Friday, May 9, 2008

The Guarana or Paullinia Cupana

Guarana Facts
Guarana is a native shrub of South America and the Amazon Basin. It is mostly grown in a small area of northern Brazil. The guarana gum, or guarana paste, is derived from the seeds and contains tannins which act as astringents. The seeds contain approximately 3-5% of guaranine (similar to caffeine) and are often crushed and dried by South American natives and used as a stimulating drink.

How Guarana Works
The substance guaranine in guarana has traces of alkaloids like theophylline and theobromine (which are found in chocolate and cocoa, too), and these alkaloids work as a stimulant to increase mental and physical alertness and performance. Guarana acts as a weight loss aid by increasing the metabolic rate and reducing the appetite.

Possible Benefits

Increases mental alertness and quickens perception
Helps with athletic performance by increasing stamina and relieving fatigue
Helps with weight loss benefits by speeding metabolism
Curbs appetite and reduces hunger
Exerts a mild diuretic effect
May help with hangovers and menstrual-type headaches
Lowers blood pressure; beneficial for the heart
Promotes energy

Usage Guidelines
Pregnant or lactating women should not take this herb. Safe when taken in moderation. Due to guarinine effects, some people could experience similar caffeine-like symptoms as insomnia, trembling, palpitations and urinary frequency