Stevia is a species of herbs found in the sunflower family. Its origins trace back to tropical and subtropical regions from South America and parts of Asia. Stevia Rebaudiana, the sweetest stevia species, has been harvested for centuries for its sugar-like taste. In the early 1970′s, Japan began cultivating stevia in an effort to reduce consumption of cyclamate and saccharin, known carcinogens. Stevia received approval by the FDA as a food additive in the United States in 2008 and has received GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) designation. At maturity, the shrub grows to about three feet tall.