It has been suggested that the Ilex Guayusa is an cultivated form of the Ilex paraguariensis. The latter is better known as the highly popular brew of Argentina ‘yerba mate’, while the former occurs only  in the tropical rain forest of the western Amazon region.

The ritual use of guayusa in South America is very ancient. Carefully wrapped leaves were found that in all probibility served as grave goods. The leaves were radiocarbon-dated to 355 C.E. The potency of guauysa is remarkable as the leaves still contained a significant amount of caffeine after thousands of years.

In Ecuador they believe that guayusa is a real love potion. Give guayusa to your lover, and he or she will always return back to you.