7 Amazing Benefits of Guayusa Tea

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Drinking guayusa tea has recently gained popularity in some parts of the world, although it has been traditionally brewed in South American regions for more than 1,000 years.

What is Guayusa Tea?

Guayusa tea is an herbal tea made from the dried leaves of a certain type of holly tree, scientifically known as Ilex guayusa. Primarily found in the Amazonian rainforest, the medicinal properties of this plant have been known for centuries, including its caffeine content. It is one of a handful of caffeinated holly tree species in the world, and it can brew a potent and stimulating beverage. [1]

A white bowl of tea kept on a a wooden surface

A warm cup of tea can take away all your worries. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The use of guayusa tea is generally considered safe, but when consumed in excess, it can have a number of side effects, mainly related to its caffeine content. The taste is something between mate and green tea, but it isn’t bitter and has slight fruity notes that make it very pleasant on the palate. The color is typically a pale green. [2]

Guayusa Tea Benefits

The main benefits of guayusa tea include its ability to strengthen the digestion and immune system, clean the teeth, aid in weight loss efforts, and increase energy levels, among others.


Similar to green tea, this tea is rich in antioxidants that also have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to soothe the stomach and allow proper digestion to take place. [3]

Immune System

The saponins and polyphenolic compounds found in this tea are able to protect against chronic disease, while also relieving strain on the immune system, which can prevent unnecessary inflammation throughout the body. [4]

Vascular System

One of the unique compounds found in this tea is theobromine, which is also found in dark chocolate. It has been linked to protecting the integrity of the blood vessels and arteries, thus protecting your overall cardiovascular health. [5]

Cleans the Teeth

Unlike some other popular caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, this tea does not stain the teeth and will actually help boost oral health thanks to its antioxidant levels.


The polyphenolic compounds of this beverage can help to reduce oxidative stress and prevent the negative effects of free radicals, which can lead to chronic diseases. [6]

Energy Levels

Caffeine is a powerful stimulant, and with a good amount of caffeine in each cup, many people rely on this tea to give them a morning boost of energy. [7]

Weight Loss

Low in calories and able to stimulate metabolism, this tea can also aid in weight loss efforts.

How to Make Guayusa Tea?

If you want to brew your own guayusa tea at home, the ingredients shouldn’t be hard to find from an import store or an exotic natural health shop.

A white bowl of tea kept on a a wooden surface

Guayusa Tea Recipe

Enjoy this naturally caffeinated herbal infusion!
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Course: Beverage
Cuisine: Ecuador
Keyword: Guayusa Tea
Appliance: Stove, Tea infuser
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Author: Ishani Bose


  • 8 oz water
  • 2 tbsp guayusa leaves


  • To make guayusa tea, begin with bringing a kettle of water to boil.
  • Add roughly 2 tablespoons of dried guayusa leaves into a tea infuser or teapot.
  • Once done, slowly pour the boiled water over the leaves in the tea infuser.
  • Allow the mixture to steep for 2-3 minutes before serving.


You can also make refreshing iced tea using guayusa tea leaves as it has a plush, fruity flavor and lacks bitterness. 

Guayusa Tea Side Effects

Packed with antioxidants and nutrients, this tea is very healthy, but there are some side effects when consumed in excess. Much like drinking too much coffee, drinking more than 2-3 cups of this tea every day could do the following:

  • Disrupt your sleep patterns
  • Increase irritability
  • Increase anxiety levels

If you are sensitive to stimulants, drink weak brews of this tea, or avoid it altogether. Similarly, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid this tea.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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