Stevia - The Sweet Herb

by Raymond David Salas

Stevia is a South American sweet herb, native to Paraguay and Brazil, which has been used for over 1500 years. The whole herb can be 10-25 times sweeter than table sugar. In tincture form, 2-4 drops of whole herb stevia is equal to one teaspoon of sugar. In powder form, approximately one tablespoon of whole herb stevia equals about one cup of sugar.

In the 1970’s, the Japanese created a stevia-based extract called Stevioside as an alternative to artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin and cyclamate, because of their reported health risks . Stevioside is 200-300 times sweeter than table sugar. In Asia, Stevioside enjoys more than 40% of the food sweetener market, where it is used as a table sweetener and in ice cream, bread, candies, pickles, seafood, vegetables, and soft drinks.

Stevia is also widely used in countries such as China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Germany, Malaysia, Israel, Australia, India, Italy, and South Korea. China is the largest exporter of stevia extract.

Stevia is sold in the United States as a dietary supplement, not as a sweetener.

Benefits of Stevia

In testing the whole herb, studies have found:

  • Stevia has no calories and no carbohydrates.

  • Unlike other sweeteners, stevia actually regulates blood sugar and it is safe to use even in cases of severe sugar imbalance, such as diabetes and hypoglycemia.

  • Stevia helps lower high blood pressure without affecting normal blood pressure.

  • Stevia is non-toxic, with no adverse health effects.

  • Stevia inhibits plaque, gum disease, and tooth decay.

My Experience with Stevia

Personally, I do not have a big “sweet tooth” (which automatically makes me “weird” to most others). However, I do enjoy a couple of drops of stevia in my Jason Winters tea in the morning and my green tea at night. I also add a couple of drops on my toothpaste when I brush my teeth. I love the taste, but stevia is really, really sweet (just as advertised).

The wonderful Urth Caffe, where I buy my organic coffee and tea, has stevia packets available on every table. Approximately ½ of a packet is equal to one teaspoon of sugar.

A Reiki master friend of mine actually bakes delicious stevia brownies. Mmmmmm!

If you are interested, I highly recommend giving the whole herb stevia a try. You can order it in tincture, powder, travel-size (liquid) or packet forms.

Please note: Some users have reported that stevia powder in packets may have a tendency to cake, so you might enjoy whole herb stevia more in the other forms mentioned.

If you would like to learn more, you can visit for many good articles (many written by medical doctors) on whole herb stevia.


Disclaimer: This article is intended as educational information only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The author is not engaged in rendering medical or other professional services. If expert assistance is required, please seek the services of a competent professional. You are 100% responsible for what you do (or don’t do) with it.