Stevia as a Natural Sweetener: A Review

Cardiovasc Hematol Agents Med Chem. 2020;18(2):94-103. doi: 10.2174/1871525718666200207105436.


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.

Keywords: Glycosides; Stevia rebaudiana; diabetic; diuretic; hypotensive; sweetener.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology
  • Antihypertensive Agents / chemistry
  • Antihypertensive Agents / pharmacology
  • Biological Products / chemistry
  • Biological Products / pharmacology
  • Glycosides / chemistry
  • Glycosides / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / chemistry
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / pharmacology
  • Stevia / chemistry*
  • Sweetening Agents / chemistry*
  • Sweetening Agents / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Biological Products
  • Glycosides
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Sweetening Agents