Pharmacognosy - medicinal plants (herbs)

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Herbs - Medicinal Plants

Stevia rebaudiana (Stevia). Health benefits

Identification and origin of Stevia

Stevia rebaudiana
Stevia leaves

What is the Stevia rebaudiana?
Stevia rebaudiana is a shrub that grows about 30 cm high, with composite wrapped flowers with sessile leaves 3-4 cm long, the whole plant is intensely sweet.

It is indigenous to Paraguay where it is known bysweetleaf” or “sugarleaf”.

Stevia content and active ingredients

Active ingredients containing in Stevia are:
Diterpene glucosides, particularly stevioside (4-10%), rebaudioside (2-4%).
Volatile oils, mainly nerolidol and caryophyllene
Flavonoids: quercetin, apigenin, austroinulin.

Properties and uses of Stevia rebaudiana

Health benefits attributed to Stevia

Stevia rebaudiana is intensely sweetener (the stevioside is 200-300 times sweeter than sucrose).

Mild osmotic laxative. Slightly hypoglycemic and hypotensive, antibacterial.

It is indicated for constipation and as a sugar substitute for diabetics.


It has no known contraindications on the recommended doses. It is recommended as a sweetener.

Preparation and Dosage

Infusion of Stevia: one teaspoon per cup. One or two cups a day.

REMEMBER to always consult your doctor before combining natural products with any other treatment.


summary characteristics and properties of Stevia.

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summary characteristics and properties of Stevia.

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  • Constantin J, Ishii-Iwamoto EL, Ferraresi-Filho O, Kelmer- Bracht AM, Bracht A, Sensitivity of ketogenesis and citric acid cycle to stevioside inhibition of palmitate transport across the cell membrane. Braz J Med Biol Res, 11:767-71, 1991.
  • Ishii-Iwamoto EL, Bracht A, Stevioside is not metabolized in the isolated perfused rat liver. Res Commun Mol Pathol Pharmacol, 82:167-75, 1995 Feb.
  • Ishikawa H, Kitahata S, Ohtani K, Tanaka O, Transfructosylation of rebaudioside A (a sweet glycoside of Stevia leaves) with Microbacterium beta-fructofuranosidase. Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo), 6:2043-5, 1991 Aug.
  • Jakinovich W Jr, Moon C, Choi YH, Kinghorn AD, Evaluation of plant extracts for sweetness using the Mongolian gerbil. J Nat Prod, 82:190-5, 1990 Jan-Feb.
  • Melis MS, A crude extract of Stevia rebaudiana increases the renal plasma flow of normal and hypertensive rats. Braz J Med Biol Res, 29:669-75, 1996 May.
  • Melis MS, Stevioside effect on renal function of normal and hypertensive rats. J Ethnopharmacol, 26:213-7, 1992 Jun.

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