The Holy Monk Fruit?
From China and Thailand, the literal translation for these little round green guava-like sweet fruits used for its medicinal and sweetness is Monk fruit, or luo han guo. Founded in the 1930s this fruit has been used in the Asias for combating cough, sore throats and promoting long life. It has been (more recently) praised for its sweetness, however, and commercially used as a sweetener alternative and said to be 500 times sweeter than sugar. Start looking at the ingredients of processed health food products and you will see monk fruit.
So, is monk fruit, when chemically processed to be used as a sweetener, better for the human body than say, saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, agave or any other chemically changed alternative? Studies have linked these sugar alternatives and laboratory animals to chronic disease, cancer, and other undesirable health problems. Some experts say that animals act differently to large doses of these sweeteners and that humans do not react the same, but other doctors and scientists argue the opposite. They point out the reason chronic illnesses (especially to the neurological, digestive tract, heart, and liver) are out of control is because of all these alternatives to sweeteners and also GMO (genetically modified organisms).
Sure, monk fruit is still hailed as a superfood, especially for those who use it to treat illnesses. The underlining point is that most of the people using monk fruit for healing benefits do so in an unadultered and raw way. The closest thing to that would be Monk Fruit in the Raw (mixed with dextrose) but nothing is better than the whole fruit.