Stevia: A Medicinal Sweetener

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By Steve Marmor

Stevia originated in South America, and is often used as a sweetener. Glycosides in stevia, particularly stevioside, give the plant its sweet flavor–anywhere from 100-200 times sweeter than sugar.

The leaf of stevia is considered the medicinal part of the plant. Research shows that extracts of the leaf relax arteries and help prevent the buildup of calcium on artery walls–helping to keep them healthy and reducing blood pressure.

In a long term, placebo controlled clinical study, stevia reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure. On average, participants blood pressure reduced from baseline 150 systolic to 140 systolic and 95 diastolic to 89 diastolic.

Despite its role as a sweetener, stevia may have a side benefit for many with hypertension as well as support improved blood sugar regulation. One of the main reasons it helps with blood sugar is because it has the highest levels of chromium of any known herb. Chromium is one of the known key minerals in controlling blood sugar levels by assisting insulin in reducing blood glucose, as well as stimulating glucose uptake by the muscles and other tissues.

Though blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugar may have their basis as familial pre-dispositions for many, others develop these problems as they age when there hasn’t been enough attention paid to good health habits along the way. There is a great deal one can do naturally to improve their levels in these areas. Stevia is just one of the known supports that can be integrated, along with other thoughtful lifestyle practices, for improving overall health.

Herbs & More in Encinitas Ca, 760 753-7272 , has knowledge and expertise in the area of cholesterol, hypertension, blood sugar control, as well as many other natural health needs. In addition to Encinitas, Herbs & More serves surrounding communities such as: Solana Beach, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Del Mar, La Jolla, San Marcos, Vista, Escondido and the greater San Diego area, since 1993.

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