Guayusa. An Amazonian plant that combines the benefits of coffee, tea and yerba mate

12/14/20203 min read

If you have not heard about a plant with all these benefits, we will tell you below. We refer to Guayusa, which is a plant species that has not yet been widely spread in the world and that has remained hidden for centuries in the thick jungle of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Guayusa is a plant native to South America specifically from the Eastern region of Ecuador and Colombia. This plant has been used for years by indigenous communities in these regions as a source of natural energy and has been used as an ancestral plant in ceremonies of different kinds.
This plant comes from the Ilex genus and is in fact identified as "the Ecuadorian cousin" of yerba mate in Paraguay, which is generally consumed in the southern cone of America. Culturally, it is well known that in countries such as Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile and Brazil, yerba mate has predominance over other types of infusions. However, it should be mentioned that for a person who is not used to the bitter and strong flavor of this infusion, initially it is not very pleasant. The processing of the mate consists of a smoking process that gives it its characteristic flavor. On the other hand, when we talk about Guayusa, its processing is done in different ways. Nevertheless, Guayusa never enters a smoking process, thus conserving its own aromas and flavors with herbal, earthy tones and sweet notes that are reminiscent of a mix between green tea; without the astringent taste of tannins and mate. Also, for people who try it for the first time; its flavor is very pleasant and energizing.Additionally, when it is asserted that this plant combines the benefits of coffee, tea and yerba mate, we mainly refer to the combined benefits that this infusion empowers its consumers.
First of all, it is one of the few species in the plant world that contains natural caffeine. At this point, anyone may wonder, and isn't it referring to tea or coffee? - Well, we are not referring neither to coffee nor tea.

Briefly explained, although this species contains natural caffeine in its leaves, one of the main differences between Guayusa and coffee refers to the time it is released and the kinetic liberation of caffeine within the body. For example, many consumers who generally do not have coffee within their preferences and this may be due precisely to its accelerated caffeine release kinetics; which can produce a little anxiety and a slight sudden nervousness in a select group of people. In contrast to the aforementioned, Guayusa has almost the same amount of caffeine as coffee but its difference lies in the catechins. These compounds are primarily responsible for the moderate release kinetics of caffeine for a long period of time and the effect it produces is translated into an extended concentration for several hours.

On the other hand, when we talk about the combination of the benefits of tea; this properly refers to green tea or Camellia sinensis. Although in recent years tea has been a beverage that has increased in popularity in different parts of the planet not only due to its flavor, purity and transcendental history within the Asian culture, but also due to its antioxidant properties and its energizing effect; many of which highlight its softness compared to coffee. Similarly, Guayusa is listed as one of the species with the most antioxidants. According to studies, it has been observed that this species has 50% more antioxidants than green tea, positioning it as a complete infusion where it is not only appreciated for its energizing effect or its different beneficial compounds for the body such as Theophylline. and theobromine; naturally found in cocoa, but also as a successful and healthy way of preventing premature aging in people.

Finally, it is necessary to highlight that all types of consumers have their own preferences, not only cultural, but also organoleptic and sensitive, selected for certain types of infusions. However, we hope that by telling you a little about what this extraordinary species has to offer, we can generate another alternative so that more consumers can benefit not only from its unique and special flavor, but also from all the nutritional and energizing benefits that this wonderful plant provides.