AMATEA™ Guayusa Extract
AMATEA™ guayusa extract is a highly water soluble ingredient for the application of focused energy intended in beverages or nutritional supplements. AMATEA™ has a unique fingerprint standardized at 20% caffeine, 30% chlorogenic acids, 5% catechins. Because it is low in tannins, AMATEA™ is not bitter, dry, or chalky tasting like many other more astringent tea extracts. Instead AMATEA™ is naturally sweet to complement a variety of flavors. AMATEA™ is also clear in solution, as well as non-GMO, GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe), and organically grown.
Patent – U.S. Patent #9345707 – AFS owns this exclusive process patent for the production of enriched natural guayusa antioxidant mixture from a single source plant containing antioxidants, amino acids and caffeine.
Guayusa – Ilex guayusa – (pronounced “gwhy-you-sa”) is a caffeinated leaf of the holly species that grows only in the upper Amazon basin of Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Traditionally, tribal societies, such as the Amazonia Kichwa, would brew guayusa leaves like tea and consume as such. However, guayusa is not related to camellia sinensis used to make green or black tea varieties. Instead, guayusa is a cousin plant to yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis), a fellow rainforest holly leaf that grows further south in the Atlantic Rainforest region, primarily in Argentina and Brazil. Guayusa is also uniquely different than traditional tea or yerba mate in that it tastes sweet, not bitter, and has a distinctively different polyphenolic antioxidant makeup.
“When brewed, Guayusa has as much caffeine as a strong cup of coffee. “
A Novel Energy
Nutritional Compounds naturally present in the guayusa leaves contain both the chlorogenic acids, (CGA) similar to those found in coffee plants, and the catechins found in tea. Its unique antioxidant profile allows for delivery or rapid absorption of the water-soluble compounds, namely the chlorogenic acids for enhanced antioxidant activity in the plasma and cardiovascular system as well as more complex catechins that aid in digestive health. However, energy is one of the primary functional attributes of this plant. Qualitative analytical research demonstrates that the guayusa leaves contain a range of caffeine and may also contain other energy stimulating based compounds, albeit in smaller quantities, like theobromine.
Taste is one of guayusa’s most positive attributes. Traditionally guayusa is brewed in boiling water to make a drink that most would consider tea. However, guayusa is technically very different than tea in that it lacks heavy tannin or bitter fraction that would typically cause the astringent, dry-chalky, flavor profiles that are present in green or black tea leaves. Guayusa is slightly sweet tasting, not bitter. The novel flavor of guayusa, as a clean earthy taste profile, lends itself to optimum sensory attributes that can prove to be a great contribution to the growing tea-based beverage market.
AMATEA™ guayusa extract is exclusively produced by independent farming families, not industrial plantations. Their farms are not mono crop systems, instead farmers plant guayusa in ancient forest gardens known as “chakras” by the Kichwa people. Chakras apply similar growing techniques to agroforestry and permaculture in which crops are grown among trees and other vegetation utilizing patterns observed in nature. Growing in this method reduces the need to degrade or cut down the forest and creates a more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy, ecologically sound, and sustainable land-use system.
Guayusa is shade-grown, in these forest gardens, under a canopy of more than 50 different native hardwood trees. Guayusa shrubs typically reach an average of 10 m high and present a multitude of stems that measure 2 to 15 cm at breast height before they are harvested. The olive-green leaves of Ilex guayusa are perennial and about 5cm long, with small white flowers.
Fresh guayusa leaves, used in part to make AMATEA™ guayusa extract, are regularly purchased from over 3000 Kichwa farming families. This type of meaningful growing is environmentally sustainable and socially responsible.
Clinical Research utilizing AMATEA™, a 30% wt/wt CGA, 20% wt/wt caffeine standardized guayusa extract, demonstrated, when evaluating the different sources of caffeine, that the pharmacokinetics of guayusa are very similar to that of coffee. More specifically two key compounds found in both, caffeine and antioxidants, are metabolized in a very similar fashion.
A primary endpoint to this specific study was generating science to help researchers understand the synergies with these naturally occurring compounds and how they impact physiological and hormonal biomarkers in the human body. This research provided data to support guayusa’s role in lifting the energy levels through caffeine’s uptake, metabolism and excretion in addition to its positive secondary benefits on neurotransmitter function. Specifically, this research demonstrated guayusa’s ability to help regulate epinephrine upon caffeine ingestion. Epinephrine is released by the adrenal medulla and, in combination with norepinephrine, is a key part of the flight or fight hormones that are released when the body is under extreme stress.
Even though guayusa has been used traditionally for hundreds of years in its indigenous regions with positive outcomes an extensive safety review was completed. A comprehensive GRAS assessment was executed by AIBMR to carefully identify, evaluate and access the compounds naturally found within the plant and ensure no negative toxicological effects were demonstrated.