To eliminate sugars from our Herbal Sugar Free refresher and also keep it free from synthetic sweeteners, we use an extract of a very special herb – Stevia.
Stevia is a bushy herb with an extremely sweet flavour. We use a natural extract of Stevia in CH’I Herbal Sugar Free, and also use Stevia to assist in reducing sugars in our other drinks. The extract is 200 – 300 times sweeter than sugar, and is completely free from calories.
Also known as Sweet leaf and Sugarleaf, Stevia is a great substitute for table sugar.
Stevia (Stevia Rebaudiana) is an herb in the Chrysanthemum family which grows wild as a small shrub in parts of Paraguay and Brazil. The glycosides in its leaves, including up to 10% Stevioside, account for its incredible sweetness, making it unique among the nearly 300 species of Stevia plants.
What is the difference between Stevia and other sweeteners?
Very low Glycemic Index (actually nil as there are no carbohydrates to process)
200-400 times sweeter than sugar when refined
High purity Stevia has no lingering aftertaste
Stable at high temperature (for cooking/baking)
There are indications that Stevia (or Ca-he-he) has been used to sweeten a native beverage called mate since Pre-Columbian times. However, a Natural Scientist names Antonio Bertoni first recorded its usage by native tribes in 1887. Stevia is cultivated mainly in Paraguay, Brazil, Japan and China. There are other growers scattered across the Pacific Rim. Stevia is also being cultivated in Southern Ontario and Mexico. Surprisingly, it has been successfully grown in California and the South of England as well
Can I use Stevia if I am diabetic?
Diabetes is a medical condition which should be monitored and treated by a qualified physician or health care practitioner. However, Stevia can be a part of a healthy diet for anyone with blood sugar problems since it does not raise blood sugar levels. If in doubt, ask your doctor. Stevia is a delicious alternative to table sugar. It is often said to be up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, making it measurable by the drop or pinch, vs Tablespoon or cup.
Want to try growing and using your own?