Stevia sweetener extract natural products - Buy liquid and powder in bottles and packets as an alternative to sugar and use by patients with diabetes
Discussion of safety and review of side effects, can this natural sweetener be consumed daily without any adverse effects?


March 29 2014

What if there were a natural sweetener that: Was 200 times sweeter than regular sugar, with minimal aftertaste, had no calories, was appropriate for diabetics and those with high blood pressure or other medical conditions, appropriate for children, did not cause tooth cavities, was heat stable and thus could be used for cooking and baking, was a great alternative to synthetic sweeteners, easily blended with other sweeteners, such as honey, and already widely and safely consumed in many countries around the world for decades? And, was safety with no side effects. Would you believe this natural sweetener was for real? Well, there is such a safe and no calorie natural sweetener in the form of an herbal extract, it is called stevia herb and it is readily available over the counter.

What is it?

Known by the official taxonomy name of Stevia rebaudiana, it is a plant of the daisy family that grows naturally in South America. The plant, at its full maturity, reaches a height of close to three feet. The green leaves contain large amounts (up to 5 percent of dry weight) of stevioside, a natural sweetener estimated to be 300 times as sweet as table sugar. For hundreds of years the stevia plant has grown and been used as a sweetener in Paraguay, South America. However, until recently, it remained in relative obscurity until December 2008 when the Food and Drug Administration approved steviol glycoside rebaudioside A (Reb A) for use as a food ingredient in the United States.

   At least 150 species of stevia plant are believed to exist in North and South America. More than 110 species were tested for their sweetness. Stevia rebaudiana was found to be the sweetest, although 18 other species were found to also exhibit a sweet taste. It's quite possible that other species in the future could be found to have chemicals that are as sweet.

Buy Stevia Liquid Extract that has no aftertaste, use can use this product in your morning tea or coffee, or make sweet lemonade without any extra calories

This extract which has been laboratory tested and certified to contain a minimum 90% of steviosides, the active natural sweeteners of stevia herb. You can be assured that you are indeed getting a pure and true stevia extract and that it will be consistent in quality. This is highly concentrated and should not be confused with less potent tinctures or extracts.

Supplement facts
Stevia extract 140 mg per milliiter
     Stevia rebaudiana (20:1)




Buy Stevia Liquid extract. You will also find powder, packets, chewing gum, lime flavored drink packets, and other products

How does stevia herb taste?

Sweet, of course, and it only has a minimal aftertaste. Many people prefer this natural sweetener to aspartame or saccharin.

   Stevia extract is about 200 to 300 times as sweet as sucrose (or table sugar), and its sweetness lasts over several decades. In fact, a 60 year old stevia herb fragment was once found that exhibited potent sweetness. This indicates that the sweeteners within this herb are very stable and have the ability to withstand time and drying.


What's in stevia herb?

There are normally hundreds of chemicals present within any herbal product or extract. It's sometimes very difficult to identify every single component of an herb. Preliminary studies with stevia herb have shown that it contains certain substances that provide a sweet taste including stevioside, and rebaudioside A. Stevioside makes up about five percent of the dry weight, while rebaudioside makes up two percent. Hence, rebaudioside A is found at a lower concentration than stevioside, but is apparently a more pleasant-tasting sweet substance. Additionally, the oily part of stevia leaf contains a number of sterols including stigmasterol (46 percent), beta-sitosterol (39 percent) and campesterol (13 percent). The compounds are very stable and can last for decades. They are resistant to heat and time.


Any effect on blood pressure?
Apparent lack of pharmacological effect of steviol glycosides used as sweeteners in humans. A pilot study of repeated exposures in some normotensive and hypotensive individuals and in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics.
Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2008.
This study shows that oral steviol glycosides, taken as sweetener are well tolerated and have no pharmacological effect.


Are you aware of any research on the effects or safety use during pregnancy? I know it has been used in foods in Japan since the 1970's and in South America for much longer.
   We are not aware of human studies with stevia safety during pregnancy, but animal studies do not indicate any concern or safety issues. Most people only use a few drops a day in their tea or coffee, or use a small amount of the powder. We seriously doubt that it would cause any problems in pregnancy when used in these small amounts.

