Morning Stimulant & Coffee Substitute


(Ilex guayusa Loes.)
Dried Leaf of Guayusa

Code 323 -- Price: $4.95
Tea Leaves: 85 gr. (net wt)
Makes 4 Gallons of Tea
(Using 20 g. or 5 T.
to make one gallon)

Code 323C -- Price: $9.95
120 Capsules x 500 mg.

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Summarized Description: Guayusa is one of our traditionals. It is widely used in the Amazonian region of Ecuador and Peru as a morning stimulant. I have spoken to several shamans who have elderly members of their communities that attribute their longevity to drinking guayusa every morning. Though this view is widely held, I can find nothing in the extant, scientific literature to support it. Speaking more personally, I have notice in my own use of it, that I feel more wide awake and clear-headed.
Naysayers will point to the fact that the dried leaves in this product contain 31,000 ppm of caffeine. (1) However, I believe that not enough research has been done to truly know what the source of its reported properties are.

uayusa is widely used traditional from the Amazon, used primarily as an early morning beverage.

Use & Protocol
I. Preparation --- if you can boil water, you can make this product: Professional herbalists will recognize this as a standard decoction.
  1. Add roughly 20 grams or about 5 Tablespoons to one gallon of purified water (or proration thereof). Boil for 45 minutes.
  2. It is traditional to drink a cup of this product in the morning before beginning the day's activities.

Warnings / Contraindications
Duke notes that as of July, 2007, the FDA Poisonous Plant Database listed one title alluding to toxicity of this species. (2) (I have met people over the page of 100 in the Amazon who have consumed guayusa tea all of their lives. You would never convince native Amazonian people that guayusa is toxic.)

This product is dehydrated, so its functional shelf-life is well in excess of two years.

James Duke's Handbook of Medical Plants of Latin America
Medicinal Activities
Further information for practitioners: World-famous botanist Dr. James Duke attributes the following activities to this plant (p. 369; see hardcopy cover at right), drawn from the extant literature. (See his graduation for "level of efficacy" on our amazon traditionals page; followed by Duke's bibliographic abbreviations (in capital letters), which we identify on a separate page.)

  • Antidiabetic (1; X2743711);
  • Antiseptic (f; DAV);
  • Antisterility (f; EGG);
  • Antivenereal (f; EGG);
  • Aphrodisiac (f; SAR);
  • Cholagogue (f; DAV);
  • Diaphoretic (f; MPG);
  • Digestive (f; MPG);
  • Diuretic (f; MPG);
  • Emetic (f; EGG; MPG; RAR);
  • Expectorant (f; MPG);
  • Febrifuge (f; EGG);
  • Hallucinogenic (f; MPG);
  • Hypnotic (f; MPG);
  • Hypoglycemic (f; MPG);
  • Laxative (f; MPG);
  • Narcotic (f; EGG; MPG);
  • Purgative (f; MPG; RAR);
  • Sedative (f; SAR);
  • Stimulant (f; EGG; SAR; X7736849);
  • Stomachic (f; MPG);
  • Tonic (f; EGG; MPG).

Further information for practitioners: Duke provides the following indications for this plant:
  • Catarrh (f; MPG);
  • Childbirth (f; SAR);
  • Constipation (f; MPG);
  • Diabetes (f1; MPG; X2743711);
  • Dysmenorrhea (f; MPG; SAR);
  • Enterosis (f; MPG);
  • Fever (f; EGG; SAR);
  • Flu (f; MPG);
  • Gastrosis (f; SAR);
  • Hangover (f; SAR);
  • Hepatosis (f; SAR);
  • Impotence (f; SAR);
  • Infection (f; DAV);
  • Insomnia (f; SAR);
  • Malaria (f; SAR);
  • Nervousness (f; SAR);
  • Pain (f; SAR);
  • Rheumatism (f; DAV);
  • Sterility (f; EGG; MPG);
  • Stomachache (f; SAR);
  • Syphilis (f; SAR);
  • VD (f; EGG; SAR).


  1. Duke, James A., Medicinal Plants of Latin America, CRC Press, 2009, p. 369.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.

To U.S. Users: This product have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Bienvenidos a Pastaza
Sourcing From
The Amazon

All the materials used to make our Ajo Té are wild-crafted and harvested from deep in the the provinces of Pastaza and Moreno Santiago, near the Peruvian border. There are no cultivated varieties. Click photo to enlarge.

Dosages &
Duke provides a "food pharmacy potential" score for this plant of, "FNFF=!" ("Survival food . . . questionable"). "Leaves locally consumed in stimulant beverages (JAD). Decoction of 4-5 leaves in a liter of water drunk for diabetes." (MPG)(3)
  • Amazonian Ecuadorians and Peruvians take the tea as a morning stimulant (X1682531).
  • Bolivians and Peruvians use the plant as a ritual hallucinogen (MPG).
  • Jibaro consider the leaves emetic, hypnotic, narcotic, and purgative. (MPG)
  • Peruvians take leaf tea as antisterility, antivenereal, emetic, febrifuge, stimulant, and tonic, a stronger tea as narcotic (EGG).