Ancient use in Cultural drinks by Guarani natives and introduced to settlers in the region. The Guaraní people of Brazil and Paraguay has been using the stevia plant for more than 1,500 years, calling it ka’a he’ê, meaning “sweet herb.”
Dr. Moises Santiago Bertoni described the sweet leaf as “this very strange plant” from Indian guides while exploring Paraguay’s eastern forests in 1887. Bertoni named the plant stevia rebaudiana in honor of chemist Rebaudi who would later identify the plant’s sweetness component.