Drugs A - Z

Guarana (Paullinia cupana)

an herbal product - treats Cognitive enhancement, Mood enhancement, and Weight loss

Generic Name: guarana

Category

Herbs & Supplements

Synonyms

Brazilian cocoa, caffeine, caffeine-tannin complex, Dark Dog Lemon®, elixir of youth, gift of the gods, Go Gum®, guarana bread, guarana gum, guarana paste, Guarana Rush®, guarana seed paste, guaranin, guaranine, Guts®, Happy Motion®, Josta®, mysterious Puelverchen, pasta guarana, Paullinia, Paullinia cupana, Paullinia sorbilis, Sapindaceae (family), Superguarana, tetramethylxanthine, Uabano, Uaranzeiro, Zoom®.

Background

Guarana is a native species of South America and has stimulating properties when taken by mouth. Guarana is also used to enhance athletic performance and to reduce fatigue. It has been used in the past as an aphrodisiac, diuretic, astringent, and to prevent malaria and dysentery, diarrhea, fever, headache, and rheumatism.

The active ingredient in guarana was formerly called guaranine (tetramethylxanthine), but was later found to be caffeine. Guarana has one of the highest caffeine contents of all plants (up to 7%), and has been used by manufacturers for its caffeine content (e.g., Dark Dog Lemon®, Guts®, and Josta®).

Although there is no scientific evidence that guarana itself increases mental alertness, its relationship to caffeine makes it probable that it would possess the same effects. It is proposed that the stimulatory effect of guarana is more gradual and sustained than caffeine due to the caffeine-tannin complex. Guarana is generally regarded as safe when not combined with other stimulatory agents, such as ephedra.

Evidence

DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Cognitive enhancement: Guarana has not been shown to alter cognitive function or arousal in preliminary studies. Caffeine found in guarana may improve simple reaction time, but may not improve immediate memory. Additional study is needed in this area.
Grade: C

Mood enhancement: Caffeine may have positive effects on mood, and may increase alertness and feelings of well-being. Limited research has been conducted on guarana in this area, and more study is needed.
Grade: C

Weight loss: Caffeine has been used as a weight loss agent due to its thermogenic effects (the process of fat or calorie burning caused by increasing heat output). In available studies, guarana has been studied with other herbs making it difficult to draw a conclusion based on the effects of guarana alone. Additional study is needed in this area.
Grade: C

Tradition

WARNING: DISCLAIMER: The below uses are based on tradition, scientific theories, or limited research. They often have not been thoroughly tested in humans, and safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. There may be other proposed uses that are not listed below.
Aphrodisiac, appetite suppressant, asthma, astringent, chronic diarrhea, cocaine withdrawal, dermatitis, diuretic, dysentery, enhanced athletic performance, fatigue, fever, flavoring agent, headache, heart conditions, lower back pain, malaria, migraine, platelet aggregation inhibition, rheumatism, skin conditions, stimulant, stress (heat), tonic (nerve).Studies have been performed with caffeine, a prominent constituent of guarana, for allergic rhinitis, apnea (pause in breathing) of prematurity, asthma, atopic dermatitis, bronchiectasis (a chronic lung disease), cancer, cardiac disorders, electroconvulsive therapy (a procedure in which an electric current is briefly applied to produce a seizure), exercise, exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, extubation (removal of the breathing tube), fecundability (monthly chance of pregnancy), fertility, fibromyalgia (chronic musculoskeletal disorder), headache, hyperactivity, hyperkinetic pediatrics, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), kwashiorkor (severe malnutrition), migraines, minimal brain dysfunction, necrotizing enterocolitis (inflammatory disease effecting the intestinal tract), neuroleptic-induced catalepsy (rigidity of the extremities and by decreased sensitivity to pain), pain, Parkinson's Disease, postprandial hypotension (low blood pressure), post-surgery pain, seizure, sore throat, stroke, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS).
Licensed from
The Healthline Site, its content, such as text, graphics, images, search results, HealthMaps, Trust Marks, and other material contained on the Healthline Site ("Content"), its services, and any information or material posted on the Healthline Site by third parties are provided for informational purposes only. None of the foregoing is a substitute for professional medical advice, examination, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Healthline Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Please read the Terms of Service for more information regarding use of the Healthline Site.
Advertisement