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.
December 11, 2009 at 11:06 am
I purchased stevia powder several months ago, however, I don't know how to use it. When I add it to my tea, it doesn't desolve very well and leaves a slugg residue in the bottom of my cup. I like my teas sweeten a lot and sometimes I find it hard to sweeten.
Any suggesstion as to how to use the stevia powder?
December 11, 2009 at 10:14 pm
I tried adding the powder to a cup of tea once and found it doesn't dissolve much. So, I use the cut stevia leaf instead along with my other herbs before brewing. It is fabulous and a little goes a long way. As for the powder, though the cut stevia is my preference, I would suggest doing the same...add before brewing and strain it out with the rest of the herbs and/or use it in tinctures.