The best sugar substitute available. Not only does stevia contain zero sugar (in any of its forms), it is also NOT a manufactured sugar substitute such as Splenda, Equal, or Sweet n Low. It is a naturally-occurring herb that just happens to taste sweet, and can be useful for diabetics or anyone who wishes to lower their sugar intake while also satisfying their sweet tooth. It can be an acquired taste for some people, with a bitter aftertaste that goes away with continued use.
Biological Name: Stevia rebaudiana
Other Names: Stevia, Sweetleaf
Parts Used: leaf
Active Compounds: Various glycosides, particularly stevoside, give stevia its sweetness. Stevoside is somewhere between 100 to 200 times sweeter than sugar. Early reports suggested that stevia might have beneficial effects on glucose tolerance (and therefore potentially help with diabetes), although not all reports have confirmed this. Even if stevia did not have direct antidiabetic effects, its use as a sweetener could reduce intake of sugars in such patients. Other studies have shown stevia to dilate blood vessels in animals, which might help with high blood pressure. The doses used were higher than those used for sweetening purposes, and this effect has not been proven in humans.
History: The native peoples in South America used stevia primarily as a sweetener, a practice adopted by European colonists in local regions. The indigenous tribes also used stevia to treat diabetes and to prevent pregnancy. During World War II, stevia was grown in England as a sugar substitute. The greatest use of stevia today can be found in Japan.
Remedies For: Useful for those suffering from diabetes.
Description: The stevia plant originally came from the rain forests of Brazil and Paraguay. It is now grown in those areas, as well as in Japan, Korea, Thailand, and China. It is most widely used as a non-sugar sweetener in food and drink, particularly because it does not appear to have any of the side effects of sugar and is not broken down by heat.
Dosage: Less than 1 gram per day can be used effectively as a sweetener. Usually, the powdered herb is added directly to tea or to food.
Safety:Extensive reviews of human and animal data indicate stevia to be safe. Stevia accounts for nearly 40% of the sweetener market in Japan and is commonly used in various parts of South America. Therefore, it is unlikely that moderate intake of stevia is harmful.
No other information available. Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.