(Paulinia cupana)

Guaraná is an evergreen vine indigenous to the Amazon basin. The vast majority of guaraná is grown in a small area in northern Brazil. Guaraná gum or paste is derived from the seeds and is used in herbal preparations. The indigenous people of the Amazon rain forest have used crushed guaraná seed as a drink and a medicine. Guaraná was used to treat diarrhoea, decrease fatigue, reduce hunger, and to help arthritis. It also has a history of use in treating hangovers from alcohol abuse and headaches related to menstruation.

What it does

Guarana contains xanthines (caffeine, theobromine and theophylline), saponins, tannins and choline. It has stimulant, tonic, adaptogenic and nerve soothing properties. The saponins in guarana slow down the absorption and release of caffeine into the body, making it very different to the actions of tea, coffee and cola drinks. Guarana contains about 22% caffeine, which is a mild appetite suppressant and is known to raise body temperature which is thought to encourage the release of energy from stored body fat.

Potential Uses

Athletic performance Fatigue Weight Loss
Obesity Depression Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Other information

Studies show that Guarana increases energy, reduces stress and improves mood and performance. It is sometimes used by athletes as a booster and general tonic for fatigue.

Guarana is sometimes found as an ingredient in thermogenic slimming products as it helps with fat burning and energy stimulation.


People who are very sensitive to the effects of caffeine may experience anxiety or insomnia from taking guarana. It should not be taken late in the day if you have sleep problems.

Do not use in pregnancy or when breastfeeding. Do not take Guarana if you have high blood pressure.

Women with breast cysts should avoid caffein and other related xanthenes.

If you are already taking medicine which contains caffeine, do not take Guarana.

At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with Guarana.


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