A young Stevia rebaudiana plant
About 150 species, including:
Stevia is a genus of about 150 species of herbs and shrubs in the sunflower family (Asteraceae), native to subtropical and tropical South America and Central America. Plants are living Organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. The flowering plants or angiosperms ( Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta) are the most widespread group Magnoliopsida is the Botanical name for a class of Flowering plants By definition the class will include the family Magnoliaceae, but its The Asterales are an order of Dicotyledonous Flowering plants which include the composite family Asteraceae ( Sunflowers daisies The family Asteraceae or Compositae (known as the aster, daisy, or sunflower family) is the largest family of Flowering Eupatorieae is a tribe of over 2000 Within the aster family, the Eupatorieae are nested within what has traditionally been the Heliantheae (broadly A genus (plural genera from Γένος Latin genus "descent family type gender" is a low-level Taxonomic In Biology, a species is one of the basic units of Biological classification and a Taxonomic rank. A(n herb (ˈhɝb or /ˈɝb/ see pronunciation differences) is a plant that is valued for qualities such as medicinal properties flavor scent or the like A shrub or Bush is a horticultural rather than strictly botanical category of Woody plant, distinguished from a Tree The family Asteraceae or Compositae (known as the aster, daisy, or sunflower family) is the largest family of Flowering The subtropics are the zones of the Earth immediately north and south of the tropic zone which is bounded by the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of The Tropics are centered on the Equator and limited in Latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the northern hemisphere at approximately 23°26' (23 South America is a Continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a The species Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, commonly known as sweetleaf, sweet leaf, sugarleaf, or simply stevia, is widely grown for its sweet leaves. As a sugar substitute, stevia's taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, although some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations. Sugar is a class of edible Crystalline substances mainly Sucrose, Lactose, and Fructose. Liquorice (UK or licorice (US (see spelling differences;, or) is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra, from which a sweet flavour can be extracted Aftertaste is the persistence of a sensation of Flavor after the stimulating substance has passed out of contact with the sensory end organs for Taste.
With its extracts having up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, stevia has garnered attention with the rise in demand for low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives. Low-carbohydrate diets or low-carb diets are dietary programs that restrict Carbohydrate consumption usually for Weight control or for the treatment of Stevia also has shown promise in medical research for treating such conditions as obesity and high blood pressure. Obesity is a condition in which excess Body fat has accumulated to such an extent that health may be negatively affected Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure, HTN or HPN, is a medical condition in which the Blood pressure is chronically elevated  Stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, even enhancing glucose tolerance; therefore, it is attractive as a natural sweetener to diabetics and others on carbohydrate-controlled diets. Blood sugar, used in a physiological context is a misnomer and misleading Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT is a pre- Diabetic state of dysglycemia that is associated with Insulin resistance and increased risk of cardiovascular pathology Diabetes mellitus (ˌdaɪəˈbiːtiːz or /ˌdaɪəˈbiːtəs/ /məˈlaɪtəs/ or /ˈmɛlətəs/ often referred to simply as diabetes ( Ancient Greek: grc Carbohydrates (from ' Hydrates of Carbon ' or saccharides ( Greek σάκχαρον meaning " Sugar " are the most  However, health and political controversies have limited stevia's availability in many countries; for example, the United States banned it in the early 1990s unless labeled as a supplement. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Stevia is widely used as a sweetener in Japan, and it is now available in the US and Canada as a dietary supplement, although not as a food additive. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Japan topics. Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavour or improve its taste and appearance
For centuries, the Guaraní tribes of Paraguay and Brazil used Stevia species, primarily S. Guaraní are a group of culturally related indigenous peoples of South America, distinguished from the related Tupi by their use of the Guaraní language For indigenous peoples in the United States other than Hawaii and Alaska see also Native Americans in the United States. Paraguay, officially the Republic of Paraguay ( Spanish: República del Paraguay; Guaraní: Tetã Paraguái) is one of the only |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld rebaudiana which they called ka'a he'ê ("sweet herb"), as a sweetener in yerba mate and medicinal teas for treating heartburn and other ailments. Heartburn or pyrosis is a painful or burning sensation in the Esophagus, just below the breastbone usually associated with regurgitation of gastric acid The leaves of the stevia plant have 30–45 times the sweetness of sucrose (ordinary table sugar). Solubility of Pure SucroseTemperature(Cg 
The Swiss botanist Moisés Santiago Bertoni first described the plant and the sweet taste in detail. Moisè Giacomo Bertoni or Moisés Santiago Bertoni ( 15 June 1857 &ndash 19 September 1929 was a Swiss Botanist  But only limited research was conducted on the topic, until in 1931, two French chemists isolated the glycosides that give stevia its sweet taste. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics.  These compounds were named stevioside and rebaudioside, and are 250–300 times sweeter than sucrose, heat stable, pH stable, and non-fermentable. The steviol glycosides are responsible for the sweet taste of the leaves of the Stevia plant ( Stevia The steviol glycosides are responsible for the sweet taste of the leaves of the Stevia plant ( Stevia pH is the measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a Solution. Fermentation in Food processing typically refers to the conversion of Sugar to Alcohol using Yeast under Anaerobic conditions 
The exact structure of the aglycone and the glycoside were published in 1955.
