Overview

Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) is a bushy shrub native to northeast Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina. It's best known as a natural sweetener.

Stevia contains chemicals that are 200-300 times sweeter than sucrose sugar.

People take stevia for obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In the US, stevia leaves and extracts are available as supplements, but are not approved for use as sweeteners. Rebaudioside A (also called rebiana), one of the chemicals in stevia, is approved as a food sweetener.

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