Indigo Herbs continues to update its range of natural sweeteners as the dangers of refined cane sugar are brought to the forefront in the media. Our Stevia Powder 95% Extract is of premium grade and one of the best on the market. Indigo Herbs guarantees this botanical extract as a good alternative to sugar for your tea or cooking.
Stevia is sometimes added to yerba mate, a traditional tea drunk in western South America, from Paraguay to Argentina. Stevia has been used as a sweetener and as a herbal medicine by the indigenous peoples of Central and South America for thousands of years. Stevia came to the attention of the west in 1899 when a Swiss botanist documented it and described it's unusually sweet taste. Stevia seems to have then been largely ignored until the 1930s when two French chemists isolated two glycosides that give Stevia it's sweetness. These were named stevioside and rebaudioside. In the 1970s in Japan, Stevia cultivation commenced as an alternative to artificial sweeteners. The Japanese now eat more Stevia than anywhere else, where it accounts for 40% of all sweeteners consumed. Today Stevia is cultivated and used as a food in many countries and is increasingly being accepted for the marvellous, health promoting sweetener that it is.
Stevia rebaudiana is a perennial shrub with very bright light green leaves. It can grow up to 1 meter tall. Belonging to the Aster family of plants, Stevia Rebaudiana is native to South America and is grown commercially in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Thailand, China and Israel.