Binomial Name – Stevia rebaudiana
Sugar Thulasi/Stevia/Stevia Rebaudiana plant is an intensely sweet-tasting plant.
Stevia is used as a healthful alternative to added sugar in many meals and beverages.
The plant is originally native to Paraguay and Brazil but is now also grown in Japan and China.
Traditionally, the plant was used to sweeten yerba maté and other teas, and it had a number of applications in folk medicine.
It is a small seasonal plant which grows to a height of 30–60 cm (0.98–1.97 ft).
It has elongated leaves that grow along the stems and are lined up against each other.
Flowers are typically trimmed to improve the taste of the leaves.
The chemical compounds that produce its sweetness are various steviol glycosides (mainly stevioside and rebaudioside), which have 200–300 times the sweetness of sugar.Stevia leaves contain 9.1% stevioside and 3.8% rebaudioside A.