What Is Guayusa?
Guayusa is a type of plant native to Mexico, which means “place where the trees grow”. It’s name comes from the Spanish word guachuelo (meaning tree), and it was first described in 1748 by Juan de Onate. The leaves are small, greenish brown with five leaflets per leaf. They have a thin, delicate texture and are usually used fresh or dried.
The flowers are white, oval shaped and up to two inches long. The flower petals are pale yellow, 1/4 inch across, and the stamens are pink.
There is no scent when they bloom; however, after blooming they smell like sweet pea blossoms.
In its natural state, guayusa is not bitter at all. However, if you drink too much of it, your stomach will feel full and may even hurt.
If you eat too many of them, though, you’ll get sick! That’s why they’re only used for flavoring teas.
How To Use Guayusa Tea?
It can be consumed several different ways. One way is to make a delicious, healthy tea out of it. You can also use it as an ingredient in many foods, such as breads, cakes and desserts. You can also use it to add extra flavor to meals.
Eating guayusa is also a common way to consume the plant. You can either buy the dried leaves or the whole guayusa branches and just chew on them.
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