Stevia rebaudiana– Stevia, known as “sweet herb“, this plant is 25 times sweeter than sugar when made as an infusion with 1 teaspoon stevia leaves to 1 cup of water. Two drops of this infusion equal 1 teaspoon of sugar in sweetness.
It is safe for a diabetic as it is does not change blood glucose levels. It does have a bit of an aftertaste you need to get used to. In South America and the Orient a product derived of Stevia called Stevioside has a 41% share of the food sweetener market.
There are some healing benefits of stevia as well.
Stevia is known to help regulate blood sugar, helps to lower high blood pressure, aids in weight loss by decreasing the desire for sugary foods. Some people even report that it reduces their desire for tobacco and alcoholic beverages. Stevia is also used in facemasks to smooth out wrinkles and heal skin blemishes and acne. So why don’t we see more of it? Apparently the import of stevia was heavily influenced by Nutrasweet politics.
I think this is a good product. I actually bought a Stevia plant from Wal-Mart for my herb patch. It’s an annual plant and grows quite well. You harvest the leaves just as the flowers bloom, dry them, and then use them in teas, or crumble them up and use them in cooking. I don’t know yet how to use it in baking, but when you can’t have sugar. . .you probably shouldn’t be eating baked goods anyway!
You can get Stevia drops or packets in your local health food store. It can also be purchased in bulk form (we have that).