Stevia leaf extract has only been approved as an ingredient since 2008, but the plant itself has a rich history that began more than two centuries ago.
Traditionally, indigenous people added dried stevia leaves to sweeten yerba mate (a traditional drink), teas and medicine. Due to the natural sweetness in the leaves themselves, stevia was nicknamed “sweet herb,” and the leaves were sometimes just chewed for their sweet taste.
Since then, stevia has undergone a remarkable journey through the world of science and regulation to make its way into everyday food and beverage products that you can enjoy today. Track its journey with our History of Stevia infographic.