What Is Guayusa? All You Need to Know

What Is Guayusa?

Guayusa is a popular name given to a plant from South America with leaves similar to those of the Amazonian yucca (Agua bracteosa). It’s popularity stems from its ability to produce an extremely potent stimulant called guayusa extract. Its effects are described as being similar to caffeine, but without any of the negative side effects associated with it. It is often compared to a combination of cocaine and ecstasy.

The main active ingredient in guayusa extract is a chemical known as Ilex paraguariensis, which is chemically related to caffeine. However, unlike caffeine, there are no reports of people dying after consuming guayusa extract. There have been several studies conducted on the medicinal properties of Ilex paraguariensis and it appears that it may be effective against certain types of cancer cells. It has also been shown to reduce blood pressure and improve cognitive function.

How Does It Work?

There are many theories about how guayusa works, but one theory suggests that it acts like a natural stimulant. Another theory says that it increases your heart rate and blood flow, which could explain why some users report feeling energized during use.

The truth is that no one knows exactly how guayusa works, although several similar species have been shown to increase alertness and cognition in animals. Some say it improves mood and reduces anxiety. The effects of the guayusa are very similar to those of caffeine or even yerba mate.

What Are The Different Types Of Guayusa?

Guayusa comes in three different forms, which are determined by how they’re prepared before consumption. The types of guayusa are as follows:

Dried Guayusa Tea Bags

The dried guayusa tea bags are by far the most popular method of using with guayusa. These are widely available in online and offline herbal stores and can be consumed in the same way as any other tea. The effects will take longer to kick in, but the effects last a lot longer.

Brewed Guayusa

The brewed guayusa is more traditional, but it’s not as common as the dried tea bags. To brew the tea, take one teaspoon of the dried leaves and add it to boiling water. Leave to brew for 5-10 minutes. Strain and enjoy. This method is usually only used by people who want to get the health benefits of guayusa without the stimulant effect.

Liquid Extract

The final type of guayusa is a liquid extract and is the most potent way of using it. The effects kick in a lot quicker when it’s taken in this form and only a small amount is required. It should be noted that people often become addicted to the liquid extract, as it’s so easy to use. However, it does last a lot longer than brewed tea.

What Are The Benefits Of Guayusa?

There are a lot of benefits to using guayusa, but it all depends on how it’s taken and in what form. The dried tea bags and brewed tea both have a lot of health benefits, while the liquid extract is mainly just used for recreation. Some of the benefits of guayusa include:

Stress Relief

One of the main reasons why people buy this product is to relieve stress and anxiety. Many people who use guayusa report feeling a lot calmer and less worried about the things that are stressing them out. It’s also been shown to help you focus on the present and improve your concentration levels too.

Increased Alertness

Many people use guayusa to stay awake and avoid the usual symptoms of tiredness. This is particularly useful for people working night shifts or those who have problems with sleep. In fact, it’s so effective for this purpose that it’s become very popular with college students trying to cram for an exam or writers who are trying to meet a deadline.

Better Athletic Performance

For athletes, guayusa can provide a slight improvement to athletic performance. It won’t turn you into an all-star athlete, but it may help slightly. Many people combine it with other herbal supplements to improve their training.

Reduced Stress

There is evidence to suggest that guayusa can reduce the harmful physical effects of stress on the body. Some studies have shown that it can reduce damaging inflammation in the body and also lowers the risk of certain stress related diseases.

Healthy Heart

There is also evidence to suggest that guayusa can improve the health of your heart and can even protect it against disease. It does this by reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis and stopping blood clotting. It may also have a positive effect on cardiac tissue.

Antioxidants

The ingredients in guayusa contain a high amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize the free radicals in your body, which can cause diseases and bodily damage if they’re not stopped. By stopping these free radicals, it can prevent certain cancers and even slow down the ageing process.

Caveats

There are some warnings and caveats for using guayusa. First of all, it may not be suitable for everyone. If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking any prescribed medications, you should seek medical advice before using it. The manufacturer does not recommend this product if you are pregnant or nursing.

It is also not suitable for people under the age of 18 and should be kept out of reach of children. If you are experiencing anxiety, stress or paranoia after taking guayusa, seek medical advice immediately. Do not combine with other caffeinated products such as alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines or similar drugs.

Guayusa Side Effects

There are some potential side effects when taking guayusa. The most commonly experienced ones are nervousness, headaches and nausea. In some rare cases, people have reported symptoms of irritability, anxiety and restlessness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, cease using the product and seek medical advice. Do not combine with alcohol or other drugs.

Guayusa Dosage

The recommended dosage is 2 teaspoons per day. For best results it can be mixed with water or juice. Some people prefer to brew it as a tea instead. If you take it in the morning, you can experience a surge of energy which lasts for up to 4 hours. If you take it later in the day, it may keep you awake at night.

It is recommended that you do not exceed 4 teaspoons per day and do not use it for more than 10 days in a row. Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children under the age of 18 should not take guayusa at all. People with a pre-existing medical condition or taking any medication should seek the advice of a doctor before using it.

Where to Buy Guayusa

Guayusa is not as widely available as other herbal supplements, but you can still find it in certain health stores and online. Your best bet is to buy it online, as it is often cheaper and you have a wider range of options. Look for reputable online retailers such as Amazon.

Guayusa is usually sold in a 2 ounce container and can cost anywhere between $12 and $30, depending on the brand. Shop around to find the best deal. It can be bought in either dried leaves or tea bags. Make sure that you read the product description carefully before buying to make sure that it meets your requirements.

My Final Opinion

Taking guayusa is a very personal decision and only you can decide if the benefits are worth the risk. I think that this product has some great benefits to offer, but I would approach it with caution. Always read the instructions carefully and do your own research before using it.

As always, be safe and be smart.

Sources & references used in this article:

Discovery of an ancient guayusa plantation in Colombia by RE Schultes – Botanical Museum Leaflets, Harvard University, 1979 – JSTOR

Energizing agroforestry: Ilex guayusa as an additional commodity to diversify Amazonian agroforestry systems by T Krause, B Ness – … of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & …, 2017 – Taylor & Francis

The social life of guayusa from amazonian ecuador: an examination of livelihoods, landscapes, and politics by C Jarrett – 2019 – academia.edu

Food tourism in indigenous settings as a strategy of sustainable development: the case of Ilex guayusa Loes. in the Ecuadorian Amazon by KL Sidali, PY Morocho, EI Garrido-Pérez – Sustainability, 2016 – mdpi.com

DRINKING OUR STORIES: FOOD SOVEREIGNTY IN ECUADOR AND AMAZONIAN RUNA RELATIONS WITH MANIOC AND GUAYUSA by JM Kramer – 2017 – digitalrepository.unm.edu

The distraction addiction: Getting the information you need and the communication you want, without Enraging your family, annoying your colleagues, and … by ASK Pang – 2013 – books.google.com