Saturday, July 28, 2012

Guayusa, a Nutritional Wonder Tea



Fresh Guayusa Leaves


Guayusa 

         Esta semana, el "Gringo en la playa" viajó a un pequeño pueblo cerca de Tena, donde nos encontramos con puestos de venta con las guirnaldas de hojas secas que adornan pequeñas chozas en las carreteras. Nos enteramos de que se trataba de un tipo de té llamado guayusa (Pronunciado Por why-you-Suh). Es en el acebo (Ilex) género y tiene una estructura similar a la hoja del acebo, pero no incluye las espinas afiladas. Se cultiva principalmente en las regiones de Napo y Pastaza de Ecuador, pero también existe en zonas limitadas en Colombia. El pueblo (indígena) Kitchwa del Amazonas consumen las hojas como una bebida cargada y disfrutar de los efectos calmantes y estimulantes del té tiene para ofrecer. Ellos pueden quedarse despierto toda la noche, y el té se cree que tiene más cafeína que una taza de café negro. Algunas tribus creen que al beber la guayusa, los sueños se inducirá que prever si la misión de caza próximo será un éxito. Esta notable planta también contiene muchos antioxidantes, aminoácidos importantes, teobromina (la droga en el chocolate que produce euforia). La L-teanina, un ácido glutámico se encuentra en el té verde está presente, y se cree que hay una mayor concentración en la guayusa que en el té verde. Este ácido es el responsable del efecto calmante que sienten los bebedores de esta bebida fabulosa.

Guayusa

Dried Guayusa Wreaths



         This week, “Gringo on the Beach” traveled to a small town near Tena (in the Napo Region in central Ecuador)  where we encountered roadside stands with wreaths of brown leaves adorning little roadside huts.  We learned that it was a type of tea called guayusa (Pronounced Why-You-Suh).  It is in the Holly (Ilex) genus and has a leaf structure similar to that of the holly but does not include the sharp spines.   It is mainly grown in the Napo and Pastaza regions of Ecuador, but also exists in limited areas in Colombia.  The (indigenous) Kitchwa people of the Amazon consume the leaves as a steeped beverage and enjoy the calming and stimulating effects the tea has to offer.  They can stay awake all night, and the tea is thought to have more caffeine than a cup of black coffee.  Some tribes believe that by drinking the guayusa, dreams will be induced that foresee whether the upcoming hunting mission will be a success.  This remarkable plant also contains many antioxidants, important amino acids, theobromine (the drug in chocolate that induces euphoria).  L-theanine, a glutamic acid found in Green Tea is present, and it is thought that there is a higher concentration in guayusa than in the Green Tea.  This acid is responsible for the calming effect felt by drinkers of this fabulous beverage.   
       Michael Harner, the founder of the Foundation for Shamanic Studies described how “the Jivaro say guayusa is so habituating that before it is offered to a visitor, he is warned that once he drinks it, he will ever always after return to the Ecuadorian Jungle
We tried our guayusa and it was excellent, giving coffee a run for its money.  We would like to grow Guayusa on our property and seek any help on where to locate it, and the most efficient propagation methods. 




1 comment:

  1. Tnx fore the information
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