A member of the sunflower family, Stevia is a native plant originating in wet and humid highland areas in the border region of the colonial states known nowadays as “Paraguay” and “Brazil.” It has been used for over 1500 years by the Abá people, who called it ka’a he’ê (“sweet herb”), to sweeten the local yerba mate tea, as medicine, and as a “sweet treat”.
Unlike the stevia extract you find in stores, ours is unrefined, meaning that it is not clear in color, but a dark green. It contains no other additives or artificial ingredients, only the plant itself and the extraction liquid.
Have you never used stevia before? For many people, it is an acquired taste. You may find that it has a slightly bitter aftertaste, but this becomes unnoticeable with continued use. It’s worth the effort to kick sugar out of your diet, for overall improved health.
As mentioned, it is not sugar which makes stevia sweet, but glycosides such as stevioside and rebaudioside. Stevia is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, so a little bit goes a long way. The recommended amount is about 3 drops per cup of tea (or any other beverage). Considering that a standard dropper contains 30 drops (or 1 ml), and there are 30 ml per bottle, one bottle could be good for 300 cups of tea depending on how much you use.
Stevia is great for diabetics or for anyone else who wishes to reduce their sugar intake. It has zero calories, does not feed the candida fungus (unlike sugar), and has a glycemic index of zero. The best part is that it comes directly from nature, and is not composed of harmful carcinogenic compounds such as those found in artificial sweeteners.