A natural sweetener with the following benefits:
Stevia extract is 300 times sweeter than regular sugar, with minimal aftertaste and has no calories. It is suitable for diabetics and those with high blood pressure. Children can use stevia without health concerns. It does not cause tooth cavities. Stevia sweetener is heat stable and thus could be used for cooking and baking. Stevia extract is a great alternative to synthetic sweeteners. Can be easily blended with other sweeteners, such as honey. This remarkable, no-calorie sweetener called stevia is, unfortunately, not yet a household name. It should be. We believe that eventually stevia sweetener will be one of the most popular and widely used no-calorie sweeteners in the world. With the availability of stevia extract there seems to be little reason to use artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin.


The many forms - whole leaf, powder extract, or liquid

There are quite a variety of different forms and extracts being marketed. Which stevia products you want to use will depend on the amount of sweetness required by the recipe and the degree to which the particular recipe or beverage will benefit from the licorice-like taste that accompanies its less refined forms.

   If you shop at a health food or grocery store, you will generally find several forms of stevia herb and extract from a number of different manufacturers. Each stevia product may taste slightly different. Don't give up on it if you expect it to have the exact sweetness of sugar. It doesn't. However, when you consider the wonderful benefits it provides, you may accept its imperfections.


White stevia extract

This is the form most commonly used for of stevia sweetener in Japan, and generally contains 85 to 95 percent of the sweet glycosides. In this form, it is close to 300 times sweeter than sugar. A teaspoon of this stevia extract has sweetening power equivalent to 2 to 4 cups of sugar. Several companies in the US market stevia in small packets, similarly adding maltodextrin, xylitol, or other sweeteners or binders, fillers. Could stevia extract ever become so popular in the US that practically every restaurant in the country would offer packets of this sweetener alongside the pink packets of Sweet' N Low and blue packets of Equal?

   There are hundreds of patents for stevia herb extraction processes existing around the world. Various types of extractions influence the concentration of the various sweet glycosides, such as stevioside and rebaudioside, and therefore influence the stevia aftertaste. Thus, not all stevia powders and extracts are the same. You will find stevia extract in convenient stevia packets available for sale in a size similar to the artificial sweetener packets.


Stevia liquid concentrates
Stevia liquid comes in two distinctly different forms. One is a black, syrupy concentrate and the other is clear. The black, syrup-like liquid concentrate is made by boiling the dried leaves in water. A dropper-style stevia liquid bottle is the most common way that this form of stevia is found in stores. The clear type of stevia liquid concentrate is made by mixing a large amount of the white powder in distilled water or grain alcohol. Some of these liquid preparations contain other ingredients such as chrysanthemum flowers.

   All types of stevia liquid extract concentrates are available in health food stores or some retail outlets. They come in various sizes ranging from a third of an ounce to four ounce bottles. Generally a few drops of this stevia liquid concentrate is enough to sweeten a glass of tea, coffee or your favorite drink.

Our daily stevia dose

It has been estimated that sugar consumption in Japan is about 80 grams a day while in the US and Europe it is between 120 to 140 g a day. Assuming we substitute stevia sweetener for sugar, what would be our daily consumption?      
   For the sake of simplicity, let's say we consume about 100 grams of sugar a day. Since the sweetness of stevioside is 300 times that of sugar, the maximum daily consumption of stevia would be 100 grams divided by 300, or a third of a gram (roughly 330 mg). Actually, Chinese researchers have already estimated that the daily human consumption of stevioside would be about 2 mg per kilogram of body weight. This is a very small amount and we should keep this in mind when we evaluate the toxicity studies with stevia herb done in animals. Another point to keep in mind is that most people would only partially substitute stevia for sugar and other sweeteners. Therefore, the intake on a daily basis would even be less than 330 mg.
   There have been a number of studies performed in rodents and other laboratory animals to determine whether stevia extract  has any toxicity. In many of these studies, stevia was provided in extremely high dosages, sometimes up to 5 percent of the weight of their food. Let's compare this to humans. Assuming we eat about two kilograms of food a day, and we ingest 200 mg of stevia, the proportion of stevia to our daily food intake would be about 0.01 percent; a very small amount, indeed.


Benefit for diabetes

The availability of artificial sweeteners has been of enormous benefit to those with diabetes. However, there's always been a concern that over consumption of these synthetic sweeteners may cause some unknown harm to the body. Could mnatural stevia sweetener substitution be a good alternative for those with diabetes? We believe so. Stevia leaves have been used as herbal teas by diabetic patients in Asian countries. No side effects have been observed in these patients after many years of continued consumption. Furthermore, studies have shown that stevia extract can actually improve blood sugar levels.

