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The plant is a perennial herb native to southern Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, Colombia, and Venezuela. It is commonly known as the Aztec sweet herb, bushy lippia, honey herb, or hierba dulce, used as a natural sweetener and medicinal herb in its native Mexico and parts of Central America. The Aztecs used it and introduced it to the Spanish when they arrived. A compound called Hernandulcin, whose sweetness is about 1,000 times higher than in sucrose, provides the plant’s sweet taste.The plant has low Hernandulcin production in its tissues. Despite its sweetness, it isn’t used in the natural sweetener industry due to its complexity, difficulty in chemical synthesis, and the presence of another camphor. This aromatic compound gives an unpleasant taste to the natural extract.
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Prairie View A&M University
phyla dulcis, sweet herb, bushy lippia, honey herb, Aztecs
Agricultural Education | Agricultural Science | Food Microbiology
Weerasooriya, A., Osuji, G., Carson, L., Ampim, P., Bandara, S., Obeng, E., & Woldesenbet, S. (2021). CAHS researchers receive provisional patent for potential plant sweetener. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.pvamu.edu/datasets-collection/1