In the early 1970s, Japan began cultivating stevia as an alternative to artificial sweeteners such as cyclamate and saccharin, which are suspected carcinogens. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Japan topics. Cyclamate is an Artificial sweetener that was discovered in 1937 at the University of Illinois by graduate student Michael Sveda Saccharin is an Artificial sweetener. The basic substance Benzoic sulfinide, has effectively no Food energy and is about 300 times as sweet as The term carcinogen refers to any substance Radionuclide or radiation that is an agent directly involved in the promotion of Cancer or in the fatation of its propagation The plant's leaves, the aqueous extract of the leaves, and purified steviosides are used as sweeteners. Since the Japanese firm Morita Kagaku Kogyo Co. , Ltd. produced the first commercial stevia sweetener in Japan in 1971, the Japanese have been using stevia in food products, soft drinks (including Coca Cola), and for table use. Soft drink is a beverage that does not contain Alcohol. Carbonated soft drinks are commonly known as soda soda pop pop, or Coca-Cola is a carbonated Soft drink sold in stores restaurants and Vending machines in more than 200 countries Japan currently consumes more stevia than any other country, with stevia accounting for 40% of the sweetener market. 
Today, stevia is cultivated and used in food elsewhere in east Asia, including in China (since 1984), Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia. China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National Korea is a geographic area composed of two sovereign countries a civilization and a former state situated on the Korean Peninsula in East Asia. Taiwan ( Taiwanese: Tâi-oân/Tāi-oân (historically 大灣/台員/大員/台圓/大圓/台窩灣 is an Island in East Asia. The Kingdom of Thailand (ˈtaɪlænd ราชอาณาจักรไทย, râːtɕʰa-ʔaːnaːtɕɑ̀k-tʰɑj For the biogeographical region see Malesia Malaysia (məˈleɪʒə or /məˈleɪziə/ is a country that consists of thirteen states and It can also be found in Saint Kitts and Nevis, in parts of South America (Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, and Uruguay) and in Israel. The Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis (also known as the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis) located in the Leeward Islands, is a federal two-island South America is a Continent of the Americas, situated entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a |utc_offset = -2 to -4 |time_zone_DST = BRST |utc_offset_DST = -2 to -5 |cctld Colombia (kəˈlʌmbɪə officially the Republic of Colombia () is a country in northwestern South America. Peru (Perú Piruw Piruw officially the Republic of Peru ( reˈpuβlika del peˈɾu is a country in western South America. Paraguay, officially the Republic of Paraguay ( Spanish: República del Paraguay; Guaraní: Tetã Paraguái) is one of the only Uruguay.(official full name in República Oriental del Uruguay;, Oriental Republic of Uruguay) is a country located in the southeastern part of South America For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Israel topics. China is the world's largest exporter of stevioside. 
