Stevia (Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni) is obtained from a shrub native to Paraguay and Brazil that has been used for many years as natural sweetener. The leaves of the plant are 30 times sweeter than sugar and the extract about 200 times more.
It is widely used in Japan and the Far East as a sweetener, both in soft drinks, as in chewing gum, even to saute sauces. The Japanese have conducted many clinical studies on stevia and its extract, stevioside and although it has been shown to be harmless, it is banned in the EU, however raw powder material can be purchased in some herbalists.
The dried leaves of the stevia contain approximately 42% of water-soluble substances, it also contains proteins, fiber, iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, zinc, rutin, vitamin A and C. Several studies ensure that it is suitable for diabetics, as it regulates Blood glucose levels also show that it is an oral, digestive, diuretic, vasolidating, antibacterial plant, with beneficial effects on fat absorption and blood pressure, among other benefits.
Stevia also has skin applications to solve problems such as acne, dermatitis, eczema and even as a mask, and it is for this purpose that it can be found in Europe.
Why is it then that the European Union considers that there is not enough data to guarantee the safety of its food use?