Guayusa, The Dream Maker – tea chic

I’ve always been a dreamer.  Dreams allow us to transcend the confines of our present position and give us space to journey.  We are able to visualize the future, revisit the past, resolve a problem, or just keep ourselves entertained.  Whether awake (as in aspirations) or asleep, dreaming is a state of complete vulnerability.  To me, dreams are the one place where true self triumphs and where social pressures and responsibilities take a back seat.  In fact, during sleep, [...]

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Guayusa: The New Super Tisane

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! No, it’s Guayusa (GWHY-YOU-SA): the super hero of the herbal tea world. If you haven’t seen this herb yet, keep looking. Why? It seems to offer the best of everything. It is high in antioxidants like green tea, while also offering a caffeine boost equivalent to a cup of coffee. This plant seems to offer all the benefits of yerba mate without the potential bitterness. Grown in the depths of the Ecuadorian rainforest, this [...]

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Bye Bye Latté, Hello Guayusa: Why The Amazon Holds the Secret to a Cleaner, Healthier Caffeine

It’s 4am on the river. The fire crackles beneath an iron cauldron. A boiling brew is scooped into makeshift bowls—hollowed out coconut halves. Frederico leads the others around the hearth as they gently wash their faces with cupfuls of warm liquid. In the still of the night he breaks the silence and begins: “everything in nature is interrelated…” What follows over the course of the next two hours, deep in the Ecuadorian jungle, is an elaborate recounting of a local [...]

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Guayusa: The New Tea in Town

Recently I spent time in Napo Province, in the beautiful South American country of Ecuador. I was there to study two plants, one of which is a relatively unknown tea called guayusa. Guayusa enjoys a history of use among some native tribes in Ecuador, notably the Jivaro tribe. Among the Jivaro, the drinking of guayusa is a daily event and a morning ritual. Historically the Jivaro would rise early, make a fire, boil a pot of guayusa leaves, drink the [...]

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Ecuador’s “Superleaf” Tea: Could It Replace Your Afternoon Coffee?

By Emma Weissmann, National Geographic For the Kichwa people of the Ecuadorian Amazon, teatime isn’t an afternoon tradition that pairs dainty finger sandwiches with porcelain cups. Instead, it begins at 3 a.m., when members of this indigenous community gather around a fire and brew guayusa, a highly caffeinated drink with twice the antioxidants of green tea. But this “superleaf” does more than provide these villagers with the energy to face the day—it has recently become a sustainable source of income that [...]

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Traditional Uses & Cultural Heritage

The indigenous Kichwa say guayusa is so captivating that visitors are warned once they drink it, they will always return to the Ecuadorian Jungle. The women say it relieves symptoms of menopause, helps the liver and stomach; soothes and reduces aches and pains and offers balance and strength to pregnant women. Spiritually, elders say guayusa helps dream recall, protects against insect and snake bites, and connects them to the forces of nature. Traditionally, indigenous families woke up at dawn [...]

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