Paullinia cupana

Origin - Brazilian rain forests, South American countries

Part of the plant used - Seeds

Edible Parts Guarana is a xanthine-rich beverage from South America. Sometimes known as "Brazilian cocoa," guarana is made into a popular cola drink which is drunk in Brazil for energy and stimulation. Guarana is a creeping shrub whose seeds have been used medicinally for centuries by the Amerinds as an energizer, stimulant and intestinal cleanser.

Pharmacology - Guarana has tonifying and astringent properties, particularly on the intestines. Guarana is a natural stimulant due to its contents of xanthines. These xanthines include mainly guaranine (natural caffeine), theobromine, and theophylline. Guarana contains the alkaloid guaranine, which is similar to caffeine, but unlike caffeine, is released into the bloodstream slowly, producing a long-lasting energy boost and revitalizing effect. Guarana also contains theobromine, which is the stimulant/euphoriant in chocolate.

Active Properties - Guarana has been used as a stimulant, diuretic, and antidiarrheal. Other applications have included as a nervine tonic, antifatigue stimulant, to reduce hunger, to relieve headaches and migraines, to alleviate PMS symptoms, and as an aphrodisiac.

Dosage - A cup of guarana, prepared by adding 1-2 grams of crushed seed or resin to 250 ml (1 cup) of water and boiling for ten minutes, can be drunk three times per day. Each cup may provide up to 50 mg of guaranine.

Toxicity, Cautions & Contra-indications - Caffeine-containing substance. Do not overuse. Avoid during pregnancy. Dysuria is a common side-effect of guarana use.

Historical Uses

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