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09/09/2009: Earth Clinic : "Hello everyone, The up/down arrow you now see at the bottom of some posts indicates a thread. If you click on the icon, the entire thread will open in chronological order. Hopefully everyone will see this as an improvement to the Latest Posts page, but if..."
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
|Website Comments||7 YEAS|
09/09/2009: Earth Clinic : "Hello everyone,
The up/down arrow you now see at the bottom of some posts indicates a thread. If you click on the icon, the entire thread will open in chronological order. Hopefully everyone will see this as an improvement to the Latest Posts page, but if you are experiencing any problems or have a critique, we'd love to hear from you!"Replies
09/10/2009: K from Sacramento, Ca replies: "I like it!"
EC: Thanks, so glad!
08/01/2009: Earth Clinic : "We now have a Registration section on Earth Clinic! If you are a frequent user of Earth Clinic and wish to save time when replying to posts, please consider registering with EC. The link to register can be found at the very top of every page. You will need to validate your email with an authorization code that will be sent to your email address when you sign up.
Once you have an account, you will be able to change your account information (ie, screen name, city, state, password) at any time.
Should you have any problems with the registration process, or find it confusing, please let us know. Thank you!"
02/02/2009: Earth Clinic : "This week we plan on sending out another e-newsletter to our EC subscribers. In the email we are going to add all the feedback we have received lately on artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose, and also include this recent flurry of responses about dissolvable vitamin C supplements that contain aspartame.
We're also going to add the recent feedback about products that cloak MSG (thank you, Joyce!). If you've done any research on this subject lately that you wouldn't mind sharing with us, please send it along and we'll add it to the newsletter (as well as to the website).
Thanks so much!"
02/02/2009: Janie from Mattoon, Il replies: "Not sure where this might go with the mention of artificial sweetners in your newsletter but I feel that Stevia (the NEW sweetner - which has been around a loooooong time!) should be mentioned as an alternative to the artificial sweetners that are out on the market. I have been using Stevia for years (with no side effects yet at least.... that I know of!)... that I know of... that I know of .... (sorry - I couldn't resist). Anyways, I thought that this article might be interesting to your readers. Pepsi and Coke and other beverage Companies are now able to produce sodas that contain Stevia although I think Japan and other countries have been using Stevia as a sweetner in their chewing gum and drinks for years. Just thought ya might find a place for this to go under. Thanks, Janie
Studies have shown that stevia extract effectively regulates blood sugar.
Wisdom Natural Brands Announces New Sweetleaf Sweetener
Independent panel of scientists awards Wisdom Natural Brands SweetLeaf%uFFFD Brand Stevia self-affirmed GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status pursuant to federal regulations.
Stevia: Naturally Sweet
Sweetleaf SteviaPlus is 30 times sweeter than sugar.
0 glycemic index,
Questions & Answers about Stevia
%uFFFD David Richard (Excerpted from Stevia Rebaudiana: Nature's Sweet Secret, Vital Health Publishing)
Q) What is Stevia?
A) 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.
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.
Q) How much Stevia is used around the world?
A) Exact numbers are unavailable at this time. However, as an indication, Japanese consumers used the equivalent of 700 metric tonnes of Stevia leaves in 1987 alone. This number does not include other major consuming countries such as Brazil and the whole of South America; South Korea, China and the whole of the Pacific Rim; as well as Europe, Australia and North America. I would also assume that the Japanese figure has increased since 1987.
Q) What is the FDA's position on Stevia?
A) The FDA's position on Stevia is somewhat ambiguous. In 1991, citing a preliminary mutagenicity study, the FDA issued an import alert which effectively blocked the importation and sale of Stevia in this country. Ironically, this was the year that a follow-up study found flaws in the first study and seriously questioned its results.
In September of 1995, the FDA revised its import alert to allow Stevia and its extracts to be imported as a food supplement but not as a sweetener. Yet, it defines Stevia as an unapproved food additive, not affirmed as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) in the United States. The following is a portion of this revised alert:
"If Stevia is to be used in a dietary supplement for a technical effect, such as use as a sweetener or flavoring agent, and is labeled as such, it is considered an unsafe food additive. However, in the absence of labeling specifying that stevia is being or will be used for technical effect, use of stevia as a dietary ingredient in a dietary supplement is not subject to the food additive provisions of FD & C ACT."
