Homemade Guayusa Rapé | Clear Energy | Ilex guayusa & Guarumo | #52
This unique Homemade Guayusa Rapé is made with the increasingly famous Ecuadorian Guayusa leaf and Guarumo ash. Research into the historical use of rapé proves that Guayusa was one of the traditional plants used in ancient rapé. As far as we know, this practice has been lost in more recent years. But the idea is that this Homemade Guayusa Rapé should bring us back to the good old Rapé days.
Our Guayusa whole leaves are wild-crafted by Kichwa people in the Amazon jungle of Ecuador. The leaves are slowly dried on their ancestral land that is lined with wild gardens full of sacred plants. Needless to say that our Guayusa is all-natural, and completely unprocessed. The sun dried it, that’s all. The guayusa plants are grown in a “chacra”, a kichwa biodiverse home garden. No fertilizers nor chemicals are used.
The main traditional use of guayusa leaves is as a decoction or tea which is enjoyed by indigenous people at dawn. Every day in the early morning hours the whole household gets together around the fire and drinks the guayusa brew while sharing their night’s dreams, myths and stories.
The I. guayusa has become predominately a cultivated tree. Mostly in the regions of Ecuador, Peru, and southern Colombia. Once the leaves have been harvested, they are hung out to dry so the robust earthy flavors can develop. The Kichwa communities boil the leaves and drink this decoction for its stimulating effects. It is also considered to bring a gentle clear focus and concentration that is not followed by the excessive caffeine kick of other stimulants like coffee. Known as “The Night-Watchman”, hunters will consume I. guayusa before hunting to keep themselves alert and focused throughout the night while their senses are enhanced.
Chemically speaking, I. guayusa contains xanthines such as caffeine. Along with two other species of the holly genus, Ilex paraguariensis, or Yerba Mate, and Ilex vomitaria, or Yaupon Holly, it also contains theobromine which is an alkaloid. This compound is also found in the cacao bean. Guayusa also has L-theanine known to be a relaxant and many potent antioxidants like feluric and chlorogenic acid. It also contains 15 essential amino acids and glutamic acid.
Surprisingly, the very well-known ethnobotanist, Richard Evan Schultes found a bundle of I. guayusa in the tomb of a medicine man high in the Bolivian Andes Mountains. This is far from its natural Amazon growing environment. May lead us to believe that the guayusa leaves were used and traded since Precolumbian times.
What is Rapé?
Rapé, pronounced ‘ha-pey’ in Portuguese, is a traditional snuff used by various indigenous tribes of South America. Predominantly tribal people from Brazil and Peru. Rapé blends contain a ground mixture of plants, tree bark, seeds, and ash. The fine powder is blown into each nostril through a bone or bamboo pipe called a ‘Tepi’ or ‘Kuripe’. The Tepi applicator is a long blow pipe that connects the nostril of the receiver to the mouth of the person that administers the snuff. The Kuripe is for self-application. The V-shaped applicator connects the nostril to the mouth allowing the snuff to be self-blown into the nose.
Each tribe has its own rapé formula and usually, it is women who gather the ingredients. The selection, mixture, and grinding process are regarded as a ritual only to be performed by a reputable healer. The snuff is typically made in small batches according to the specific needs of the person being treated or the ceremony’s occasion.
The use of Rapé aims to restore our connection to nature and a sense of grounding. It clears mental fog and confusion eliminating negative thought patterns. These powerful snuffs bring about physical and spiritual wellness.