Learn about Guarana

Botanical name: Paullinia cupana
Other names:

Guarana, a precious plant from Amazonia, has been known and used since ancient times by the Satere-Mawe people. They consumed it when they had to cover long distances on foot, before hunting or during ritual fasting. The seed of the fruit is treated and ground using traditional methods to obtain a high-quality, pure powder, without additives or preservatives.

Guarana has a stimulating effect on intellectual activity and physical capacity, but this effect is soft, balanced and progressive. When used in the frame of a weight-loss diet, it also diminishes the sensation of hunger while preserving the natural cycles of the body and sleep.

Guarana contains guaranine, a more ‘user friendly’ form of caffeine without the side effects of coffee. Guarana, taken in moderation, is an excellent stimulant for dancing, work, sport, staying awake, study (even better combined with ginkgo biloba) and driving. In fact Guarana, a must in every driver’s glove box, should really be served at ‘Driver Reviver’ stops instead of coffee, which has the potential to be dangerous because of its short-lasting effectiveness.

Why is there so much difference between caffeine found in Guarana drink and caffeine found in coffee and soft drinks? It is because the Guarana seed is fatty (even in powder form) and is not easily dissolved in water.

The human body can’t absorb Guarana extract quickly, and it sometimes may take many hours to absorb. The Guarana extract is absorbed gradually, therefore the energy enhancement effects of guarana that are experienced from Guarana drinks are not like that of coffee with its rapid and quick drop off.

Guarana on the other hand keeps you vitally awake and alert for four hours, without any comedown or hangover. Guarana is also an excellent tonic for hangovers. Look for ground whole-seed powder (dark, warm, rich looking) as a lot of commercially available Guarana, especially pills, are diluted and adulterated with fillers, giving one more anxiety than energy.

Preparation: 1 tsp/cup. Steep covered 10 minutes. 

Reference: Thorpe, R. (2001). Happy High Herbs 6th Ed. Loch:Possibility.com, http://www.quality-nutritional-supplements.com/effects-of-guarana.html, http://www.goarana.ca/en/guarana-vs-cafe

Guarana Common Uses

Guarana Actions

Guarana Recipes

Guarana Precautions

Contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation. Use with caution in people with cardiovascular disease. Because of its caffeine content, guarana potentially may interact with lithium, theophylline, and clozapine.Excessive nervousness, insomnia, and other health risks in people sensitive to caffeine.

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