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Herbs > Guarana (Paullinia Cupana)

Also called Brazilian cocoa or zoom, Guarana has become popular in the West in recent times, where it is often added to trendy energy drinks. However, it has been used as such for centuries by Amazon tribes, who make a type of tea from the ground seeds of the guarana plant. The guarana plant is native to the Amazon rain forests. It is named after the Guaranis, an Amazonian tribe noted for their use of the herb. Guarana has a higher caffeine content than coffee, but in this form the caffeine takes longer to absorb, providing more sustained stimulation.

Healing uses:
Pure guarana is widely available from health stores, pharmacies and supermarkets in the form of capsules and powder. The powder can be made into a tea-like drink by mixing it with hot water.

Either the tea or the capsules are frequently taken to enhance the state of the body. Guarana relieves fatigue, aids concentration and improves the mood. It will also improve stamina, and has been used for this purpose by professional athletes. Like b coffee, however, it will make one nervous and edgy.

Amazon tribes traditionally used guarana to guard against malaria and dysentery. They also used it as an aphrodisiac. Given that it improves the mood and increases one’s energy, it is probably somewhat effective for this purpose.

Cautions:
Individuals suffering from hypertension of cardiovascular disease should avoid guarana.

Excessive use of guarana can cause caffeine dependency and damage the nervous system. It is recommended that no more than 2 capsules be taken in any 6 hour period, and that the dosage only be used occasionally.

Other uses:
Guarana can be used socially as a type of herbal high. It is frequently used to invigorate the body, allowing the user to be awake and energized all night. Commercially available energy drinks are ideal for this purpose. A tasty alternative to energy drinks is guarana chocolate. This is made by melting chocolate at a low setting in the microwave, or in a bowl over hot water. Once thoroughly melted, stir in guarana powder. The amount can be varied depending on the strength desired. Pour the melted chocolate into a dish, allow to set, and then cut into pieces. The caffeine traces in the chocolate, as well as the high sugar content, will boost the effects of the guarana.

Growing guarana:
Guarana requires a hot moist environment. It will not grow at temperatures of less than 18░C. In the right conditions, it will propagate from cuttings. The seeds are harvested when ripe, then ground and stored either as a paste or as a powder.




Index
Quick Reference
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Kalonji
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Mullien
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Sandalwood
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Tee Tree
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Tribulus
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