Stevia is a native plant in South America, discovered and used by the Guarani in Paraguay since very ancient times. Since those times, they used to recognize in it, not only its capacity as a sweetener but also its properties for health. In the native language, it was called Ka’a He’e (sweet herb)
In 1899 the Swiss scientist Moises Santiago Bertoni gets to know the plant and carries out a scientific research, which is further enriched by the contribution of the chemist Ovidio Rebaudi, who studies the principles and chemical characteristics of the plant, whereupon he manages to isolate two main active ingredients currently known as Stevioside and Rebaudioside.
From the important role and contribution of these two men became the scientific name of the plant, Stevia Rebaudiana Bertoni, a shrub from subtropical areas, which reaches 80-100 cm, with leaves of a lively green color, elliptical and toothed, ranging from 3-5 cm long and 1.5 to 2 wide. In their natural state, the leaves have a sweetening power 30 times superior of that of sugar and 300 times in concentrated extracts.
- Stevia is beneficial for hypertensive people. The Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Medical University of Taipei in Taiwan has determined that stevia acts as a hypotensor and cardiotonic, i.e., it regulates blood pressure and heartbeat. Stevia is also a vasodilator.
- Stevia is a powerful antirust about 7 times more powerful than green tea.
- Stevia is a bactericide and it is used in toothpaste and gum to prevent tooth decay for its antibiotic action against plaque.
- Stevia combats certain fungi such as Candida Albicans, which causes vaginitis
- Stevia is a mild diuretic that helps reduce uric acid levels.
- Stevia has beneficial effects on the absorption of fats it is antacid and aids digestion.
- Stevia counters fatigue and anxiety states.
- It improves resistance to colds and flu.
- It is healing and bactericidal when applied against burns, wounds, etc.
Source: Spanish Association of Stevia Rebaudiana