Stevia is an intensely sweet-tasting plant that has been used to sweeten beverages and make tea since the 16th century.
The plant is originally native to Paraguay and Brazil but is now also grown in Japan and China. It is used as a non-nutritive sweetener and herbal supplement.
A non-nutritive sweetener is one that contains little to no calories. Stevia is used as a healthful alternative to added sugar in many meals and beverages.
As stevia is 200 to 300 times sweeter than table sugar. It typically requires about 20 percent of the land and far less water to provide the same amount of sweetness as other mainstream sweeteners.