Stevia: The Sweet Leaf

stevia11Stevia is a green leafy plant the leaves of which are a natural sweetener with zero calories. Stevia has been known since antiquity in its native countries of Paraguay and Brazil where it was used as a natural sweetener in herbal teas. In Northern Asia stevia is used in foods and pharmaceutical products.

Stevia grows best in semi-humid, sub-tropical climates where the yearly temperature range varies from -6°C to 43°C. Stevia can withstand slight frost but deep frost will kill the plants roots. Stevia grows best in porous soil that drains well such as loam (sandy, silt with small amounts of clay about 40%-40%-20%) but has great difficulty in poorly drained soil that has a lot of clay.

Stevia was approved for general consumption by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) in late 2011.  READ MORE

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