Stevia is a natural sweetener with certain properties that make it an excellent alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. Dr. Tina Marcantel is a naturopathic doctor practicing in Gold Canyon, Arizona. Other East Valley cities she serves are Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, Scottsdale, Queen Creek, Apache Junction, and the greater Phoenix area.

I especially like stevia and recommend it for my patients because it is natural and tastes good, plus it has medicinal effects on the body. This plant is indigenous to mountainous regions of Brazil and Paraguay. It is grown in Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, Central America, Israel, China, and the United States.

Stevia plantStevia is an herb with very potent sweetening power. It’s natural in its biochemical structure and contains no artificial ingredients. It won’t cause a rise in blood sugars and is calorie-free and can be used in baking, to sweeten your drinks, or wherever you might normally use sugar or a sugar substitute.

One therapeutic effect of this herb is that it can help balance blood sugars in hypoglycemic and diabetic individuals. It is the ideal sweetener for people with obesity and chronic yeast infections caused by high sugar levels. It can also help reduce dental cavities and carbohydrate cravings. Brazilians have used the plant to improve digestion, soften skin, and prevent tooth decay.

Because it is a natural sweetener, it is also less likely to adversely affect those suffering from colon problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Stevia is available in either a white powder or liquid extract form and can be found in many grocery stores under different manufacturers labels such as SweetLeaf, Sweet ‘n Natural, and others (try the health food section if it is not with the other sweeteners). Be sure to check the label for a minimum of 90% the active ingredient Steviosides.

More information on stevia