Stevia is naturally 30 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. It is an alternative to artificial sweeteners with no added calories, no side effects, and very little aftertaste. Stevia is a widely available tabletop sweetener in Asian countries. It has been used to treat digestion, liver, and intestinal problems.
Stevia leaves have been used for 1500 years by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay as a soothing tonic for the stomach and as a healing concentrate when cooked in water. It was first discovered and introduced to Europe in 1899 by M. S. Bertoni. Since then, hundreds of scientific tests have been performed on these sweet leaves, which have been found to contain, among other elements, Vitamin C, calcium, beta-carotene, chromium, fiber, iron, magnesium, niacin, potassium, protein, and silicon. It is the intensely sweet glycosides, referred to as steviosides (produced within the leaves), which make stevia so sweet. Research has shown that the body does not digest or metabolize these intensely sweet glycosides. They are not converted into glucose in the body and, therefore have a glycemic index of 0. This makes stevia a most valuable sweetening source for those with sugar restrictions, such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, or weight control.
June 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm
I just received my first package of stevia leaves and brewed a cup of peach rooibus tea and included stevia leaves. The result was sweet and delicious! I am very happy with what I received and how quickly I received it! Does anyone know if you can put these leaves into a smoothie to make it sweet - or will it leave hard little leaves in my smoothie drink?
August 3, 2012 at 12:51 pm
I would recommend using powdered stevia, rather than cut leaves, in smoothies. Another good option is to brew some leaves as tea and use the sweetened water as liquid in the smoothie. The result may have a less strongly herbal aftertaste than if using powder.
Posted by Wanda on 16th Mar 2013
I've been using the cut leaf stevia for probably 10 years or more. I brew it with my tea bags for naturally sweet tea and I love it. I had previously bought it from another source for twice the price I pay here. Love the product and I'm very glad I found More Than Alive. (I also like that they included an witnessing tract with my order.) I will continue to order my stevia from them as long as I can.