The Ancient Advantage
During one of my journeys, I stopped in a little village on the banks of the Parana River to replenish my supplies. While the shop keeper was gathering my order while sipping his maté through a bombilla, I asked him if he knew of the Wise Old Man for whom I was searching. He looked directly at me.
“He has not been here for a long time,” he said sadly, then his eyes opened wide and his face brightened. “But he taught our forefathers about the wonderful healing qualities of the plants and herbs that grow all around us and in the rainforest. He taught us about certain roots, leaves and barks of trees that can heal us when we are sick. There are some that give us energy and revitalize us when we are tired and just make us feel better.”
He held up his gourd and with excitement in his voice, proudly stated, “That’s why I am drinking my maté! And there are the delicious leaves of the Ka’a He’ê plant. The Wise Old Man said we should use them to sweeten our maté and he taught us to use them and other herbs as medicines.” Then in near reverence, he said quietly, “Ka’a He’ê also heals the skin, and cuts and sores, as well as healing inside the body.”
I guess I must have frowned as I asked, “How can sweet stevia leaves heal the skin?”
He looked at me somewhat incredulously and exclaimed, “You just cook the leaves in water until you get a thick dark liquid. Then you strain out the leaves and you have a sweet tasting medicine that is so very healing. You can drink a little at a time or put it on any cut or sore. Our women even smooth it over their faces. When it dries, they say they can feel their skin getting tighter. Then when they wash it off, their wrinkles are smoother and their skin is soft and pleasant to the touch.”
With my pack filled, I paid for the supplies with the local currency, called Guaranies, and began my trek back toward the rainforest. I couldn’t help but wonder just how sweet a stevia-washed face would taste to the lips. Perhaps, that’s truly nature’s own sweet kiss.
A few years later, after I had introduced stevia tea to the United States market, a woman called me and said that she just had to tell me her experience. She said, “I am a nurse, and yesterday I had to work a double shift. When I got home I was very tired and I ached everywhere. I don’t know why I thought of it, but I took 15 tea bags of your stevia tea and put them in my bath tub. I filled the tub with warm water and then got in, leaned back and enjoyed the most relaxing, sweet-smelling bath of my life. It felt so good I just didn’t want to get out. But when I did get out I felt wonderful and the aches and pains were gone. I was so relaxed, I slept like a baby.”
She said she wanted to thank me for bringing stevia into her life. I thanked her for her call. Knowledge of the wonderful world of stevia just keeps growing and growing and getting sweeter and sweeter.
As I traveled deeper into the rainforests of Paraguay, while searching for the elusive Wise Old Man, I came upon a small village. The natives were brewing a special tonic for a man who was very sick with what appeared to be the flu. They said that when villagers have colds or the flu, they always make this special tea from the leaves of three plants that grow in the rainforest. A cup or more of the brew was to be consumed every two to three hours. I was stunned when, with absolute conviction, they said the man would be well within two days. They invited me to return and see for myself. I could not accept their invitation, so they gave me some of the leaves to take with me and to try them for myself.
After trying this special tea I have not used anything for an episode of cold or flu for the last 28 years other than this ancient tonic tea that the natives respectfully referred to in their native tongue as O’ Ho’ Mguara, which, they said, means “It must go!” One of the wonderful benefits is that this tea promotes deep, restful sleep, which is required for the body to heal itself. It was one of my very early lessons about the wisdom of the ancients, which, at times, appears superior to the drugs of modern scientists, with their terrible side-effects. These incredible herbs of the Guarani have no harmful side effects.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.