Hi. I grow stevia too, it's very easy, grows like a weed. In fact, I don't harvest the whole plant, I just let it die down in the winter then in spring it pops up again.
Being allergic to sugar and knowing how evil artificial sweeteners are, I have found Stevia as a marvelous substitute. My ears have stopped ringing, my skin has cleared up, and I no longer crave diet sodas. Stevia is all natural and has no side effects - at least that I have found to date. As stated, "Stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose, even enhancing glucose tolerance."
It is "a native to subtropical and tropical South America and Central America." "Millions of Japanese people have been using stevia for over thirty years with no reported or known harmful effects. Similarly, stevia leaves have been used for centuries in South America spanning multiple generations in ethno-medical tradition as a treatment of type II diabetes." Wikipedia
For those of us that Love our sugar & sweets, Sugar, aspartame, & other dangerous sweetener's can be replaced with StevIa which is a plant, tree I think. Not sure if it has any real health value beyond replacing sugar, which is a huge health benefit alone. You can buy at the health store.
Just got some Stevita Stevia in powder form. I added it to some chai as a sweetener and the first thing happened was my whole head just had this tingling feeling and my nostrils opened up and some sinus drainage. It was weird but it reduced the chronic sinus pressure I have due to allergies. I only used 1/4 tsp. It also stops my sugar cravings.
I use stevia, and believe in it completely. I grow my own stevia, and was wondering how to process it. right now i just air dry it and keep it in jars. Sharon