Stevia is a herb that is native to Paraguay, South America. It was discovered by a Swiss botanist, Moises Santiago Bertoni. He and his wife had settled there. The scientific name for the plants species, “Stevia Rubaudiana” is a combination of the name him and his wife Eugenie Rossetti Reboud.
Stevia is a small shrub and a member of the Asteraceae. The leaves of the Stevia are considered to sweeter than sucrose. In the beginning the leaves were consumed dried or fresh. In time the chemist were able to isolate the glycosides from the leaves.
While there is still research continuing the initial results of stevia and health benefits are very promising. When reviewing the list it may seem that stevia is anti – almost everything –
There is evidence that stevia may stabilize blood sugar levels. This would be very helpful in the treatment and control of diabetes. It appears to increase the natural insulin production. There is hope that stevia may have some positive benefits for the health of the pancreas.
There is some evidence that stevia when consumed in a tea form is very helpful with the cleaning of the mouth.The users have reported less mouth sores, plaque growth, and better general oral health. It is also available in a mouthwash that is helpful for many. There have been positive results.
Using stevia instead of sugar has to be an improvement. There are not calories and no carbohydrates. You have to consider the sugar alcohols, but still there are less calories involved.
There are current studies suggesting that stevia may have an impact on the hypothalamus. This is the part of the brain that controls hunger. There is still much research to be done, but the hope is there.
It is not ready for prime time, but in studies done on chickens when the stevia leaf was added to the feed, it significantly increased their calcium levels.
The key to adding any kind of herb to your regiment is to let your physician know what you are doing and help monitor the progress. It is suggested that those who are breastfeeding or pregnant should definately check and the doctor before using stevia therapeutically.
Is it a miracle herb? The jury is still out and there is still much research to be done. Stevia is available in organic grocery stores and herbal food stores. You can also purchase it online. There are sweeteners in the local markets with stevia glycosides. Like most natural remedies it does wonders for some people.