Guarana is a climbing shrub native to the Amazon rainforest whose scientific name is Paullinia cupana. Its fruit, also called guarana, is of a size similar to that of a coffee bean and its exterior color is red. Inside it contains a black seed covered by a vegetable tissue of white color that gives it the appearance of an eyeball. This similarity has led to the emergence of various legends that claim that the plant was born from the eyes of a divine child. In the same way, its resemblance to the human eye is the reason for the name of the plant since “wara’ná” in the language of the Tupi-Guaraní means “fruit like the eyes of people”.
The consumption of guarana goes back to time immemorial. The indigenous tribes of the Amazon used it to cure various diseases and to recover their strength. Since the nineteenth century, several studies have been carried out that attribute stimulating and medicinal properties to it and that include it within the group of the so-called superfoods.
A powerful stimulant
Guarana is one of the foods with the highest amount of caffeine in the world. Each seed of this precious fruit has around 6% and 8% of caffeine, a percentage significantly higher than that found in coffee or cocoa. This makes it a powerful stimulant that activates the central nervous system and favors the segregation of adrenaline, which gives us a greater capacity to perform physical or mental efforts.
According to a study conducted by Dr. Othon Machado in 1946, the caffeine contained in guarana works by joining our receptors and increasing the alertness of the individual. In this way it promotes brain activity and the association of ideas and, in the same way, improves physical resistance and the feeling of well-being.
The stimulating effect that this superfood contributes to our body has made it popularize its consumption in the case of suffering conditions related to tiredness, such as fatigue or asthenia.
Its use in alterations of the organism
Although guarana is known mainly for its function as an energy revitalizer, its effectiveness in the treatment of other alterations of the organism has also been shown.
In the case of migraine, for example, it has been proven that caffeine performs a vasoconstrictive function of the blood vessels of the skull and, as a result, reduces peripheral pain associated with migraine. Due to the high content of caffeine that can be found in this fruit makes its use recommended in patients with severe headaches.
It is also an effective remedy against diarrhea, since its high concentration of tannins makes it work as an astringent and hinders the evacuation. It is also attributed diuretic properties as it promotes the flow of urine and relieves irritation of the urinary tract.
Other uses of guarana are:
- Tonic, since it provides energy to the body
- Aphrodisiac and sexual appetite activator
- Prevention of arteriosclerosis and anticoagulant, so it is very indicated in case of suffering cardiovascular diseases
- Treatment of dysentery, for its anti-inflammatory properties and its effectiveness in cases of diarrhea
- Anorexigen (appetite depressant), which is why it is recommended in programs for weight loss
As we can see, this superfood can help us to solve different imbalances that occur in our body. As we always recommend, to really notice its effect and achieve the desired well-being, remember that its consumption should be accompanied by a healthy lifestyle, based on healthy diet and physical exercise.