Stevia rebaudiana of the Asteraceae family is a perennial shrub. It is a sweetener herb also
known as sweet weed, sweet leaf, sweet herbs and honey leaf, native to Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
The leaves of stevia are sweeter than sucrose with zero calories. Steviol, a diterpenoid glycoside
derivative identified from this plant, is sweeter than sucrose and is safe when used as a sweetening
agent. Diabetic and obese people with hyperglycemia who are in a condition to follow a strict diet
can use stevioside as an alternative sweetener. In addition to its hypoglycemic property, the plant
also exhibits antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, hypotensive, antiseptic, diuretic, anti-fertility and cardiotonic
properties. It has also been documented to show good effects on treating skin diseases such
as dermatitis, acne, eczema etc. The leaves of stevia with enriched phytoconstituents could be an alternative
natural sweetener for children, adults and old age persons who have a craze to drink beverages
and eat sweetened food products in their habitual life.