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Guayusa

Guayusa is a type of tea that is made from holly leaves grown in the Amazon. Technically not a traditional tea because it is made from Ilex guayusa instead of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, it is, however, considered an herbal tea. Evidence suggests it is an excellent source of antioxidants and vitamins. Guayusa is often compared to the South American tea yerba mate, but lacking the bitter taste.

A traditional morning drink in Ecuador for thousands of years, guayusa has only gained popularity in Europe and North America within the 21st century. Described as a mild tea, its combination of stimulants make it a unique morning wake-up choice. Naturally caffeinated, this tea has more caffeine than most other teas, about 90 mg for every 8 ounces (236 ml), and it contains theobromine, the soothing element in chocolate. Additionally, the caffeine is released into the blood stream slowly so there is no sudden burst of caffeine introduced into a system. These factors combine to provide an alert, non-jittery feeling.

Studies have also shown that guayusa contains about twice the amount of antioxidants as green tea, often hailed for its health benefits. It is also a good source of vitamin C. Though there have not been many scientific studies on its nutritional benefits as compared to other healthy teas, like green tea, in theory, guayusa has increased health benefits.

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