Stevia species are found in the wild in semi-arid habitats ranging from grassland to mountain terrain. A Semi-arid climate or steppe climate generally describes climatic regions that receive low annual Rainfall (250-500 mm or 10-20 in A habitat (which is Latin for "it inhabits" is an Ecological or environmental area that is inhabited by a particular Species. Stevia does produce seeds, but only a small percentage of them germinate. A seed (in some plants referred to as a kernel) is a small embryonic Plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat usually with some stored Germination is the process whereby growth emerges from a period of dormancy Planting cloned stevia is a more effective method of reproduction. Vegetative reproduction is a type of Asexual reproduction found in plants and is also called vegetative propagation or vegetative multiplication.
Stevia has been grown on an experimental basis in Ontario, Canada since 1987 for the purpose of determining the feasibility of growing the crop commercially. Ontario (ɒnˈtɛrioʊ is a province located in the central part of Canada, the largest by population and second largest after Quebec Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page In the United States, it is legal to import, grow, sell, and consume stevia products if contained within or labeled for use as a dietary supplement, but not as a food additive. Stevia has also been approved as a dietary supplement in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page In Japan and South American countries, stevia may also be used as a food additive. Stevia is currently banned for use in food in the European Union It is also banned in Singapore and Hong Kong. The European Union ( EU) is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in Singapore Hong Kong ( officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is a territory located on China 's south coast on the Pearl River Delta, and borders 
A 1985 study reported that steviol, a breakdown product from stevioside and rebaudioside (two of the sweet steviol glycosides in the stevia leaf), is a mutagen in the presence of a liver extract of pre-treated rats — but this finding has been criticized on procedural grounds that the data were mishandled in such a way that even distilled water would appear mutagenic. The steviol glycosides are responsible for the sweet taste of the leaves of the Stevia plant ( Stevia In Biology, a mutagen ( Latin, literally origin of change) is a physical or chemical agent that changes the genetic information (usually DNA) The liver is a vital organ in the human body and is present in Vertebrates and some other animals Purified water is water from any source that is physically processed to remove impurities In Biology, a mutagen ( Latin, literally origin of change) is a physical or chemical agent that changes the genetic information (usually DNA)  More recent animal tests have shown mixed results in terms of toxicology and adverse effects of stevia extract, with some tests finding steviol to be a weak mutagen while newer studies find no safety issues. 
Other studies have shown stevia improves insulin sensitivity in rats and may even promote additional insulin production, helping to reverse diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Diabetes mellitus (ˌdaɪəˈbiːtiːz or /ˌdaɪəˈbiːtəs/ /məˈlaɪtəs/ or /ˈmɛlətəs/ often referred to simply as diabetes ( Ancient Greek: grc Metabolic syndrome is a combination of medical disorders that increase the risk of developing Cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  Preliminary human studies show stevia can help reduce hypertension although another study has shown it has no effect on hypertension. Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure, HTN or HPN, is a medical condition in which the Blood pressure is chronically elevated  Despite these more recent studies establishing the safety of stevia, government agencies have expressed concerns over toxicity, citing a lack of sufficient conclusive research. Toxicity is the degree to which a substance is able to damage an exposed organism 
Whole foods proponents draw a distinction between consuming (and safety testing) only parts, such as stevia extracts and isolated compounds like stevioside, versus the whole herb. In his book Healing With Whole Foods, Paul Pitchford cautions, "Obtain only the green or brown [whole] stevia extracts or powders; avoid the clear extracts and white powders, which, highly refined and lacking essential phyto-nutrients, cause imbalance". Phytochemicals are plant-derived chemical compounds under scientific research for their potential health-promoting properties but with unproved benefits 
In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) performed a thorough evaluation of recent experimental studies of stevioside and steviols conducted on animals and humans, and concluded that "stevioside and rebaudioside A are not genotoxic in vitro or in vivo and that the genotoxicity of steviol and some of its oxidative derivatives in vitro is not expressed in vivo. In vitro ( Latin: within the glass refers to the technique of performing a given experiment in a controlled environment outside of a living Organism In vivo ( Latin: within the living means that which takes place inside an organism. In vitro ( Latin: within the glass refers to the technique of performing a given experiment in a controlled environment outside of a living Organism In vivo ( Latin: within the living means that which takes place inside an organism. " The report also found no evidence of carcinogenic activity. The term carcinogen refers to any substance Radionuclide or radiation that is an agent directly involved in the promotion of Cancer or in the fatation of its propagation Furthermore, the report noted that "stevioside has shown some evidence of pharmacological effects in patients with hypertension or with type-2 diabetes" but concluded that further study was required to determine proper dosage. Pharmacology (from Greek grc φάρμακον pharmakon, "drug" and grc -λογία -logia) is the study of how Drugs Hypertension, also referred to as high blood pressure, HTN or HPN, is a medical condition in which the Blood pressure is chronically elevated Diabetes mellitus type 2 or Type 2 Diabetes (formerly called non - Insulin -dependent Diabetes mellitus (NIDDM or adult-onset diabetes is a metabolic
