Stevia is called “Kaa Hee” (“Sweet herb”) in Guarani, the indigenous language of Paraguay and parts of Brazil. Stevia powder is extracted from the Stevia Rebaudianna plant, a herb from the Chrysanthemum family. Stevia Rebaudianna grows wild in Paraguay and Brazil where it has been used for centuries to sweeten food and beverages.
Stevia is an all-natural sweetener with zero calories, zero carbohydrates and a zero glycaemic index. Research has shown that stevia does not affect blood glucose levels or interfere with insulin. These attributes make stevia a good alternative to sugar or chemical sweeteners. It can be used in conjunction with sugar or as a replacement. As stevia is 10 to 15 times sweeter than sugar, the replacement factor is an approximate and may vary. Since the green leaf crushed can vary in strength, some experimentation may be necessary.