What is Guayusa Tea? December 19 2013
Information on Guayusa Tea:
Guayusa is an herb that comes from a plant that is indigenous to the Amazon rainforest. It is very similar to the health food: Yerba Mate tea. While it is mostly harvested in Ecuador, Guayusa can also be gathered in neighboring countries in the region such as Colombia or Peru. The leaves come from the Ilex Guayusa tree which can grow anywhere from 6 to 30 meters tall. It is one of the three holly plants whose leaves naturally contain caffeine.
Guayusa is traditionally used as "Guayusa Tea," read below to learn more...
Traditional Uses of the Guayusa Plant:
Traditionally the leaves of the tree are cultivated and dried for both import and export. Guayusa tea is made by boiling the leaves in water just like you would any other tea, such as green tea or black tea. However green and black teas are often not historically brewed at boiling temperatures, but more like 175 or 185 degrees Fahrenheit. The Guayusa plant is unique in that it can be brewed with boiling water for a long time and still not taste bitter. This is because the Guayusa tea leaves are mostly free from tannins, which tend to make green and black teas bitter. Thus depending on your personal preferences, Guayusa tea can be consumed unsweetened without causing common discomforts like stomach upset, or dry mouth.
Caffeine Content in Guayusa Tea:
The caffeine content in Guayusa tea is similar to a cup of coffee. For this reason, many people will enjoy a cup of Guayusa tea in the morning just like people who would regularly drink a morning cup of coffee or black tea. Additionally, there are no crashes like coffee drinkers often experience. Instead, this herb offers a steady climb of energy and a steady fall of energy. So you don’t need to worry about any jitters, shaking, or nervousness.
A legend about the tea that is prevalent among indigenous and native people, is as follows: many native peoples believe that the tea will give the men visions about whether a hunt will go well or not the night or day before a hunting excursion. For this reasons the tea was often drank in the evening so that the men could potentially have the dreams.
Production of Guayusa tea is mostly industrialized. The llex Guayusa tree tends to be grown on plantations with hired workers who pick the leaves off of the trees. The leaves themselves are then dried and either sold as whole leaves or as crushed leaves depending on the needs of the manufacturer. Currently the Ecuadorian government is working towards establishing both fair trade as well as organic production of Guayusa tea. This is because Ecuador as a nation largely believes in the well being of the environment.
Guayusa tea has better health benefits over popular teas such as a black tea or green tea. It is twice as rich in antioxidants than traditional teas are, which help the body to remove harmful toxins that harm cells and DNA. Additionally many people will drink it for its stimulant effects and some people even report that it has the benefit of helping them feel calm and relaxed.
How should you enjoy Guayusa?
Enjoy a cup with your friends! Traditionally the drinking of Guayusa tea is considered to be a social activity by indigenous people. They will often get up early in the morning and gather around a fire where the tea is being brewed. As they drink the tea, they will normally tell stories, listen to music, or play on the drums. Many times shamans will be present to interpret dreams and help guide the tribe with living in harmony with the rain forest. After drinking the morning cup of tea, children are normally sent to bathe in the river to help them take advantage of the river’s strength not unlike the strength found in a steaming cup of Guayusa tea.