Herbalist/product developer, Aldo Hakman responsible for Nightwatch certification on guayusa:
The Ilex guayusa plant has played a role in rituals and lives of several Ecuadorian jungle communities for no less than 2000 years! The one community utilizing it intensively to this day is the Ecuadorian Quichua tribe. They cultivate and harvest our premium guayusa leaf. The secret knowledge about cultivation and use of Guayusa spread from the Inca empire a long time ago. They say a daily cup of tea brewed from this invigorating, uplifting plant gives strength, focus and endurance all day long. It enhances their hunting senses, purifies the blood and gives energetic protection. Some aging above 80 say it is thanks to Guayusa they retained their vigor and virility for so many years.
Due to the long and continuing use of Guayusa by Homo Sapiens a special symbiosis evolved between the two species. Since so highly praised, humans started spreading cuttings from the tree for cultivation. This enlarged its habitat and did so much more efficiently than the plant was able to by means of natural propagation. After centuries of this practice Guayusa decided to simply give up on the ability to make flowers and seeds, fully relying on its partnership with humanity to propagate.
Researching the plant, we found it to contain high levels of Xanthine alkaloids. This is the family of molecules to which Caffeine (Coffee, Tea), Theobromine (Cacao, Tea) and Theophylline (Cacao, Tea) belong. The Xanthines in Guayusa are bound in a complex way releasing their energy very slowly over time. This natural blend of molecules prevent the quick “rush” accompanied by the “restlessness” and followed by the “crash” often accredited to Coffee and artificially caffeinated energy drinks. The natural xanthine blend in Guayusa gives a focussed, positive flow throughout the day.
Besides it’s Xanthine effect, it also has a high ORAC value (anti-oxidants), almost twice as values found in regular green tea. It also contains L-Theanine, which is shown to relax the central nerve system, without making drowsy. The presence of Phenolic compounds and Flavonoïds prevents cell damage by oxidative stress. Guanidine has hypoglycemic properties, lowering blood sugar levels and preventing a quick rise in sugar uptake. Oleanolic and Ursolic acid are recognized as anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-carcinogenic agents. (And so on… we’ll spare you all the biochemical details)
Furthermore: all plants containing these stimulating molecules have traditionally been used for thousands of years and became very popular in the western societies upon their discovery. In fact 90% of people living in industrialized nations use a Xanthine containing plant on a daily basis. Some examples are: Coffee, Tea, Cacao, Guarana, Kola nut and Maté.
The secret knowledge about cultivation and use of Guayusa spread from the Inca empire a long time ago. They say a daily cup of tea brewed from this invigorating, uplifting plant gives strength, focus and endurance all day long. It enhances their hunting senses, purifies the blood and gives energetic protection. Some aging above 80 say it is thanks to Guayusa they retained their vigor and virility for so many years.