   In 1986, Brazilian researchers from the Universities of Maringa and Sao Paolo evaluated the role of stevia in blood sugar. Sixteen healthy volunteers were given extracts of 5 grams of stevia leaves every six hours for three days. The extracts from the leaves were prepared by immersing them in boiling water for 20 minutes. A glucose tolerance test (GTT) was performed before and after the administration of the stevia extract and the results were compared to another group who did not receive the stevia extract. During a GTT, patients are given a glass of water with glucose and their blood sugar levels are evaluated over the next few hours. Those who have a predisposition to diabetes will have a marked rise in blood sugar levels.
   The volunteers on stevia extract were found to have significantly lower blood sugar levels after ingestion of stevia. This is a positive indication that stevia can potentially be beneficial to diabetics who substitute stevia in order to decrease their sugar consumption. Even if stevia by itself is not able to lower blood sugar levels, just the fact that a diabetic would consume less sugar is of significant importance in maintaining better blood sugar control.

   If you have diabetes, chances are you consume a large amount of artificial sweeteners. Switching to stevia herb is an option. Gradually use less synthetic sweeteners while substituting stevia. For instance, you can initially use stevia extract in some of your drinks, like coffee or tea. After a few weeks, if your comfort level with stevia herb increases, you can gradually use more of the herbal extract. Over the next few weeks and months you can either switch completely to stevia powder or liquid, or you can continue using it in combination with artificial sweeteners.


Benefit of stevia in children
Candies, sodas, ice cream, pies, cakes... it's disturbing how many sweet products are ingested by children on a daily basis. All that sugar can lead to tooth cavities and obesity. Partially substituting with stevia can help children satisfy their sweet tooth while decreasing the risks from excessive sugar intake. If you're a parent, you can take advantage of the many recipes provided in The Stevia Cookbook by Ray Sahelian, M.D., to provide your children with tasty sweets that will satisfy their sweet teeth but not cause damage to the teeth. There is also a concern with children consuming excessive amounts of artificial sweeteners. The potential, long-term health consequences of saccharin and aspartame ingestion are currently not fully known, but they do need to be kept in mind. Eliminating all artificial sweeteners will be a frustrating enterprise since they are extremely prevalent. However, by partially substituting stevia in homemade desserts, you can significantly reduce your children's exposure to these artificial chemicals. Stevia drink lime flavored is a good option for many children as a substitute for sugared drinks. You can see sample pages of The Stevia Cookbook at Google Books.

Use in Pregnancy or Breast Feeding
Since human studies providing stevia herb during pregnancy are not available, it is not known whether its use during this period is safe. Its very likely that reasonable amounts of stevia would not cause any danger or health problems, and may even be much safer than artificial sweeteners or sugar.


Practical Tips
Those who are novices at using stevia often make the mistake of using too much, particularly when using an extract. Since stevia extract is 300 times sweeter than sugar, excessive amounts can lead to over-sweetness and an aftertaste. Generally, one teaspoon would be equivalent to one cup of sugar, while a quarter teaspoon would be equivalent to one tablespoon of sugar. Stevia is available in liquid form, and often two to four drops of stevia liquid added to tea or coffee is sufficient to sweeten the drink.

Sweet drinks are made of these
The chemicals within stevia rebaudiana that make it taste sweet are stable in all types of liquids and do not lose their sweetness. Thus, a number of drinks can be superbly sweetened with stevia. All it takes is usually two to five drops of liquid stevia per glass. Once you get into the habit of using stevia liquid or powder in your drinks, you'll never feel the need to buy the pink or blue packets, or even use honey. However, if you really like honey with your drinks, you can use less of it while adding a drop or two of stevia liquid. We take along small stevia powder packets when we go out to restaurants. This way, we can sweeten our drinks with stevia even when not at home.
  The following are some examples of drinks that you can easily sweeten with stevia extract.
   Lemonade and lemon juice. Not only does stevia provide sweetness, it actually slightly enhances the flavor of the lemon. You can now serve lemonade to your kids on a hot summer afternoon without loading them up with high doses of harmful sugar. You may use either stevia liquid or powder.
   Iced Tea. Forget sugar or artificial sweeteners.
   Herbal teas. We have tried stevia liquid or powder in quite a variety of herbal teas and it works well in all cases. The stevia liquid extracts are perfect for teas. Have you considered having a variety of different herbal teas on your kitchen counter? Each morning you could try a different one. Some examples that we have tried include ginger, licorice, Earl gray, elderberry, dandelion, St. John's wort, kava, ginkgo, green, black, cinnamon, ginseng, echinacea, peppermint, goldenseal, fenugreek, and others. You could add the stevia drops after you brew the tea bag, or better yet, add the drops in the glass before you pour the hot water. As a rule, two to five drops of the liquid extract will provide enough sweetness to satisfy most people.
   Coffee. Stevia is a perfect substitute for the artificial sweeteners. The amount of stevia used in coffee will be similar to the herbal teas. If you drink a few cups of coffee a day, and let's say you use two teaspoons of sugar per cup, just imagine how many calories a day you will not consume if you switch to stevia!
   Hot cocoa with milk and stevia on a cold winter night in a Swiss chalet. How delicious!

