Wikipedia says: In relation to diabetes, studies have shown stevia to have a re-vitalizing effect on β-cells of pancreas, improve insulin sensitivity in rats, and possibly even to promote additional insulin production, helping to reverse diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Stevia consumed before meals significantly reduced postprandial insulin levels compared to both aspartame and sucrose. A 2011 review study concluded that Stevia sweeteners would likely benefit diabetic patients. A 2009 review study found that stevioside and related compounds have anti-hyperglycemic, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-diarrheal, diuretic, and immunomodulatory actions.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
I just ordered some organic stevia seeds. And I'm looking forward to growing it for the first time this year. For now, I have some dry leaf stevia (crushed up) which I use to make a very sweet "tea" and then I store that tea in the frig and use it as an added sweetener to foods and drinks. To make the tea, I put 1 tsp. green stevia leaves in 1 c. boiling water and steep it like hot tea for 5-10min. Strain with a cheese cloth. It's an amazing plant. It's a super sweet herb with no sugar in it. It has an herbal green bitter taste as well, so it's not anything like cane sugar. But it's sweetness is nice in small quantities. My kids like chocolate milk made with stevia (no sugar) and unsweetened cocoa, and I like to make baked goods using half the amount of sugar it calls for and then add stevia to desired sweetness. If you grow Stevia this year, let me know. I'd love to compare notes.