Guayusa, Latin Ilex guayusa, is a plant native to the Amazon Ecuador, where has been for centuries a favorite drink of local natives. It belongs to the Ilex tree family, as well as the popular Yerba mate. Guayusa is an evergreen tree that grows to a height of 30 meters. Its leaves are collected, then dried and then used in a variety of forms to produce the desired effects. Due to its specific composition of active substances, it is becoming increasingly popular as a substitute for morning coffee. Guayusa is able to kick as reliably, without unpleasant side effects such as stress, distraction or nausea. It is also referred to as a superfood because of its amount of antioxidants and other beneficial substances.
Guayusa has been used by indigenous people of the Amazon for centuries. Its drinking was the morning ritual of every new day. Thanks to this plant, the natives were able to handle far-reaching expeditions and hunts without feeling tired or exhausted. Guayusa has earned its nickname “Night Watcher” amongst the local Indians because it helped the hunters stay up all night.
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION AND EFFECTS
The chemical composition of Wayusa is really interesting. Plants with such a varied composition of active substances can not find much, and that is why its effects are so unique.
Guayusa contains mainly caffeine, which is represented here approximately to the same extent as in regular coffee. However, it is released gradually, so the stimulation is not sudden, it is long-lasting, and there are no unpleasant side effects such as nervousness, tremor, sweating or nausea. Another active ingredient is theobromine, known for its euphoric and aphrodisiac effects, also found in cocoa beans. The plant is also similar in the content of active ingredients to green tea. It contains l-theanine, which calms and relaxes the body and helps against anxiety. There is also a large number of antioxidants that promote immunity, detoxification and slow down aging processes.
Another substance in this plant is also choline, which promotes the optimal functioning of the nervous system and has a positive effect on memory. There are also chlorogenic acid, vitamins D and C and minerals such as zinc, calcium, magnesium and chromium. Guayusa improves attention and concentration due to a high amount of substances affecting the nervous system. It can be used as a tool for inducing lucid dreams when taken immediately after waking up with a return to sleep.
PREPARATION AND DOSAGE
Guayusa in the form of finely ground leaves are prepared by pouring 1-2 teaspoons of the herb into a teacup, then pour over boiling water and leave to stand for 5 minutes. The herbal powder creates sediment on the bottom so it does not need to be sieved. The drink is ready for immediate consumption. Up to two infusions can be prepared.
To prepare Guayusa in the form of crushed leaves, pour 2-3 tablespoons into half a liter of water and simmer for 5-10 minutes on low heat. Then drain. Up to two infusions can be prepared.
The resulting drink can be flavored with honey, cinnamon or ginger.