What is Stevia?
Stevia is a species of herb and shrub native to the West coast of South America. Commonly known as sweetleaf, stevia has been used as a sweetener and sugar substitute for generations by the Guarani Indians in Paraguay.
It contains 300 times the sweetness of sugar yet contains almost zero calories, thus stevia has garnered attention with the rise in demand of healthy, low-carbohydrate, low-sugar food alternatives.
Today, stevia is being used in many parts of the world. Japan for instance, is the biggest user of stevia and has cultivated it since the early 1970s as an alternative to artificial sweeteners such as cyclamate, saccharin and aspartame, which are suspected carcinogens. Stevia is widely used in food products and soft drinks in Japan.