I grew Stevia this year in my Square Foot Gardens. The plant, purchased at a local farm market, grew into a beautiful, large plant. A few weeks ago I harvested the leaves by cutting entire stems and drying them on a tray inside my car. The summer heat and sun quickly dried the leaves to the perfect crisp texture. When dry, just a few crumbles from a small piece of a leaf filled my mouth with sweetness.
I will soon harvest the remaining stems of the stevia and take some cuttings to root and grow through the winter. Natural stevia has few side effects, but don’t confuse the plant with the Stevia-based sweeteners on sale in grocery stores. ‘Food Babe Investigates Stevia: Good or Bad’ is a good article that compares the natural plant with mass-produced product.
Another precaution is for those who have allergies:
In some cases, stevia can cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, but this is a relatively rare occurrence. According to the New Health Guide website, however, those with pre-existing allergies to chrysanthemums, marigolds, ragweed or daisies are at greater risk of a stevia reaction. ~ Livestrong.com