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Guayusa Benefits

A multiple benefit tea

Top guayusa benefits include:

  • coffee alternative

  • smooth energy and alertness with fewer jitters or crashing

  • very high antioxidants

  • psychological lift from theobromine (chocolate chemical)

  • preliminary research for diabetes risk reduction.

Natural alternative to coffee

Guayusa tea offers a way to reduce excessive coffee drinking while keeping the energy benefits of natural caffeine.

Approximate caffeine content for beverages is:

  • 8 ounces brewed coffee 95-200 mg.

  • 8 ounces guayusa tea 90 mg.

  • 8 ounces mate (yerba mate) 70 mg.

  • 8 ounces black tea 40-80 mg.

  • 8 ounces green tea 15-40 mg.

Sources include caffeine content of green tea; Pediatrics, 2011; Journal of Food Science, 2010; Journal of Analytical Toxicology, 2008

Smooth energy guayusa benefits

While a cup of guayusa still has as much caffeine as a weaker cup of coffee, the energizing uplift of caffeine is modulated by other chemicals.

The dried leaves of this plant also contain essential amino acid proteins including alanine, arginine, cysteine, glutamine, glycine, histidine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, methionine, threonine, and valine (Dr. Alarcon "Identificacion y cuantificacion de aminoacidos").

These proteins, plus very high antioxidants, plus theobromine and theophylline seem to smooth out the rough edges with caffeine use.

People report a smooth steady energizing effect with calm and clear alertness that does not crash later in the day.

It is still recommended that this is used as a morning beverage, unless you work the night shift.

Please note: if you are sensitive to caffeine or restricted from caffeine due to a health condition, please consult your health care provider before making a change in your lifestyle habits.

Very high antioxidant source

While a variety of chemicals and phytonutrients have antioxidant properties, specific antioxidants in the Ilex guayusa plant have not be extensively studied.

However, preliminary research show ORAC antioxidant values at twice the level of green tea, and FRAP (Ferric Reducing Antioxidant Power) at over twice the power of Vitamin C (Genox ORAC guayusa & green tea comparisons, and Center of Studies of Biological Research and Evaluation, University of La Habana, Cuba).

Alternative to chocolate?

In addition, this tea contains theobromine and theophylline, the primary "feel-good" chemicals that make chocolate so appealing.

As an extra bonus, it comes without the added sugars and fats in chocolate, providing the psychological benefits without those extra calories!

Theobromine (named for "Food of the Gods") is a vasodilator and diuretic in humans.

Since it helps to gently widen blood vessels and increase urine production, it has been used historically to treat high blood pressure and other cardiovascular problems.

It also helps relax bronchial muscles, providing some relief for asthma or coughing.

One study from Imperial College London showed that it provided stronger anti-coughing improvements than codeine (Usmani et al: "Theobromine inhibits sensory nerve activation and cough" FASEB Journal, November 2004, p231–3).

Please note: Theobromine can become toxic in large quantities for the elderly, especially from chocolate which is the largest natural source of theobromine. Guayusa has not shown toxicity at this time.

In addition, both theobromine and caffeine may interact with prescription medications. If you are being treated for a health condition, please consult with your health care provider before starting a healthy lifestyle change.

Preliminary results for diabetes risk reduction

An early animal study from the University of Surrey, UK, examined the glycemic effects of a variety of plants a model of diabetes.

The results showed that only guayusa and mushrooms provided a significant reduction of the diabetic parameters in the model, particularly high blood sugar (Swanston-Flatt et al: Glycaemic effects of traditional European plant treatments for diabetes. Studies in normal and streptozotocin diabetic mice, Diabetes Res. February 1989, p69-73).

Research on the guayusa benefits of this interesting and beneficial plant should increase with its growing popularity.

How to use guayusa

Guayusa tea has been internationally available for only a few years, but there are already flavored varieties.

They include cinnamon lemongrass, hibiscus berry, ginger citrus, and mint.

In addition, you can mix it with green tea for more antioxidants, and add your own spices, fruits, and other flavorings after brewing the tea.

The company below uses organically grown ingredients, offering both teabags and loose leaf preparations with instructions for use.

Just click on the images below to check for all available flavors:

Runa Clean Energy, Traditional Guayusa Tea, 16-Count Tea Bags

Runa Amazon Guayusa Ginger - Citrus, 1 Pound

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