Stevia is a perennial plant native to South America and is part of the sunflower family. The plant grows up to 2-3 feet in height and produces small, white flowers. The leaves of the stevia plant are the primary source of its sweetening compounds, which are called steviol glycosides. These compounds are up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, but with zero calories and a low glycemic index, making stevia an excellent sugar alternative for those looking to manage their blood sugar levels.
Aside from its use as a natural sweetener, stevia also has several potential health benefits. It has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as the ability to lower blood pressure and improve insulin sensitivity. Additionally, stevia may have antimicrobial properties that can help fight off harmful bacteria and viruses.
Overall, stevia is a versatile and beneficial plant that can be used as a natural sweetener and may provide several potential health benefits.