Ilex Guayusa is native to the Amazon Rainforest and is a close relative of Yerba Mate. It is used by the people of the Amazon basin to make an energizing tea and as a herbal medicine. It also said to have the interesting effect of inducing lucid dreaming.
Ilex Guayusa is a caffeine filled plant that is referred to as the "Night Watchman" by the indigenous hunters that drink Ilex Guayusa to sharpen their instincts and stay alert all night.
For those interested in shamanic dreaming this is the plant to explore. It is used actively in Ayahuasca ceremonies to help with bitterness, staying awake and to prevent hangovers afterwards.
The caffeine of Ilex Guayusa is released into the blood stream slowly so there is no sudden burst of caffeine introduced into the system. Providing an alert, non-jittery feeling. The tea of Ilex Guayusa is taken by the indigenous Amazonians to soothe the stomach, it is also believed to have aphrodisiac properties.
In the Mocoa region, Guayusa has numerous ethnobotanical purposes, including strengthening the liver, providing resistance to fevers and infections, and menstrual regularity.
The leaves are often used for tea.