The Stevia genus (Asteraceae) comprises around 230 species, distributed from the southern United States to the South American Andean region. Stevia rebaudiana, a Paraguayan herb that produces an intensely sweet diterpene glycoside called stevioside, is the most relevant member of this genus. Apart from S. rebaudiana, many other species belonging to the Stevia genus are considered medicinal and have been popularly used to treat different ailments. The members from this genus produce sesquiterpene lactones, diterpenes, longipinanes, and flavonoids as the main types of phytochemicals. Many pharmacological activities have been described for Stevia extracts and isolated compounds, antioxidant, antiparasitic, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antiproliferative activities being the most frequently mentioned. This review aims to present an update of the Stevia genus covering ethnobotanical aspects and traditional uses, phytochemistry, and biological activities of the extracts and isolated compounds.
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