There are so many benefits to choosing Guayusa tea as a replacement for coffee, not only for your body but also for the environment. Most coffee is grown in open farms, whereas Guayusa tea is produced in a chakra agroforestry ecosystem. This traditional system promotes reforestation of the Amazon and is a far more sustainable production method for farmers compared to other methods.

What are Chakras?

Chakras, also known as ‘polycultured agrarian systems’ or ‘swollen gardens’, are an agroforestry system used extensively in Ecuadorian Amazonia, which produce market-oriented crops. They provide income and livestock for local farmers and their families and offer a sustainable production option for both farmers and consumers. With a combination of social, economic and ecological benefits, chakras originate in a rainforest area, which would be worked on in rotation for up to two years. Chakras can consist of up to 40% forest within their land surface and are considered to be an evolution of the Amazonian Forest. The soil quality in the rainforest creates the perfect environment for Guayusa tea; however, it must be cared for correctly and cultured in an aggressive manner, or the thin topsoil will be damaged.

Chakras are an important part of the indigenous culture and are considered far more than just a farm to their owners, acting as ritual sites and a place for women to meet each other. The chakras themselves usually contain two or three Guayusa trees, although this has increased with the popularity of Guayusa tea and more people appreciating its benefits. Chakras are always biodiverse, which helps to protect the farm’s soil and therefore protecting the rainforest. A chakra itself is part of the natural rainforest and will keep all levels of the rainforest intact.

Guayusa tea is grown in Chakra
Guayusa tea is grown in Chakra ( credit to https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101920)

Why is chakra agroforestry more sustainable?

While I’m sure you may have enjoyed a cup of coffee each morning in the past, you might want to reconsider that. The way coffee is grown is often incredibly damaging to the environment. Most coffee is grown in open farms, which means there’s no natural vegetation and therefore no support for local wildlife. On the other hand, Guayusa tea is grown in chakras. Chakras allow farmers to have a sustainable production method, and the territory in which Guayusa tea is grown has generally been used for decades.

It’s a shame that this system is not more widespread. This form of biodiverse agroforestry is incredibly effective and helps save the rainforest from potential oil drilling and deforestation. During the harvesting of Guayusa tea, all rainforest levels remain intact, and a rotation principle is applied where needed for more rapidly-growing plants.

Economically, the products grown in chakras help the local community and farmers, with Guayusa tea and chocolate being some of the most common exports. By building a fair distribution system for the products grown in chakras, this will bring value to farmers’ cooperatives and creates some level of respect for the owners of the chakras. The increasing popularity and well-known health benefits of Guayusa tea offer us a chance to support the indigenous community by providing them with essential food and income streams. The chakras help the Kichwa community to adapt to the changing environment they live in, with their own social self-regulation process.

Why does growing Guayusa tea help sustain the ecosystem?

As the chakras are a biological system composed of a variety of crops and forest, growing Guayusa tea is an essential part of the chakras’ success and ability to survive. Guayusa trees play a role in shade management for other plants and crops within the land, and the diverse array of trees on offer helps with soil fertility and conserving the land’s soil. The variety of crops, including Guayusa tea, is essential to avoid erosion within the chakras, which is one of the biggest concerns for this area’s farming community. This mixture of crops is also advantageous for the local wildlife and insect population, unlike the land in which coffee is grown. Compared to the monoculture in which coffee is grown, chakras help to support a balance of flora and fauna, instead of eradicating other plants to work with one crop for commercial purposes.

By consuming Guayusa tea, we can all help play our part in reducing the ecological crisis, by promoting this sustainable use of agricultural land.

We’ve worked to source a high-quality product for you and you can rest assured that your Guayusa tea doesn’t come with a cost to the environment. We are committed to working with environmentally friendly companies and are passionate about the social and ecological benefits consuming Guayusa tea offers.

Let get some Guayusa tea if you are ready to help save the Amazon rainforest with us.

Reference:

Co-Evolution and Bio-Social Construction: The Kichwa Agroforestry Systems (Chakras) in the Ecuadorian Amazonia