Citation: eritain. "Smoothly Supportive: An Experience with Ilex guayusa (exp107188)". Erowid.org. Nov 7, 2015. erowid.org/exp/107188
After experimenting with yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) and always utterly failing to make it taste decent, I learned about its Ecuadorian cousin, guayusa. Since then I have made cup after cup of guayusa tea, running through a couple pounds of the stuff, and I have only good things to say about it.
Depending on how I'm feeling I might steep a scant teaspoon or a good tablespoon, loose, in a mug of boiling water. I drink it through a bombilla to strain it. The flavor is mild and leafy, with blueberry-like spicy undertones. I like it alone or mixed with an equal quantity of rooibos (Aspalathus linearis, not believed to be psychoactive). It is subtly sweet (as is rooibos). Can be sweetened but IMO doesn't need it. Occasionally it's worth sprinkling a couple grains of salt on.
The effects are a gentle boost for my focus and mood. It has replaced the caffeinated sodas I used to use for that purpose. (This may be a sign that I have a touch of ADHD.) Caffeine is now reserved for the most serious short-on-sleep situations.
Compared to caffeine, guayusa (whose main active alkaloid is theobromine, better known from chocolate) treats me more gently It feels almost exactly like inherent interest and enjoyment, just for things that aren't quite as inherently rewarding. Caffeine does have just a touch of roughness that reminds me it's an extrinsic stimulant. Guayusa has never yet worn off abruptly on me, which caffeine has. I can take it later in the day without messing up my next night's sleep, whereas I have to avoid colas after 1 PM. And if I'm nearing the end of the day and just need a little boost, the leaves steep OK a second time to top me up.
All in all, just what my little semi-ADHD brain ordered.
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