What is Stevia?
Stevia is a widely used, very potent sweetener. It is 250-300 times sweeter than sugar, has no calories, and does
not promote tooth cavities.
Unlike sugar, stevia is helpful to body processes and can help with blood pressure, skin, circulation, diabetes, and
may even protect against infection.
Stevia delays glucose absorption from the intestine and may improve insulin sensitivity. There is also evidence that
the herb actually lowers blood-sugar levels in people with diabetes because it improves carbohydrate metabolism and increasing
Stevia also alters calcium and potassium in the arteries, which is beneficial because it can increase flow to the kidneys
This herb can also help with high blood pressure (hypertension). In one study, people who used stevia three times a day
saw an average BP reduction from 166/102 to 153/90, while no significant change was observed with those who used a placebo.
Stevia may also protect against viruses and other infections.
Stevia is Safe
In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) evaluated all recent experimental data on stevia. It concluded that stevia
is safe and may help with hypertension and type 2 diabetes. Study summaries published in the journal Phytochemistry confirmed
the safety of stevia. The article also stated that people with dietary impairments such as phenylketonuria can use the herb.
All current data indicate stevia is safe as an alternative sweetener, but those on medication, especially if diagnosed
with diabetes or hypertension, should consult with their health-care provider about possible changes to their prescriptions.
Where to find stevia
Stevia is sold in a concentrated liquid or powder form. Individual packets are also avalable online* or at health food
Genuns, JMC. Stevioside. Phytochemistry, 2003, volume 64, number 9, 913-921.
Smith, J. Stevia: a new player in the artificial sweetener game. Diabetes Health. 2006. Available at
Tomita, T., et al. “Bactericidal activity of a fermented hot-water extract from Stevia rebaudiana bertoni towards
enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli 0157:h7 and other food-borne pathogenic bacteria.” Microbiol. Immunol. 1997; 41(12):
Takahashi, K., et al. “Analysis of anti-rotavirus activity of extract from Stevia rebaudiana.” Antiviral
Res. 2001; 49(1): 15–24.