Stevia sweetener products and brands
In May 2008, Cargill introduced TRUVIA, a sweetener made from rebiana for use in foods and beverages. IN June 2008, Arizona based Wisdom Natural Brands, shipped Sweet Leaf sweetener, made from steviol glycosides, to grocers across the country. Rebiana and steviol glycosides apparently have little aftertaste. Wisdom Natural Brands and Cargill both hired teams of stevia experts (with FDA experience) to garner enough scientific support for each of their respective ingredients. Jim May, CEO of Wisdom Natural Brands, introduced stevia to the US marketplace from Paraguay in 1982. In partnership with Coca-Cola, Cargill spent years evaluating stevia ingredients for safety and perfecting ways to extract, what they consider, the best tasting component of the stevia plant, called rebaudioside A. Research, funded by Cargill, and published electronically on May 16, 2008, in the peer-reviewed scientific journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, demonstrated the safety of rebiana for use in sweetened food and beverages. TRUVIA is rebiana, not stevia. Both stevia and rebiana come from the leaves of the stevia plant. Rebiana is a high-purity, fully-characterized extract that is consistently produced to a food-grade specification by Cargill.
   Steviol glycosides are the sweet components of the stevia leaf. There are various kinds of steviol glycosides, but the two most abundant types are stevioside and rebaudioside A. Stevioside is the most abundant steviol glycoside in the stevia leaf, and the most studied. Rebaudioside A is the best-tasting steviol glycoside. It is broken down by the body into the same basic parts as stevioside. Rebiana is a 97-percent pure extract of rebaudioside A. It is the first high-purity, well-characterized form of rebaudioside A. Steviol is the substance produced when the body breaks down steviol glycosides in the colon. Source: Cargill, Overview of the Rebiana Research Program, May 2008.

Acesulfame K is an artificial sweetener.
Lo han guo is a very sweet fruit found in China. Extracts of lo han guo (also spelled Luo han kuo or
lo han kuo) are now being marketed as a sweetener.
Nevella is a
probiotic enhanced natural sweetener.
PureCircle entered into an agreement with Cerilliant Corporation for the global supply of stevia-based sweeteners and introduction of PureVia Reb A natural sweetener
Stevia chewing gum contains no petroleum products or artificial ingredients.
SteviaDent chewing gum is a 95% pure Stevita stevioside product
Stevioside information on stevia extract

questions and inquiries emailed to us
Q. I have recently stopped consuming stevia sweetener because I went to add the powder to my glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice and water to which I had also added some grape juice from concentrate and noticed that as soon as I added the stevia, it formed into a hard solid piece of rock. I then became curious and added just the stevia sweetener to a new batch of freshly squeezed lemon only. There was no reaction. I then added stevia powder to a new batch of only grape juice. There was not reaction. I was again able to repeat the result of the stevia powder turning to a rock like piece of matter only when the stevia powder was added to freshly squeezed lemon to which I added grape juice. This is alarming because just as this formed a hard substance in the glass of lemon and grape juice it could also build up in some people's bodies in the form of inorganic calcium like substance adding to what could appear to be arthritic calcium deposits. I have always consumed 100% grapefruit juice (alone), and 100% lemon juice to dissolve inorganic calcium deposits in my body or to a minimum to reduce them. There must be something in the grape juice that causes the reaction in the glass that I have discussed above. Have you heard of this. Why don't to attempt to duplicate this to see for your self. Although, I general use agave as my sugar substitute, I only now occasionally use stevia powder because of what I have found. People do need to be careful. The research that I have done has not include the situation that I have stumbled upon.
   A. There are several important differences between what occurs in a glass of juice and what occurs in the gastrointestinal system. The stomach is powerful hydrochloric acid and the gastrointestinal system has quite a number of enzymes and other factors that make it unwise to compare what occurs in a glass to a substance to what occurs in the GI system. Another important factor to keep in mind is most stevia powders are mixed with various other substances and each stevia powder product from various companies will have a different set of other substances mixed in it that influence their solubility in juice.

