A lot of attention has been given recently to the stevia plant.
The stevia plant is a member of the sunflower family.
Also known as sweetleaf and sugar leaf, the stevia plant has been cultivated for hundreds of years for use as a natural sweetener.
Stevia rebaudiana, its botanical name, is cultivated primarily for its sweet leaves.
The extracts from the leaves of the stevia plant are used as a sugar substitute.
Stevia plant extracts are 300 times sweeter than sugar, with a slower onset of taste.
In high concentrations, stevia can have an almost licorice-like aftertaste and it can be bitter.
Stevia is also heat stable, pH stable and non-fermentable.
Stevia has been used for centuries in South American cultures to sweeten herbal teas and Yerba Mate.
During World War II, a sugar shortage in Great Brittan led to widespread use of stevia as a sweetener; however, once the war was over and sugar was once again plentiful, stevia use dropped off.
In the 1950's Japan began cultivating and using stevia as a sweetener.
Now, stevia holds about 50 percent of the Japanese sweetener market.
Stevia has been used as an artificial sweetener in Asia for years.
Stevia is gaining wider acceptance in the United States and around the world because it is a low-calorie, low carbohydrate natural sweetener.
It is for this very reason that the humble stevia plant has grown in popularity.
It appears that stevia, in all of its forms, has a negligible effect on blood sugar, and very little is needed to add sweetness to foods.
Aside from its use as a natural sweetener, Stevia may have other health benefits, as well.
Recent research also shows that stevia may be beneficial in the treatment of obesity.
The research has shown that whole leaf stevia has a regulatory effect on the pancreas, which can help to stabilize blood sugar levels.
This makes stevia appear to be a promising supplement in the treatment of diabetes.
Stevia may inhibit the growth and reproduction of oral bacteria that leads to gum and dental diseases, as well as tooth decay.
Because of this, stevia may be found as an additive in toothpaste and dental rinse products.
Stevia may help to heal certain skin rashes when the concentrate is applied to the rash.
Whole stevia extract has been used to tighten skin and remove wrinkles.
Stevia extracts may help cuts heal more quickly.
Stevia is used in some shampoos to help eliminate dandruff and other scalp problems.
These are a few of the many uses of the stevia plant.
This plant, like stevia, has been used by people for hundreds of years with no known long-term ill effects.
Stevia is another herbal sweetener that may prove better for you if you are sensitive to agave.
You can enjoy rooibos can as often as three times a day, hot or iced, and it can be sweetened with a natural sweetener like honey, agave or stevia.
The drink's sweet taste comes from citric acid and stevia leaf seasoning.
Replace the sugar with 16 drops of liquid stevia extract and 1/4 cup of erythritol to make the bread sugar-free.
One such sweetener is the ultrasweet stevia.
Try Stevia brand non-calorie flavored sweeteners available at the Stevia website.
If you have a sweet tooth, add Stevia or Splenda to sweeten your oatmeal without adding calories.
In some diets, sugar substitutes such as stevia, sugar alcohols, and artificial sweeteners are permitted; however, it is not known entirely the effects that these substances have on the body or on the success of a low carb diet.
If you have a sweet tooth, add a packet of Stevia or Splenda to sweeten up your breakfast smoothie.
Try sweeteners such as stevia, an herbal extract, or a low-glycemic sweetener such as agave.
Other natural sweeteners include real maple syrup (not pancake syrup but genuine, right from the tree maple syrup) and stevia, an herbal sweetener.
Other natural sweeteners may contain stevia, a derivative from plants of the genus Stevia that produces a bitter aftertaste in many palates.
Truvia sweetener is a combination of erythritol and the herbal sweetener, stevia.
The word usage examples above have been gathered from various sources to reflect current and historial usage. They do not represent the opinions of YourDictionary.com.