Stevia leaf extracts have been used for many years in traditional treatment of diabetes in South America. Paraguay's rural and native populations have used stevia for birth control.
Stevia contains compounds called rebaudioside A (Reb-A) and stevioside. These are used as natural sweeteners or dietary supplements. They reportedly possess up to 250 times the sweetness intensity of sucrose. Reb-A has been given Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is used in some beverages as a zero-calorie sweetener.
Available research is promising for use of stevia in high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, although more well-designed studies are needed.
4,5-Di-O-caffeoyl quinic acid, 13-[(2-O-(3-alpha-O-D-glucopyranosyl)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-3-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)oxy] ent-kaur-16-en-19-oic acid beta-D-glucopyranosyl ester, 13-[(2-O-6-deoxy-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-3-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)oxy] ent-kaur-16-en-19-oic acid beta-D-glucopyranosyl ester, 13-[(2-O-6-deoxy-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)oxy] ent-kaur-16-en-19-oic acid beta-D-glucopyranosyl ester, 13-[(2-O-(6-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)oxy] kaur-16-en-18-oic acid beta-D-glucopyranosyl ester, 13-[(2-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-3-O-(4-O-alpha-D-glucopyranosyl)-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)oxy] ent-kaur-16-en-19-oic acid beta-D-glucopyranosyl ester, 13-[(2-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-3-O-beta-D-fructofuranosyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)oxy] kaur-16-en-18-oic acid beta-D-glucopyranosyl ester, 13-[(2-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-3-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)oxy] ent-kaur-15-en-19-oic acid, 13-[(2-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-3-O-beta-D-glucopyranosyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)oxy]-16beta-hydroxy-ent-kauran-19-oic acid, 13-[(2-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)oxy] ent-kaur-16-en-19-oic acid beta-D-glucopyranosyl ester, 13-[(2-O-beta-glucopyranosyl-3-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-beta-D-glucopyranosyl)oxy] ent-kaur-16-en-19-oic acid beta-D-glucopyranosyl ester, 13-methyl-16-oxo-17-nor-ent-kauran-19-oic acid-beta-D-glucopyranosyl ester, alpha-monoglucosylrebaudioside A, alpha-monoglucosylstevioside, amaha sutebia (Japanese), Asteraceae (family), azucacaa, brazzein, Ca-A-E, caá-eé (Brazilian Portuguese), caáché (Spanish), caffeoyl-feruloylquinic acids, caffeoylshikimic acids, Canderel Green®, candyleaf, capim doce (Portuguese), Compositae (family), Crystal Light Pure Fitness, curculin, Cweet, dicaffeoylquinic acids, dihydroisosteviol (DHISV), dihydropsuedoivalin, dihydrosteviol A, diterpenoid glycosides, édesfu (Hungarian), ent-kaurenoic acid, epidihydropseudoivalin, erva doce (Portuguese), estevia (Spanish), estévia (Portuguese), estévia-doce (Portuguese), Ex Slim Energy™, feruloylquinic acid, folhas da stévia (Portuguese), glucosilsteviol, glycosides, gurmaar (Punjabi), heuningblaar (Afrikaans), hierba dulce (Spanish), Honest Tea®, honey leaf, Honigkraut (German), honingkruid (Dutch), hydroxycinnamate, isosteviol, jázmin pakóca (Hungarian), ka'a he'e (Guaraní), kaa he-he (Guaraní), kaa jhee (Guaraní), luteolin, luteolin-7-O-beta-D-glucoside, mabinlin, madhu parani (Marathi), madhu patra (Sanskrit), madhu patri (Telugu), miraculin, monellin, monocaffeoylquinic acids, NPI-028, NSF-02, octa-acetylombuoside, ombuine, ombuoside, Paraguai suhkruleht (Estonian), Paraguayan sweet herb, p-coumaroylquinic acid, pentadin, piccolo arbusto con foglia dolce (Italian), Pure Via™, quercetin, quercetin-3-O-(4'''-O-trans-caffeoyl)-alpha-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1-->6)-beta-D-galactopyranoside, quercetin-3-O-beta-D-arabinoside, quercitrin, rebaudioside A (RA), rebaudioside F, Rebiana, retusine, roninowa, ronion, RP44, rubusoside, S6793, sacharol, satiwia (Thai), SE, seeni tulsi (Tamil), SoBe Lifewater drinks, sød stevia (Danish), sötflockel (Swedish), sötstevia (Swedish), Steviacane, Stevia connata, stevia del norte de Paraguay (Spanish), Stevia eupatoria, stevia glycosides, Stevia lita, Stevia pilosa, Stevia PureCircle®, Stevia rebaudiana, Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni (SrB), Stevia rebaudiana standardized extracts (SSEs), Stevia salicifolia, Stevia subpubescens, Stevia tomentosa, Stevia triflora DC., Stevia viscida, steviol (SV), steviolbioside, stevioside (SVS), stevisalioside A, Stevita, stīviyyāh (Hebrew), sugar leaf, Sun Crystals All-Natural Sweetener, Süssblatt (German), Süsskraut (German), sweet herb, sweet honey leaf, sweet leaf, sweet leaf of Paraguay, sweet proteins, talin, thaumatin, tian jü (Chinese), tian jü ye (Chinese), tricaffeoylquinic acids, Truvia, UltraMeal® PLUS 360° Stevia, ya wan (Thai), yerba dulce (Spanish).
Note: Stevia rebaudiana should not be confused with Stevia salicifolia, also called ronion or roninowa. Stevia salicifolia contains the bitter glycoside stevisalioside.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
High blood pressure
Some evidence suggests that stevia may have blood pressure-lowering effects. However, there are conflicting results. More research is needed to compare the effectiveness of stevia to the current standard of care.
Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels)
Limited evidence suggests that stevia may lower blood sugar in people with high blood sugar. However, further research is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.