Guayusa: the Sacred Plant of the Kichwa People of the Amazon
There is a Kichwa legend that says that, before becoming a sacred plant, the guayusa was a powerful and divine spirit, it was very robust and strong; in some versions, it was the spirit of the jaguar. This spirit encouraged and motivated people to achieve their most difficult goals; it helped them make intelligent and wise decisions; it bestowed upon them the joy of living and thriving; it invigorated their spirits; and, it stimulated their libido and promoted fertility.
According to the beliefs of the Amazonian Kichwa people, guayusa can sharpen a person’s intelligence and keep one on high alert. Thus, if the community is ever in danger, people can stay awake all night thanks to drinking a guayusa infusion. This plant is considered sacred among the Kichwa, and it’s a central part of their legends and myths.