In my opinion, this revision represents a political compromise between the artificial sweetener and sugar lobbyists and the Natural Food Industry and its representatives, as mediated by the FDA.
Q) Where is Stevia cultivated?
A) 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.
Q) How has Stevia been used in food applications?
A) First, as a prepackaged replacement for sugar and artificial sweeteners. Second, it has been used in various food products, including the Japanese sugar-free versions of Wrigley's gums, Beatrice Foods yogurts and even diet Coke. It has also been used in Japanese style pickles, dried seafoods, fish meat products, vegetables and seafoods boiled down with soy sauce, confectioneries and a host of other products. Whether it will reach into food applications such as these in the U.S. market depend largely on the FDA's regulatory position and health industry efforts to re-classify Stevia as a GRAS (generally recognized as substance.
Q) Is Stevia safe?
A) See chapter 6 for a detailed discussion. In general, Stevia is an all-natural herbal product with centuries of safe usage by native Indians in Paraguay. It has been thoroughly tested in dozens of tests around the world and found to be completely non-toxic. It has also been consumed safely in massive quantities (Thousands of tonnes annually) for the past twenty years. Although one group of studies, perform 1985 through 1987, found one ofthe metabolises of steviosides, called Steviol, to be mutagenic towards a particular strain of Salmonella bacteria, there is serious doubt as to whether this study is applicable to human metabolism of Stevia. In fact, the methodology used to measure the mutagenicity in this test was flawed according to a follow-up piece of research which also seriously questioned the validity of the results. For myself, I intend to use the product with both confidence in nature and respect for the healthy moderation and balance which nature teaches us.
Q) Can Stevia replace sugar in the diet?
A) Yes. Refined sugar is virtually devoid of nutritional benefits and, at best, represents empty calories in the diet. At worst, it has been implicated in numerous degenerative diseases. Stevia is much sweeter than sugar and has none of sugar's unhealthy drawbacks.
Q) How sweet is Stevia?
A) The crude Stevia leaves and herbal powder (green) are reported to be 10-15 times sweeter than table sugar. The refined extracts of Stevia called steviosides (a white powder, 85-95% Steviosides) claim to be 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar. My experience is that the herbal powder is very sweet while the refined extract is incredibly sweet and needs to be diluted to be properly used. Both products have a slight bitter aftertaste, also characteristic of licorice.
Q) Can Stevia replace artificial sweeteners in the diet?
A) Yes! I do not believe that humans should consume anything artificial in their diets. Stevia offers a safe, all-natural, alternative to these "toxic time-bombs." And industrial usage in Japan proves that this substitution is both practical and economical.
Q) How many calories are in Stevia?
A) Virtually none. And the refined Stevia extracts are considered to be non-caloric.
Q) Will Stevia raise my blood sugar levels?
A) Not at all. In fact, according to some research, it may actually lower blood sugar levels. However, this research has yet to be confirmed and contradictory results make any conclusions premature.
Q) Can I use Stevia if I am diabetic?
A) 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. However, if they do say no, ask them politely for the current research to support their opinion.
Q) Can I combine Stevia with other sweeteners?
A) Most certainly. However, sweeteners in general should be used in moderation in a balanced healthy diet. And refined and artificial sweeteners should be avoided altogether.
Q) Will Stevia harm my teeth?
A) Apparently not. Two tests conducted by Purdue University's Dental Science Research Group have concluded that Stevioside is both fluo-ride compatible and "significantly" inhibits the development of plaque, thus Stevia may actually help to prevent cavities.
Q) Can Stevia be used in cooking and baking?
A) Absolutely! Industrial research in Japan has shown that Stevia and Stevioside extracts are extremely heat stable in a variety of everyday cooking and baking situations.
Q) Does Stevia contain vitamins and minerals?
A) Raw herbal Stevia contains nearly one hundred identified phytonutrients and volatile oils, including trace amounts of Rutin (from the Callus) and B-Sitosterol (from the leaves). However, in the quantities typically consumed, the nutritive benefits will be negligible. The extracts of Stevia, being more refined, will contain far fewer of these phytonutrients and volatile oils.
