Want a Healthy Coffee Alternative? Look No Further
Are you searching for a healthy coffee alternative? This warm, comforting beverage offers a boost of natural, focused energy, with none of the negative effects of coffee or other coffee alternatives. One cup of guyausa has the same caffeine levels as a cup of coffee, and twice that of a cup of tea, with none of the jitters that come with the consumption of coffee.
Guayusa is a native tree leaf from the Ecuadorean Amazon. It has been brewed by the indigenous people of the rainforest for thousands of years. Similar to our own morning rituals that consist of waking up to a hot, caffeinated beverage, guayusa was traditionally prepared each morning before sunrise. Indigenous families would sit around the fire drinking guyausa together, sharing stories and myths. Village elders would teach the youth about ancestors, social values, and hunting techniques.
The indigenous Kichwa women say the beverage relieves symptoms of menopause, helps the liver and the stomach, and soothes and reduces various aches and pains while also strengthening and offering balance to pregnant women. Spiritually, elders say guayusa ( (gwhy-you-sa)) helps to recall dreams and connect on a deeper level to the natural world. Guayusa can induce lucid dreaming and is known as the “watchman’s plant”. Guayusa also gives farmers incentive to maintain the rainforest because the plant needs a diverse ecological habitat in order to grow. The market created by sellers and drinkers requires farmers to actively reforest degraded lands in the Amazon so that they can cultivate the guayusa plant.
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Guayusa is not a tea but the leaves are dried and steeped in hot water much like the techniques used to create tea. The leaves come from the caffeinated Amazonian holly tree (liex guayusa). Guayusa does not contain the tannins found in tea, which means the flavor is not astringent or bitter. The beverage is tasty, with a fruity flavor and a creamy texture. Guayusa is nearly impossible to over-brew and you can re-steep the leaves half a dozen times before their flavor begins to wane.
Guayusa not only tastes good, but it also has many health benefits that range from physical to mental. This beverage contains twice the antioxidant benefits found in tea which means it has twice the free-radical fighting, anti-aging, and cancer fighting benefits.
Guayusa also has:
Theobromine which is a compound found in raw chocolate. It can reduce inflammation and blood pressure while acting as a diuretic.
Plyphenois, flavanoids, and saponins which are phyto-chemicals, believed to have cancer fighting benefits. They are potent antioxidants that reduce inflammation while stimulating the immune system.
L-Theanine which is an amino acid that produces dopamine, the hormone responsible for producing a feeling of wellbeing. L-theanine calms the mind while increasing alertness. It can increase focus, improve memory, and improve learning ability.
It also contains potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, chromium, and vitamins D and C.
You can find guayusa online or at a health food store near you.
Ariana Marisol is a contributing staff writer for REALfarmacy.com, where this article first appeared. She is an avid nature enthusiast, gardener, photographer, writer, hiker, dreamer, and lover of all things sustainable, wild, and free. Ariana strives to bring people closer to their true source, Mother Nature. She is currently finishing her last year at The Evergreen State College getting her undergraduate degree in Sustainable Design and Environmental Science. Follow her adventures on Instagram.