Tian ye ju

Chinese Name: Tian Ye Ju
Medical Name:
Latin Name: Stevia rebaudiana

Quotes from Chinese historical sources

A DICTIONARY OF CHINESE HERBS: "Strengthens the blood vessels, and reduces blood sugar levels."

Western Research

J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Feb 8;54(3):785-9
Anti-Inflammatory and Immunomodulatory Activities of Stevioside and Its Metabolite Steviol on THP-1 Cells
Boonkaewwan C, Toskulkao C, Vongsakul M.
Departments of Physiology and Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.
Stevioside, a natural noncaloric sweetener isolated from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, possesses anti-inflammatory and antitumor promoting properties; however, no information is available to explain its activity. The aim of this study was to elucidate the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities of stevioside and its metabolite, steviol. Stevioside at 1 mM significantly suppressed lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced release of TNF-alpha and IL-1beta and slightly suppressed nitric oxide release in THP-1 cells without exerting any direct toxic effect, whereas steviol at 100 microM did not. Activation of IKKbeta and transcription factor NF-kappaB were suppressed by stevioside, as demonstrated by Western blotting. Furthermore, only stevioside induced TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, and nitric oxide release in unstimulated THP-1 cells. Release of TNF-alpha could be partially neutralized by anti-TLR4 antibody. This study suggested that stevioside attenuates synthesis of inflammatory mediators in LPS-stimulated THP-1 cells by interfering with the IKKbeta and NF-kappaB signaling pathway, and stevioside-induced TNF-alpha secretion is partially mediated through TLR4.

Clin Ther. 2003 Nov;25(11):2797-808.
Efficacy and tolerability of oral stevioside in patients with mild essential hypertension: a two-year, randomized, placebo-controlled study
Hsieh MH, Chan P, Sue YM, Liu JC, Liang TH, Huang TY, Tomlinson B, Chow MS, Kao PF, Chen YJ.
Department of Medicine, Taipei Medical University--Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei City, Taiwan.
BACKGROUND: Stevioside, a natural glycoside isolated from the plant Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni, has been used as a commercial sweetening agent in Japan and Brazil for >20 years. Previous animal and human studies have indicated that stevioside has an antihypertensive effect. OBJECTIVES: This study was undertaken to investigate the long-term (2-year) efficacy and tolerability of stevioside in patients with mild essential hypertension. Secondary objectives were to determine the effects of stevioside on left ventricular mass index (LVMI) and quality of life (QOL). METHODS: This was a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in Chinese men and women aged between 20 and 75 years with mild essential hypertension (systolic blood pressure [SBP] 140-159 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure [DBP] 90-99 mm Hg). Patients took capsules containing 500 mg stevioside powder or placebo 3 times daily for 2 years. Blood pressure was measured at monthly clinic visits; patients were also encouraged to monitor blood pressure at home using an automated device. LVMI was determined by 2-dimensional echocardiography at baseline and after 1 and 2 years of treatment. QOL was assessed using the Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey. Electrocardiographic, laboratory, and QOL parameters were assessed at the beginning of treatment, and at 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years. RESULTS: One hundred seventy-four patients (87 men, 87 women) were enrolled in the study, and 168 completed it: 82 (42 men, 40 women; mean [SD] age, 52 [7] years) in the stevioside group and 86 (44 women, 42 men; mean age, 53 [7] years) in the placebo group. After 2 years, the stevioside group had significant decreases in mean (SD) SBP and DBP compared with baseline (SBP, from 150 [7.3] to 140 [6.8] mm Hg; DBP, from 95 [4.2] to 89 [3.2] mm Hg; P < 0.05) and compared with placebo (P < 0.05). Based on patients' records of self-monitored blood pressure, these effects were noted beginning approximately 1 week after the start of treatment and persisted throughout the study. There were no significant changes in body mass index or blood biochemistry, and the results of laboratory tests were similar in the 2 groups throughout the study. No significant difference in the incidence of adverse effects was noted between groups, and QOL scores were significantly improved overall with stevioside compared with placebo (P < 0.001). Neither group had a significant change in mean LVMI. However, after 2 years, 6 of 52 patients (11.5%) in the stevioside group had left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), compared with 17 of 50 patients (34.0%) in the placebo group (P < 0.001). Of those who did not have LVH at baseline, 3 of 46 patients (6.5%) in the stevioside group had developed LVH after 2 years, compared with 9 of 37 patients (24.3%) in the placebo group (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: In this 2-year study in Chinese patients with mild hypertension, oral stevioside significantly decreased SBP and DBP compared with placebo. QOL was improved, and no significant adverse effects were noted.

Antiviral Res 2001 Jan;49(1):15-24
Analysis of anti-rotavirus activity of extract from Stevia rebaudiana.
Takahashi K, Matsuda M, Ohashi K, Taniguchi K, Nakagomi O, Abe Y, Mori S, Sato N, Okutani K, Shigeta S.
Department of Microbiology, School of Medicine, Fukushima Medical University, 1 Hikarigaoka, Fukushima-shi 960-1295, Japan.
Anti-human rotavirus (HRV) activity of hot water extracts from Stevia rebaudiana (SE) was examined. SE inhibited the replication of all four serotypes of HRV in vitro. These findings suggest that SE may bind to 37 kD VP7 and interfere with the binding of VP7 to the cellular receptors by steric hindrance, which results in the blockade of the virus attachment to cells.

Metabolism 2000 Feb;49(2):208-14
Stevioside acts directly on pancreatic beta cells to secrete insulin: actions independent of cyclic adenosine monophosphate and adenosine triphosphate-sensitive K+channel activity.
Jeppesen PB, Gregersen S, Poulsen CR, Hermansen K.
Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.
Stevioside and steviol stimulate insulin secretion via a direct action on beta cells. The results indicate that the compounds may have a potential role as antihyperglycemic agents in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.