances have been approved as a sweetener.

What is Stevia anyway?

Stevia is a natural remedy that has no nasty side effects. It is a herbaceous plant that has been used for many centuries by the Indians of South America. Stevia is a herbal plant that originated in Paraguay. The Indians have been using stevia for thousands of years to sweeten their food and also their tea. At the end of the nineteenth century, the plant also became known in the West (Europe). Its quality is excellent and it is approximately thirty to fifty times sweeter than sugar. And that, of course, is quite special. The sweetness of the stevia leaf is due to the glycosides contained in the plant. These are substances with a sugar-like part. You can eat the stevia leaves dried or fresh. The plant grows up to a height of about 60 centimetres in the wild. On plantations around the world, this plant grows to a height of almost a metres. The plant can be grown on poor soil and lasts about five years. Twice a year the leaves are harvested. The roots then sprout again.

Why was Stevia not admitted?

In the year two thousand the EU did not have a license for the trade of stevia. Because someone had pretended it was a new product, there was a long investigation. However, it is an ancient plant. No research, no permit was the motto.

Is Stevia healthy?

By the ban there came a noise around Stevia of unhealthy. And that is of course a shame. However, in Japan it turned out that Stevia was fully investigated and also approved. And that is of course a victory for the Stevia. Millions of people use the substance as a sweetener. Even Coca Cola and other multinationals use it as a sweetener. No side effects have been discovered. People often discover that it is very healthy. It helps with diabetes and also hypoglycaemia. The sugar level can be regulated much better and kept lower. It should also be good for blood pressure.