Stevia is a herb native to Paraguay whose leaves are extremely sweet. In
fact they are 10-15 times as sweet as table sugar, and refined extracts
are 200-300 sweeter than sugar. I can’t abide artificial sweeteners,
but I use Stevia to make lemonade, and it tastes great. It takes just
one dash of the extract to sweeten an entire pitcher.
Stevia is widely used in Japan as a sweetener (it has 41% of the market).
In the U.S. the FDA does
not allow Stevia to be sold as a sweetener, it can only
be labeled as a dietary supplement. This is probably due to lobbying by
the artificial sweetener and sugar industry.
You can purchase Stevia at health food stores, but don’t look in the sweetener
section, look in the dietary supplement section.