Richadella dulcifica contains a protein that converts sour to sweet taste. Miracle fruit is the common name for this fruit.
Salatrim is used as a lower-calorie fat replacer.
Smallanthus sonchifolius is a tasty, potato-like root vegetable found in Peru.

Slendesta CCK releaser
Supernutrition Opti-Pak supplement
Supernutrition PreNatal Blend supplement
Symbiotics TryptoZen supplement

Q. I was introduced to stevia sweetener in the early 1980s. At that time it was sold as a face mask, along with a powder with which you mixed it. it was distributed by Sunergy, a division of Sunrider International, and had some chrysanthemum flower-in it . The stevia concentrate was used for ( but not advertised ) as a topical healing for cuts and wounds. it actually will knit a cut together and avoid infection. It burns for a minute, until it dries. I have used it successfully for many years. Is anyone doing research in this area. We knew it was a sweetener that was not approved, at that time for internal use. I would be very interested in any research in this area. Try it next time you get a cut, it really works.

Saracin found in Saraca Indica
Stearic acid fatty acid
Stemona is a genus of about 30 species of flowering plants

PepsiCo and Whole Earth Sweetener Company introduce PureVia, from stevia plant in 2008
PepsiCo and Whole Earth Sweetener Company introduce a zero-calorie, all-natural sweetener. It's called PureVia and will debut in a new nutritionally enhanced PepsiCo beverage called "SoBe Life," to be launched in Latin America, starting with Peru. PureVia tabletop sweetener will launch in the United States this fall before expanding into drink and food products around the world. PureVia will be available initially in three SoBe Life flavor blends: Tropical Pomegranate, Strawberry-Kiwi and Orange-Tangerine. In May, Whole Earth Sweetener Company, a subsidiary of Merisant Company focused solely on natural products, submitted a notification and supporting scientific data to the FDA that the ingredient is generally recognized as safe for use in beverages, foods and tabletop sweeteners. PepsiCo intends to market PureVia in beverages and foods and Whole Earth Sweetener Company will market the brand as a tabletop sweetener. "The introduction of PureVia represents the culmination of four years of research and development to bring this revolutionary new product to market and satisfy consumer demand for great tasting, all-natural, zero-calorie sweeteners," said Paul Block, chief executive officer of Merisant and Whole Earth Sweetener Company. "What's unique about PureVia is that we've identified a way to extract the purest part of the stevia leaf to reveal the cleanest and most consistent taste." As a tabletop sweetener, all-natural, zero-calorie PureVia can be used in place of sugar in both hot and cold beverages, as well as sprinkled on cereal and fruit. It will be available for purchase at food and grocery stores across the United States. The active sweetener in PureVia is Reb A, an all-natural, purified component of the South American stevia plant -- long known for its extraordinary sweetness. Stevia is approximately 200 times as sweet as sugar, and Reb A is the sweetest, purest part of the stevia leaf. "PureVia is sweetened with a purified extract of the stevia plant," said Sergio Machado, director of research and development for Whole Earth Sweetener Company. "After the stevia leaves are milled, a freshwater brewing method is used to unlock the natural sweeteners, including the best-tasting extract of the plant -- Reb A. This extract is then purified further until a very high purity Reb A is obtained." PepsiCo and Whole Earth Sweetener Company have formed a partnership through which they will jointly own and market PureVia globally. The two companies have agreed to buy the natural sweetener from PureCircle, a leading supplier of pure Reb A, which also will have the exclusive license to market Reb A under the PureVia) brand in certain categories.

Truvia product information
Truvia rebiana is made by PureCircle

Q. I've started using stevia clear liquid as a sweetener along with Agave syrup. The directions on the bottle say to use 5 drops up to 3 times per day and not to take it if you are under 18 pregnant or nursing. I didn't realize the dose was so small. I can't taste 5 drops of stevia in anything, so I used about 125 drops (25 to 50 for each drink) last evening to sweeten some herbal tea and almond milk drinks. Is this amount harmful to humans in any way? Can you overdose on stevia or agave? Any know side effects?
   A. We are not sure which stevia liquid product you are using but there could be differences in potency between different brands. Stevia is a safe supplement and side effects are rare. Agave syrup has a lot of calories and is not healthy if too much is consumed. Normally three to five stevia clear liquid drops are enough to sweeten a cup of tea.

To see a video on You Tube regarding the benefits and side effects see YouTube Stevia sweetener