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Stevia rebaudiana (Bert.)


Diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), yeast infections (Candida albicans), fungus infections, upset stomach; external for psoriasis, eczema, allergies, wrinkles


Composition :
100% Stevia rebaudiana

Part used :

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana), also known as Sweetleaf, Sugarleaf or Candy Leaf, is a perennial herb or shrub in the Daisy family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical regions from western North America to South America. It grows up to 1 meter (3ft) tall and has leaves 2 – 3 cm (0.75-1in) long.

For nearly 20 years, millions of consumers in Japan and Brazil, where Stevia is approved as a food additive, have been using Stevia extract as a safe, natural, non-caloric sweetener. Japan is the largest consumer of Stevia leaves and extracts in the world, and there it is used to sweeten everything from soy sauce to pickles, confections, and soft drinks. Even multinational giants like Coca-Cola and Beatrice Foods use Stevia extracts to sweeten foods (as a replacement for NutraSweet and saccharin) for sale in Japan, Brazil, and other countries where it is approved as a food additive.

Not so in the United States, however, where Stevia is specifically prohibited from use as a sweetener or as a food additive. Why? Many people believe that the national non-caloric sweetener giants have been successful in preventing this all-natural, inexpensive, and non-patentable sweetener from being used to replace their patented, synthetic, more expensive sweetener products.

Over 100 phytochemicals have been discovered in Stevia: it is rich in terpenes and flavonoids. The constituents responsible for stevia's sweetness were documented in 1931, when eight novel plant chemicals called glycosides were discovered and named. Of these eight glycosides, one called stevioside is considered the sweetest - and has been tested to be approximately 300 times sweeter than cane sugar (1g Stevia powder, consisting of 91% steviosidene, equals 250g refined sugar), but has no calories. Stevioside, comprising 6-18% of the Stevia leaf, is also the most prevalent glycoside in the leaf. Other sweet constituents include steviolbioside, rebausiosides A-E, and dulcoside A.

The leaves are also rich in trace elements like iron, silica, cobalt, mangane, calcium, magnesium, selenium, tin, and zinc, vitamin C, beta-carotene, niacin, thiamine and riboflavin.

In Brazil, in herbal medicine tradition, Stevia is considered to be hypoglycemic, hypotensive, diuretic, cardiotonic, and tonic. The leaf is used for diabetes, obesity, cavities, hypertension, fatigue, depression, sweet cravings, and infections.

Diabetes mellitus may be beneficially impacted by the intake of Stevia leaves; bio-active substances like beyarane, diterpene, kaurene, clerodane and labdane regulate glucose concentration in the blood.

In variuous studies about Stevia, blood sugar levels were reduced by 35% 6-8 hours after oral ingestion of a hot water extract of the leaf. In other research, Stevia has demonstrated anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-yeast activity. A water extract was shown to help prevent dental cavities by inhibiting the bacteria Streptococcus mutans that stimulates plaque formation. Additionally, a U.S. patent was filed in 1993 on a extract of Stevia that claimed it to have vasodilatory activity and deemed it effective for various skin diseases (acne, heat rash, pruritis) and diseases caused by blood circulation insufficiency.

Finally, external application of Stevia, e.g. with psoriasis and eczema is also recommended; placed on the eye area, it will actually tighten the skin.

Counter Indications: Stevia leaf has been documented to have a hypotensive, or blood pressure lowering, effect (at dosages higher than used for sweetening purposes). Persons with low blood pressure and those taking anti-hypertensive drugs should avoid using large amounts of Stevia and monitor their blood pressure levels accordingly for these possible effects.

History: For hundreds of years, indigenous peoples in Brazil and Paraguay have used the leaves of Stevia as a sweetener. The Guarani Indians of Paraguay call it kaa jheé (‚sweet herb‘) and have used it to sweeten their yerba mate tea for centuries. They have also used Stevia to sweeten other teas and foods and have used it medicinally as a cardiotonic, for obesity, hypertension, and heartburn, and to help lower uric acid levels.

Europeans first learned about stevia in the 16th century, when conquistadores sent word to Spain that the natives of South America were using the plant to sweeten herbal tea. Since then Stevia has been used widely throughout Europe and Asia. In the United States, herbalists use the leaves for diabetes, high blood pressure, infections, and as a sweetening agent (weight loss).

Note: Stevia remains stable in acid (sour) and hot beverages and keeps its sweet taste; however, it should not be boiled.


In tea, as a additive, to taste.