Updated: Feb 26
2021 looks set to be the year of guayusa, a plant rich in caffeine, vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants. Celebrated for the way it nourishes our bodies and minds, guayusa is packed full of health-boosting benefits.
As a holistic health coach, I like to keep a close eye on the latest trends to make sure I always give you the best healthy food and drink advice. We’re about to see it become mass-market in 2021, but Ecuadorian tribes have been harnessing its natural goodness for years, turning it into nutritious teas and powders, and giving them energy for night-harvests.
But what is guayusa?
The plant itself is native to the Amazon rainforest. Its vibrant oblong super-leaves are packed full of anti-inflammatory properties, and recent reports suggest it has twice the goodness of green tea and almost the same caffeine contents as our much-loved coffee. I bought some from The Guayusa Co. and can tell you that it’s much less bitter than traditional green tea, if you were wondering what guayusa tastes like.
Similar to tea and coffee, guayusa can improve your mood, alertness and concentration. But it also benefits from boosting your immune system, protecting your cells and improving digestion. People are also discussing the benefits of guayusa for weight loss, as the caffeine content stimulates our metabolism, helping us to burn calories quicker. Some studies also suggest guayusa is an appetite suppressant, although it’s best to take a holistic approach and work this into your personalised nutrition plan. The research is in its infancy, and there’s a lot more to learn but the signs suggest that we have another natural resource that we can add to our healthcare arsenal.
Independent retailers have already started bringing guayusa tea to the market and we can surely expect more to follow suit. It’s most commonly found in loose leaf tea form, but the finely milled guayusa powders are also ideal for topping cereal, porridge and smoothies.
I’ve noticed my relationship with tea and coffee change over the years. Recently, I've been looking for sustainable, healthy caffeine alternatives and guayusa looks like it could be a great fit.
But don’t go drinking 10 cups a day! Much like tea and coffee, the natural caffeine content could raise your heart rate and keep you wired. Not so good when you’re trying to sleep, but perhaps just what I need to get through the day after 3am wake-ups from my baby.