Because stevia is a whole herbal food, it contains other properties that nicely complement its sweetness. A report from the Hiroshima University School of Dentistry indicates that stevia actually restrains dental bacteria growth rather than feeding it as sugars do. Other studies have shown a beneficial ratio between stevia and the regulation of blood sugar levels. For instance, no signs of intolerance appeared in 24 cases of hypoglycemia. Similar results occurred with diabetic patients. In fact, no damaging effects have yet been reported. Japanese and Latin American scientists have discovered other attributes of stevia including tonic, diuretic properties; stevia also treats mental and physical fatigue, harmonizes digestion, regulates blood pressure, and assists weight loss.
Stevia is increasingly available in the United States as a powder or liquid extract in stores that carry natural foods. The sweetening power of stevia is immense as one to three drops of the extract sweetens one cup of liquid. The powdered leaf can be made into a simple extract by mixing one teaspoon in a cup of water and allowing it to soak during the night. Stevia's sweet flavor is not affected by heat; thus it can be used in teas and other beverages, canning fruits, and baking all kinds of desserts.
Its use in desserts, however, does not add the wealth or moisture of most high calorie sweeteners; likewise, it doesn't appear to have the same damp-producing class in the body and therefore is potentially a good sweetener for the obese person or those suffering from mucus, Candida, edema, or other signs of dampness.