Guayusa (“gwhy-you-suh”) tea is an ancient drink prepared and enjoyed around the globe. Amazonian farmers in the rainforest grow it locally. Guayusa is actually an herb that comes from the holly tree (Ilex guayusa), instead of a tea.

Because it’s not an herbal, black or green tea, people who suffer from gallstones can still enjoy guayusa.  Still, check with your doctor if you struggle with blood pressure issues, heart disease or kidney stones.

Drink guayusa early in the day because it provides a coffee-like boost, without the shakiness or withdrawal.

If you enjoy brewing tea, you know that overcooking it can yield a bitter taste. Pleasantly, guayusa has no such issue, as it tastes great regardless of the cooking time. The flavor of the guayusa is described as less ‘grassy’ than teas like yerba mate, and sweeter tasting. Also by way of comparison, guayusa has a sort of green tea taste. Its relative sweetness eliminates the need for much additional sweetening as well. Just a touch of honey does the trick, and protects the insulin and glucose levels of those who indulge.

Guayusa provide natural antioxidants and polyphenols, supporting overall health. Both ingredients enhance metabolism and blood sugar, and shield your cells against oxidation.

Guayusa can be enjoyed hot or cold. Feel free to boost the flavor with herbs during brewing time. Try adding a leaf of peppermint, a bit of ginger or some cinnamon. If you would rather not brew guayusa, simply buy it already prepared in prepackaged drinks. Various commercial health food stores sell the beverage bottled and chilled. 

To purchase guayusa for brewing, pick up the prepared tea bags, instead of the bulk variety. It is an affordable product too. If you wish, you can get more for you money by re-steeping guayusa numerous times. A single tablespoon can be steeped approximately 6 times. At that point, the healing properties and flavor are depleted.

Read the full article here: Energy and Focus in your Tea | Suzy Cohen, RPh