Jess Lewis | Gathering of Minds
Every single day, before dawn, members of the Kichwas tribe gather together around a communal fire and drink Guayusa (Guayusa Ilex, pronounced Gwhy-YOU-sa). Kichwas people believe it is Important for the body to receive Guayusa first thing in the morning when they first wake up.
They then share the dreams that they’ve had during the night. Sitting around the fire, they then help each other to decode their dreams; this will guide them for the day ahead. They believe that dreams are related directly to their future, and so their workload is divided according. With the information received through the dream state, they can decide who will go to gather food that day, and who will stay close to their home.
The Kichwas have lived in the Napo Province in Ecuador basin of the Amazon rainforest for thousands of years in the jungle, their home. Many Amazonian tribes and communities use Guayusa, but the Kichwas are among one of the few tribes that drink it daily. Guayusa sharpens the senses, and so the tribe uses it to keep them alert during the day whilst they gather food. While the Kichwas people understand how powerful Guayusa is, the Western part of the world is only just taking notice in recent years. People are reporting so many benefits from adding Guayusa into their diet, It’s fast becoming part of a morning ritual for people in the Western part of the world too.
But there is so much more to Guayusa and to show how amazing this plant really is, I’ve put together 7 benefits of drinking this extremely beneficial tea with science studies.
Organic and Wild Harvested Guayusa from £5.44
If you would like to try fairtrade and sustainable Guayusa tea click here. The Shipibo Market buys Guayusa from farmers in the Napo province of Ecuador, where practices are not only fair trade but sustainable income for the Kichwas people. Guayusa naturally grows in shady areas of the Amazon, under other trees. This is great because the production of Guayusa doesn’t negatively affect or disrupt the ecosystem. The sudden increase in the popularity of the Guayusa trade also discourages farmers from logging, which is currently a large source of income for many indigenous people of this region.
7 Benefits of Guayusa Tea
1) Its A Great Lucid Dreaming Aid
Guayusa is also referred to as ‘Night Watchman’s plant’ because of its ability to aid in lucid dreaming. Lucid Dreaming is the phenomenon in which the person sleeping becomes fully conscious and aware they are dreaming. They can then control their dreams, and even working on things in the dream state, that they want to see manifest in the waking life. Guayusa tea prolongs the stage of sleep known as a hypnagogic state. This is the stage where you start to fall asleep and your consciousness starts to drift into the dream state. This is what’s referred to as threshold consciousness which includes lucid thoughts, lucid dreaming, sleep paralysis, and hallucinations.
The best way to achieve lucidity with Guayusa tea is to use the Wake Up Back to Bed method. The technique is in the video below [Quick 1 min watch]
2) An Excellent Energy Booster and Coffee Replacement
Guayusa tea is fast becoming a replacement for energy drinks which are loaded with chemicals, sugar and are proven to be bad for the system. Guayusa contains stimulants that are found in caffeine, such as theophylline– a clarifying and uplifting alkaloid that is used in the treatment of lung problems such as asthma and COPD (bronchitis, emphysema).
The second alkaloid is theobromine, a stimulant found in cacao giving a pleasant feeling and aids in dilating constricted blood vessels, it’s also a diuretic too, Theobromine been studied as a possible treatment for high blood pressure Although Guyausa contains caffeine, it also has something called L-Theanine helps to release the caffeine a lot slower, instead of in one hit. This means that it won’t give you the shakes associated with coffee; even though Guayusa is more powerful than coffee. Both of the alkaloids are stimulants that are known to improve concentration and boost energy levels.
3) It Contains Antioxidants Galore
Antioxidants help protect the body from oxidative stress and disease, they prohibit and in some instances, prevent the oxidation of other molecules in our system. Antioxidants are vital for maintaining good health and to counteract free radicals damage in the body, which cause disease, and illnesses. The body produces some free radicals naturally, but antioxidants counteract any negative impact they may have. Nevertheless, free radicals far exceed the number of antioxidants that occur naturally, so in order to maintain equilibrium, a continuous supply of antioxidants, from our intake of foods is vital in order to get the maximum benefits of antioxidants. Antioxidants help the body by neutralizing and eliminating free radicals from the bloodstream.
With 50% more antioxidants present than green tea, Guayusa contains more antioxidants than acai berries, goji berries, blackberries, blueberries, and even kale. it’s easy to see why people are making the switch.
The antioxidants in Guayusa have shown that they protect the nervous system from disease, hinder certain cancers, and prevent premature aging. When cells become imbalanced with electrons they start to clump together. Once this happens then free radicals can start to attach and combine with the cells.
Free radical damage is responsible for the body breaking down and aging. Everything from wrinkles to cancer has been associated with free radical damage.
Aside from the powerful antioxidants, Guayusa also consists of Vitamin C which is great for helping to prevent colds and flu and Vitamin D and calcium great for bones strength, zinc for a strong immune system, chromium for strong muscles, magnesium for enzyme production (magnesium does 300 different roles in the body) and also 15 essential proteins including leucine which is very important for health and for slowing the aging process.
4) Helps with Heart Health
Guayusa contains a compound called Polyphenol. Polyphenols are micronutrients with antioxidant activity, they play a vital role in the prevention and reducing of the progression of diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases. Research has confirmed that one cup of Guayusa has 30% more polyphenols than a cup of green tea which has been proven to boost the immune system, has an anti-inflammatory, an anti-tumor effect and boost and support heart health.
Another amazing compound found in Guayusa is amino acid Theanine. A study during 2015 was carried out to research the effects and benefits of Theanine and is was discovered that Theanine reduced inflammation, which lowered blood pressure in the arteries and blood vessels. Theobromine has also been researched as a possible treatment for high blood pressure.
5) Helps with weight loss
Guayusa contains chlorogenic acid is thought to affect how the body handles blood sugar and metabolism. It’s shown that it has anti-diabetic effects because it regulates the blood sugar levels in the body. For high blood pressure, it might affect blood vessels so that blood pressure is reduced.
A study in 2016 showed body weight decreased with caffeine and theobromine found in Guayusa. The results from the study showed that Guayusa lowered triglycerides and lipid levels by increasing fat burning processes.
6) Helps with stress and relaxation
There’s been a huge amount of interest in the anxiety-relieving capabilities of L-theanine, an amino acid found in Guayusa. Research carried out over the past few years has unveiled impressive additional properties of this nutrient most known for its calming and tranquilizing effects, while simultaneously improving sharpness.
There’s a link between anxiety, reaction to stress, and the brain’s most fundamental function, maintaining cognition. Studies over the past two years suggest a potential role for L-theanine in supporting cognitive function and preventing its loss of activity. Stress has a powerful adverse effect on our ability to think clearly and make smart and effective decisions.
L-theanine is not only known to improve cognitive performance, but is a great mood booster too.
Theanine has also been studied for its calming effects on the nervous system, and for its ability to protect and restore the brain.
7) Great for Maintaining Digestive Health
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, Guayusa is great for digestive health. It’s able to relieve stomach issues such as bloating and cramps, helping the digestive system to work more efficiently decreases inflammation in the stomach that can cause stomach cramps and bloating.
How to Make Guayusa Tea
- Add spring or distilled water to a pan or kettle
- Boil water for 5 mins.
- Add leaves and boil for a further 5 mins
- Drink hot or cold! Add lime a squeeze of lime juice and serve
Guayusa can also be consumed as an iced tea, just leave it to cool to room temperature then place it in the fridge. Chill for 3 to 4 hours then serve with ice.