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What is guyausa tea? – Health Benefits & More

Ilex guayusa is a tree that grows in the Amazon. It is related to the holly, and grows in Ecuador’s rain forests as well as in Peru and Columbia. The majority of the tea is produced in Ecuador, and has become a major cash crop for over 3000 different farmers in the region. It produces caffeinated leaves that make one of the most popular ingredients in teas today.

History and Myths of Guayusa

One of the tribes that use guayusa tea says that once a person drinks it, he will become addicted to it. Another saying about drinking guayusa is that the drinker will want to return to the Ecuador rain forest. Drinking the tea is a morning ritual for the Jivaro people. They immediately brew a batch of guayusa tea upon arising. They then relax, tell stories and share their tea with their friends and family. It is frequently used by native shamans where it grows. Some have historically used this tree to give them dreams telling them about the success of their next hunting trip.

How It Is Made

The Ilex guayusa tree was once found in the wild, but now is primarily a cultivated plant. The leaves are collected from the tree and dried, much like the usual black tea. Guayusa tea was originally drunk by the local natives for its stimulating effects. It works much like coffee or regular tea does, helping a person stay awake and alert. The leaves are collected, dried, and steeped in boiling water to produce the drink. Guayusa tea is also made by steeping the green leaves of the tree to make a caffeinated tea. But guayusa tea has up to 50 per cent more antioxidants than regular green tea.

Guayusa Tea’s Natural Chemicals

Xanthines and theobromine are two of the main chemicals found in guayusa tea. Xanthines are caffeine, which act as a stimulant. Theobromine is a chemical found in the leaves of the tea that is also found in chocolate. Theobromine is also a stimulant. One unique feature of the chemistry of guayusa is that it contains L-theanine, which is also found in regular green tea. This chemical has been shown to reduce stress levels naturally. So not only does the tea cause one to be alert, but is also removes stress.

Other Guayusa Health Benefits

Guayusa has been discovered to contain a high level of antioxidants. It rates higher levels than even green tea. So if you want to fight cancer and create free radicals in the body, drinking guayara tea is the drink to choose. It also contains all of the essential amino acids that humans require. Some of the other healthful ingredients in guayusa tea include:

•Theophyline

•Vitamins C and D

•Magnesium

•Potassium

•Calcuim

•Zinc

Leucine is one of the most important of the amino acids that can be consumed by drinking the tea. Leucine is responsible for healing muscle tissue and keeps it strong as well.

Drinking guayusa tea also may reduce blood sugar levels. It has been shown to do so in laboratory testing of animals.

Guayusa Tea Popularity

As the benefits of drinking guayusa tea becomes known throughout the world, demand for the tea’s production increases. This benefits not just the health of those who consume the tea, but improves the lives of the people of Ecuador and neighboring lands who grow the tree. Because the popularity of the tea is increasing, the demand for the guayusa tree is growing as well. Ecuadoran farmers are planting the tree, which is in turn reforesting the rain forests.

Drinking guayusa tea increases concentration, health and relaxation. It is high in antioxidants that will help prevent cancer and other diseases. And the tea’s consumption also benefits the people of Ecuador and the rain forests, improving the environment.

Citations:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/tea-types-and-their-health-benefits

http://www.teamindbody.com/blogs/healthy-tea-info/10980501-what-is-guayusa-tea

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_rainforest

 

 

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