Scientific name: Paullinia Cupana
Native to: Brazil and Venezuela, the Amazons
Description: A woody climbing plant with yellow flowers that turn into fruits each carrying three nutty brown seeds. These Guarana seeds are dried and roasted for six hours before they can be used. Indian tribes of the Amazon basin have been using Guarana for many centuries. The Quarami tribe, for instance, used it to fight bowel complaints, and the Maues always have and still do benefit from its potent therapeutic properties. Many South American natives harden Guarana powder and turn it into an eatable rod. They carry these rods with them when they travel (sometimes for days) through the forests and nibble on them, whenever they need a substitute for food. . Many Indians are capable of travelling as long as two or three days in a row, with the Guarana rod as their source of energy!!!
Active substance(s): Caffein, Guaranin, Theobromin and Theofyllin. The main ingredient, guaranin, is almost identical to caffeine. One Guarana seed has a caffein content of 4-5% (about 3 times as high as the content of a normal coffee bean).
Effect: Guarana is a high-energy source that is used to increase alertness, fights fatigue, control appetite, ease muscle cramps and calm nervous tension, and it is an excellent mood elevator. Guarana is also used as an aphrodisiac and as a tonic against hangovers and menstrual pains. The stimulating effect of a Guarana beverage lasts twice as long and is much more relaxing than that of a caffeine drink. Unlike the instant and addictive kick or a sudden feeling of anxiety that caffeine may result into, the body absorbs guarana much more gradually. Unlike caffeine, it does not cause stomach and bowel complaints (e.g. cramps).
Preparation: Guarana powder is ready to use, and just needs to be ingested in a capsule, or mixed in a drink or food.
Dosage: 2 teaspoons.