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Guarana – (Paullinia cupana)


Also known as Brazilian cocoa, guarana is native to South America. It grows in the tropical rain forests in the Brazilian Amazon basin. It is grown commercially also. The ripe seeds are harvested, shelled and washed. Then they are roasted for six hours. After cooling, they are put in sacks and shaken to remove the outer shell. The seeds are then ground into a fine powder. This powder is combined with water to make a dough. The dough is rolled into cylinders that are then dried over a slow fire or in the sun until they become hard.

Key Medicinal Uses

Internally – Guarana is used for headache and migraine. It boosts energy and relieves mild depression. The medicinal effects are very similar to coffee. Chronic diarrhea also responds to this herb. It stimulates the nervous system, is a mild diuretic and increases the metabolism. It decreases fatigue, reduces hunger and helps arthritis pain. It has also been used for neuralgia, paralysis and urinary tract irritation.

Guarana is also used to enhance athletic performance and to help weight loss. It has been used for a long time to treat hangovers. It is also useful in treating headache that is related to menstruation. Traditionally, it was also used to prevent malaria and dysentery. The herb also is included in aphrodisiac formulas for both sexes.

Externally – Not used externally

Other Uses – Guarana is used as an herbal beverage in Brazil.

Herbs to Combine/Supplement

It is often added to juices and energy drinks in the United States as an herbal supplement.

Parts Used

Seeds – The seeds are used medicinally.


Excessive consumption of guarana may cause side effects like insomnia, trembling, anxiety, heart palpitations, hyperactivity and frequent urination. Pregnant and lactating women should not take this herb. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you should not use. Long-term use may cause a decrease in fertility, cancer, cardiovascular disease due to long-term ingestion of caffeine. Do not take if you have heart problems or high blood pressure, kidney disease, an overactive thyroid or a nervous disorder.

If you have diabetes, epilepsy, insomnia or kidney disease, use guarana only under the supervision of a doctor. Do not take this herb with any product that contains ephedra. This combination may cause stroke, hemorrhage, myocardial infarction or death. Do not take this herb with MAO-inhibitors or anticoagulants.

Preparation and Dosage

Boil 25 ml of water and pour over 1 to 2 grams of crushed seeds or bark resin. Allow this to steep for 10 minutes and strain. Drink one cup three times a day.

Guarana Herbal Remedies Top