Guarana has been used for centuries by Amazonian Indians to increase energy, fight malaria, reduce appetite and enhance libido. Today, this herb is used worldwide as a tonic to enhance mental function, promote alertness, improve physical performance and lose weight (it appears to affect the rate at which you think you are full). Guarana is used in sweetened or carbonated soft drinks and energy shots, in tisanes and in capsules. It is available in capsule, tablet, dried herbs, liquid extract or oral spray form.
Guarana seeds, which are crushed.
Guarana seeds are a powerhouse of guaranine, a chemical substance with the same characteristics as caffeine. They also contain tannins, theophylline, theobromine and polyphenols such as cathechin and epicatechin.
Guarana blocks nerve receptors for adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter, allowing the brain to release stimulatory neurotransmitters such as noradrenaline, which boost the nervous system. The herb:
- Promotes alertness.
- Helps impart a sense of wellbeing and motivation.
- Increases the metabolism, helping to improve energy levels and enhance physical performance.
- May enhance mental function.
- May help in weight loss.
- Is thought to help sexual performance.
Flora Force Products containing Guarana
Domestic & culinary uses
Not used in modern cooking.
A climbing shrub endemic to the dense Amazon jungles, guarana is now cultivated throughout South America. A single species, Paullinia cupana, grows in tropical Africa. Guarana is not regarded as a domestic plant, but instructions to cultivate it in greenhouses can be found online. A useful reference is the document published by the University of Bonn, Germany. Find it here www.tropen.uni-bonn.de/new_website/englische_seiten/Study/SAPINDACEAE_PAPERS2.pdf (or http://bit.ly/12VeAdx).
- By Franz Eugen Köhler, Köhler’s Medizinal-Pflanzen (List of Koehler Images)