Q) How are Stevia extracts prepared?
A) Extracts of Stevia leaves can be prepared by a number of methods some of which are patented. One researcher states: "Production of Stevioside involves water extraction from the dried leaves, followed by clarification and crystalization processes. Most commercial processes consist of water extraction, decoloration, and purification using ion-exchange resins, electrolytic techniques, or precipitating agents."
Q) Can I make my own Stevia Extract?
A) Yes. A liquid extract can be made from the whole Stevia leaves or from the green herbal Stevia powder. Simply combine a measured portion of Stevia leaves or herbal powder with pure USP grain alcohol (Brand, or Scotch will also do) and let the mixture sit for 24 hours. Filter the liquid from the leaves or powder residue and dilute to taste using pure water. Note that the alcohol content can be reduced by very slowly heating (not boiling) the extract and allowing the alcohol to evaporate off. A pure water extract can be similarly prepared, but will not extract quite as much of the sweet glycosides as will the alcohol. Either liquid extract can be cooked down and concentrated into a syrup.
Q) What is the replacement factor for Stevia herbal powder and extract in terms of common table sugar?
A) Since Stevia is 10 to 15 times sweeter than sugar, this is a fair, if approximate, replacement factor. Since the crude herb may vary in strength, some experimentation may be necessary. The high stevioside extracts are between 200-300 times sweeter than sugar and should be used sparingly. Unfortunately, FDA labelling guidelines may prevent manufacturers from providing a specific replacement factor.
Q) What cant I do with Stevia?
A) Stevia does not caramelize as sugar does. Meringues may also be difficult since Stevia does not brown or crystalize as sugar does.
Q) Will Stevia change the color of my food?
A) The green herbal powder may impart a slight amount of color to your food, depending on how much you use in your recipe. If you are concerned about color, I would suggest that you use the white powdered extract or a similar "clear" liquid extract of Stevia.
Q) Where can I buy Stevia herbal powder and extract?
A) At your local natural food store. As Stevia gains consumer acceptance, it may also begin to appear in supermarkets and grocery stores, but probably only in its refined form.
Q) What is the future of Stevia?
A) Very bright, as long as the gene stock of the Native Paraguay Stevia Rebaudiana species is preserved in the wild. Overharvesting and foreign transplantation has depleted this stock which contains the greatest possible gene diversity, essential to the strength and continuance of the species"
EC: Thank you, Janie!
09/15/2008: Earth Clinic : "We've rounded up many of the posts on Oil of Oregano and added them to this new page in the Supplements section: http://www.earthclinic.com/Supplements/oregano-oil.html
If there is a herbal supplement or vitamin you're interested in that is not on the site, just send us a note. We'll add it!"
09/08/2008: Earth Clinic : "We are going to revise our recommendations for daily use of apple cider vinegar. As you know, Earth Clinic has recommended the standard 2 teaspoons in 8 oz of water 3x a day for years now. For more severe conditions, we recommended 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of water 3x day. We are coming to believe, however, that less is more in the case of apple cider vinegar. Less vinegar, more water.
Our revision to this remedy is as follows:
2 teaspoons of organic apple cider vinegar
16 ounces of water
Sip, don't chug!
We now suggest 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in 16 ounces of water that you'll sip throughout the day, rather than drinking the whole concoction at once 3 times a day. You will be keeping your pH in a constant, alkalized state by sipping this highly diluted dosage. Usually one tall glass of the concoction is all you'll need each day.
If you drink a lot of water throughout the day, consider adding just a splash of apple cider vinegar to your glass/container each time you fill it up, rather than drinking the one, 16 oz glass of acv and water mentioned above.
For the record, we are not big fans of adding baking soda to apple cider vinegar, nor are we fans of adding any kind of sweetener to the acv/water solution. The baking soda works great for some people, but causes severe side effects in others.
Also, we know the B---- brand is the most popular apple cider vinegar on the market, but we've had just as good results using Whole Foods' organic and Trader Joe's organic apple cider vinegar.
