Guayusa (gwhy-you-sa) is a rare, naturally caffeinated herbal infusion produced from the leaves of a holly tree native to the Amazon Rainforest.

Guayusa has been part of Amazonian culture and cultivation for over 2000 years, treasured for its unique balance of caffeine, antioxidants, vitamins, amino acids, and its energizing effect that is similar to that of coffee and yerba mate.

Traditionally, many indigenous families of the Amazon wake up before dawn and gather around a communal fire to drink gourds of guayusa. During this early-morning ritual, community members share dreams, myths, and legends. Several myths recount how the guayusa plant taught human beings how to dream, and throughout the morning shamans interpret dreams from the previous night.

Hunters also drink guayusa before night time hunting trips in order to heighten their senses of awareness and focus. Drinking guayusa enables them to get more in touch with the surrounding environment, allowing them to hunt safely in the jungle. For this reason, guayusa is known as “The Night Watchman.”

Guayusa is naturally caffeinated and has an energizing effect similar to coffee, tea and yerba mate. Unlike coffee or other energy drinks, guayusa provides balanced energy without the jitters or the sudden crash commonly associated with caffeinated drinks. Its catechins provide a slow release of caffeine for awake and sustainable energy. This gentler and more sustainable caffeine release is said to create mental strength and focus rather than a caffeine buzz. It is a distant cousin of yerba mate, but without the strong bitter flavor.

Guayusa also contains Theobromine – a potent alkaloid similarly found in cacao. Theobromine has been found to lower blood pressure, decrease asthma and coughing, and provide gentle and sustained energy.

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