Archive for August 20th, 2011

Stevia – Stevia rebaudiana

Stevia
Stevia

This perennial shrub can still be found growing in the wild in the Amambay and Iguacu districts in the highlands of Brazil and Paraguay. It was first seen by Spanish explorers in the 16th century being used by the native peoples of Paraguay. They used it to sweeten drinks and in their medicines.

 

The Guarani tribe of Paraguay and Brazil have used stevia for centuries to sweeten yerba mate and their medicinal teas. It was used in the treatment of heartburn and similar ailments. Modern research shows promise for the treatment of obesity, high blood pressure, and hypertension.

 

It has been used as a sugar substitute in almost any food. But the safety in young children, pregnant and nursing women has not been conclusively established. People with liver or kidney diseases should use caution in its use.

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