There are some 150 species of stevia many having as much as 300 times the sweetness of manufactured sugar and without any of the side effects. In fact stevia has shown to have many positive benefits, such as controlling obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. It can also be used as a toothpaste or mouthwash and skin cleanser. It is seen by many as the sugar or sweetner of the future much to the dismay of the conventional white sugar manufacturers.
Stevia is currently available in most natural health food stores in liquid or powdered form. You can grow the plant yourself by obtaining seeds or a small plant and planting it in a large vase or container -provided it is kept warm and well lighted. The plant grows to about three feet, is cut at the stem, and hung to dry. The dry crisp leaves are then picked and crushed or ground into a powder.
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