4 Benefits of Guayusa

4 Benefits of Guayusa

There is a new health tea on the block but it’s really only new to mainstream westerners. Guayusa (gw-eye-ah-sah) is the genus ‘Ilex guayusa Loes’ which grows mainly in the upper Amazon rainforest of Ecuador. This South American evergreen is hailed for its health benefits by indigenous tribes that have been naturally healing themselves with it for centuries.

Learn why you may want to add this tea to your daily regiment with these 4 benefits of guayusa.

The Clean Jolt

Let’s face it, most people are addicted to caffeine. Whether it’s coffee, one of the highest traded commodities on the market, or tea, globally the number one drink, caffeine is coursing through societal veins almost everywhere on earth. However, some may have an aversion to standard caffeine consumption which may bring jitters, insomnia, bad breath, or stained teeth.

Guayusa is in the ‘clean jolt’ category which brings a slow energy rise and slow energy fall. The caffeine from this plant as well as a few others, like Yerba mate, works in conjunction with polyphenols (plant compounds) such as theobromine that coffee does not have high amounts of. Plus, unlike coffee, these clean jolt teas like guayusa do not need to be roasted so essential nutrients are preserved.

Antioxidant Power

Guayusa is packed with antioxidant compounds. According to a study published in the journal Nutrients,

“Consumption of herbal teas [like] guayusa have been reported to exhibit high reducing power, [] scavenging and lipid peroxidation inhibition activities, thus relieving oxidative damage.”

Switching over to a cup or more of guayusa per day (chilled is best with stevia for a sweetener) could enhance your antioxidant activity and help avoid possible, future disease. 

Fat Fighter

Drinking guayusa is not considered a weight loss regiment but it can help. The plant based caffeine and theobromine found in guayusa offers a metabolic burn that, along with a plant based diet and good exercise program, could assist in reducing excess fat.

A meta-analysis of the effects of caffeine intake on weight loss as reported in Critical Reviews in Food, Science and Nutrition, found:

“Thirteen RCTs [randomized control trials] with 606 participants were included in the meta-analyses. The overall pooled Beta for the effect of caffeine intake was for fat mass. For every doubling in caffeine intake, the mean reduction in weight, BMI, and fat mass increased 2 Beta-fold which corresponding to 22, 17, and 28 percent, respectively. Overall, the current meta-analysis demonstrated that caffeine intake might promote weight, BMI and body fat reduction.”

Although this study mentions caffeine, it is the consumption of the more stable caffeine found in the guayusa compounds that may have the most beneficial affects on stimulating metabolism.

Defend Against Diabetes

Most people consume way too much sugar. Whether it is in the blatant form of candy, cake and the like or by gorging on bread, pasta, and rice, the insulin overproduction is rampant in America. This kind of constant sugar consumption has caused a near epidemic of diabetes.

According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2020, put out by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 

  • 34.2 million Americans—just over 1 in 10—have diabetes
  • 88 million American adults—approximately 1 in 3—have pre-diabetes

Switching up your diet by including clean plant-based choices and some kind of vigorous activity is the perfect recipe to add guayusa to. By combining these three protocols you can keep your glycemic index (sugar levels) at a healthy, normal balance. 

An archival study by researchers at the Department of Biochemistry, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK published in Diabetes Research looked at the effects of guayusa and mushroom, stating that,

“Guayusa and mushroom retarded the development of hyperglycemia in streptozotocin diabetes and reduced the hyperphagia, polydipsia, body weight loss, and glycated hemoglobin…These studies suggest the presence of potentially useful anti-diabetic agents in guayusa and mushroom.

Switch up your caffeine intake and give guayusa a try. This unassuming tea just may enhance your health beyond many other natural or even medical treatments. These 4 benefits of guayusa show the unique attributes of ancient plant remedies still just making it to US shores after centuries of healing history.