Stevia  is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, native to Brazil and Paraguay. The active compounds are steviol glycosides (mainly stevioside and rebaudioside), which have 30 to 150 times the sweetness of sugar, are heat-stable, pH-stable, and not fermentableThe body does not metabolize the glycosides in stevia and therefore it contains 0 calories like some artificial sweeteners. Stevia’s taste has a slower onset and longer duration than that of sugar, and some of its extracts may have a bitter or licorice-like aftertaste at high concentrations.

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