Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is a plant who significant, because of high content of sweet glycosides. The origin is located in the Paraguay, and it is grown in South and Central America, Israel, Thailand, Japan, China and Australia.
The leaves of stevia for hundreds of years have traditionally been used by local residents of Paraguay and Brazil to sweeten their own teas, as a remedy or as a sweet meal, which was 25 to 30 times as sweeter than sugar obtained from sugarcane.
Stevia firstly banned and then approved in the year 2008, from the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with generally recognized as safe (GRAS) status. It is used in food and drink industries, because can replace artificial sweeteners. However, the legal status of stevia as a food additive or dietary supplement varies from country to country.
For example In the United States, high-purity stevia glycoside extracts is have (GRAS) status and allowed as ingredients in food products, but stevia leaf and crude extracts do not have (GRAS) or (FDA) approval for use in food. As well, stevia consumption is not recommended for women who are breastfeeding, as the sweetener is not currently approved for infant consumption.
In the past 20 years, the stevia extract it is used, by millions of people in China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, India, Canada, Australia, Russia, Thailand, United States, Germany and many other countries.
The European Union approved stevia additives in 2011.In Japan stevia replaces chemical and artificial sweeteners that have been banned from the government since the 1970s.
This miraculous herb, in addition to its sweetening and nutritional properties, has been used for medical purposes for more than 1500 years.
It has been successfully used as an alternative medicine in the treatment of diabetes(because the glycemic index is zero), high blood pressure, digestive problems, gingivitis and caries, acne and skin problems, like antioxidant, cardiotonic, and as a weight loss aid. It contains proteins, fiber, carbohydrates, iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, tannins, vitamin A, vitamin C, vegetable oil which containing 53 phytonutrients with high nutritional value.
However, in some cases stevia should not be used by people, who taking certain drugs at the same time, like lithium or drugs for treat diabetes and blood pressure. If, shortly after eating stevia you have symptoms of an allergic reaction like dizziness, hives, shortness of breath, wheezing, general weakness or having a hard time swallowing. Seek emergency medical attention immediately.
If you notice any of these side effects or other unusual conditions of body, due to use of stevia, discontinue is use, and consult your doctor.