We hope you will experience better, faster results with this revised remedy!"
08/18/2008: Earth Clinic from Atlanta, GA: " http://www.earthclinic.com/Remedies/natural_sweeteners.html
Please send us your feedback re any natural sweeteners like Stevia, Blue Agave Nectar, Xylitol and Blackstrap Molasses, including any side effects. Thanks!
Thanks to Kathy from Ozark, MO who found the best prices for Xylitol."
[YEA] 08/07/2008: Deirdre from Atlanta, GA: "Book recommendation for those of you interested in brain chemistry and neuroplasticity... It's called: The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge, M.D. This book was recommended to me by Susan Brown, a well known healer in Los Angeles. It is fantastic!
Review From Publishers Weekly:
"For years the doctrine of neuroscientists has been that the brain is a machine: break a part and you lose that function permanently. But more and more evidence is turning up to show that the brain can rewire itself, even in the face of catastrophic trauma: essentially, the functions of the brain can be strengthened just like a weak muscle. Scientists have taught a woman with damaged inner ears, who for five years had had "a sense of perpetual falling," to regain her sense of balance with a sensor on her tongue, and a stroke victim to recover the ability to walk although 97% of the nerves from the cerebral cortex to the spine were destroyed. With detailed case studies reminiscent of Oliver Sachs, combined with extensive interviews with lead researchers, Doidge, a research psychiatrist and psychoanalyst at Columbia and the University of Toronto, slowly turns everything we thought we knew about the brain upside down. He is, perhaps, overenthusiastic about the possibilities, believing that this new science can fix every neurological problem, from learning disabilities to blindness. But Doidge writes interestingly and engagingly about some of the least understood marvels of the brain. (Mar. 19)""
06/18/2008: Earth Clinic : "New page announcement: Tooth Loss Remedies
Also, we have made each page on Earth Clinic considerably shorter -- a maximum # of 25 posts per page (except for the Latest Posts and Latest Questions pages, which have 100 posts per page). Hopefully this change is helpful!"
06/03/2008: Earth Clinic : "NEW PAGE ANNOUNCEMENT:
Just finished today -- these are the tabulated results from our 21 question MRSA survey: http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/MRSA_survey_results.html."
05/25/2008: Earth Clinic : "New Remedy Announcement!
Please let us know if you have ever heard of this therapy that dates back to the late 1800s, and/or experimented with blue glass and sunlight.
BLUE GLASS AND SUNLIGHT THERAPY"
05/26/2008: Joyce from Joelton, Tn replies: "Blue Glass & sun Therapy: I'm not familiar with this particular one but I think it may be a spin off from something in one of Mary Summer Rain's books (I think the title is "Earthway" and is called color therapy. which mentions filling different colored bottles, (color depending on the problem you want to treat) sitting the bottled water in the sunlight all day and drinking it. I think she also mentioned that it would be next to impossible to commercialize because it had to be drunk immediately since the healing properties of the water didn't last long (don't remember the exact timing but think it was probably 30 minutes to l hour after preparation)."
05/25/2008: Earth Clinic : "NEW PAGE ANNOUNCEMENT:
Conquer Your Demons -- we're hoping you'll think this was a good idea for a new page and send in your success stories!"
05/12/2008: Earth Clinic : "Ted's Remedies for Asthenia -- new page!
"Asthenia... is a medical term denoting symptoms of physical weakness and loss of strength.
A condition in which the body lacks or has lost strength either as a whole or in any of its parts. General asthenia occurs in many chronic wasting diseases, such as anemia and cancer, and is probably most marked in diseases of the adrenal gland. Asthenia may be limited to certain organs or systems of organs, as in asthenopia, characterized by ready fatiguability. Asthenia is also a side effect of Ritonavir(Protease Inhibitor used in HIV treatment) and fentanyl patches (an opioid used to treat pain). The condition is also commonly seen in patients suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep disorders or chronic disorders of the heart, lungs or kidneys. Differentiating between psychogenic asthenia and true asthenia with muscular weakness is often difficult, and in time apparent psychogenic asthenia accompanying many chronic disorders is seen to progress into a primary weakness." (Wikipedia)"