Indeed, millions of Japanese people have been using stevia for over thirty years with no reported or known harmful effects.  Similarly, stevia leaves have been used for centuries in South America spanning multiple generations in ethnomedical tradition as a treatment of type II diabetes. Ethnomedicine is a sub-field of Ethnobotany or Medical anthropology that deals with the study of Traditional medicines not only those that have relevant Diabetes mellitus type 2 or Type 2 Diabetes (formerly called non - Insulin -dependent Diabetes mellitus (NIDDM or adult-onset diabetes is a metabolic 
In 1991, at the request of an anonymous complaint, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeled stevia as an "unsafe food additive" and restricted its import. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The FDA's stated reason was "toxicological information on stevia is inadequate to demonstrate its safety. " This ruling was controversial, as stevia proponents pointed out that this designation violated the FDA's own guidelines under which any natural substance used prior to 1958 with no reported adverse effects should be generally recognized as safe (GRAS). Generally Recognized as Safe ( GRAS) is a United States of America Food and Drug Administration (FDA designation that a chemical or substance added to food
Stevia occurs naturally, requiring no patent to produce it. A patent is a set of Exclusive rights granted by a State to an inventor or his assignee for a fixed period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an As a consequence, since the import ban in 1991, marketers and consumers of stevia have shared a belief that the FDA acted in response to industry pressure.  Arizona congressman Jon Kyl, for example, called the FDA action against stevia "a restraint of trade to benefit the artificial sweetener industry. The State of Arizona ( is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. This page is about the current Arizona Senator for his father a U Restraint of trade is a Common law doctrine relating to the enforceability of contractual restrictions on freedom to conduct business " Citing privacy issues, the FDA has not revealed the source of the original complaint in its responses to requests filed under the Freedom of Information Act. 
The FDA requires proof of safety before recognizing a food additive as safe. A similar burden of proof is required for the FDA to ban a substance or label it unsafe. Nevertheless, stevia remained banned until after the 1994 Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act forced the FDA in 1995 to revise its stance to permit stevia to be used as a dietary supplement, although not as a food additive — a position that stevia proponents regard as contradictory because it simultaneously labels stevia as safe and unsafe, depending on how it is sold. 
Although unresolved questions remain concerning whether metabolic processes can produce a mutagen from stevia in animals, let alone in humans, the early studies nevertheless prompted the European Commission to ban stevia's use in food in the European Union pending further research. The European Commission (formally the Commission of the European Communities) is the executive branch of the European Union. The European Union ( EU) is a political and economic union of twenty-seven member states, located primarily in  Singapore and Hong Kong have banned it also. Singapore Hong Kong ( officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, is a territory located on China 's south coast on the Pearl River Delta, and borders  However, more recent data compiled in the safety evaluation released by the World Health Organization in 2006 suggest that these policies may be obsolete.
Both the sweetener and the stevia plant Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni (also known as Eupatorium rebaudianum Bertoni) are known simply as "stevia" (pronounced /ˈstɛviə/) in English-speaking countries as well as in France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Israel, Norway and Sweden — although some of these countries also use other terms as shown below. Eupatorium is a Genus of Flowering plants containing from 36 to 60 Species depending on the classification system The following is a list of Sovereign states and territories where English is an Official language, in order of Population. Similar pronunciations occur in Japan (sutebia or ステビア in katakana), and in Thailand (satiwia). is a Japanese Syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with Hiragana, Kanji, and in some cases the Latin alphabet In some countries (India, for example) the name translates literally as "sweet leaf. " Below are some names for the stevia plant in various regions of the world: