Guarana or Guaraná (pronounced qwa-ra-'naa) is a plant native of northern Brazil, known for the high stimulant content of the fruit (seed). The name “guarana” comes from the Tupi-Guarani word wara'ná, where it plays an important role in their culture as a plant with magical strength.
According to myth, guaranà started being domesticated when a deity killed a beloved village child. The villagers were outraged and to calm them down a benevolent god plucked the child's left eye and planted it in the forest, resulting in the wild varieties of guarana. The god plucked the child right eye a planted in the village, thus domesticating the guarana plant. This myth explains the peculiar “eye-ball” look of the plant and brings sentiment and meaning to the Brazilian tribes.
The original name for the guarana plant was Paullinia Cupana, which was taken from the German medical botanist C.F. Paullini, who discovered both the Guarani tribe as well as the guarana plant in the 18th century. Guarana taste is very unique and distinctive, and is a very popular Brazilian soft drink. Guarana’s main ingredient is guaranine, which is chemically identical to caffeine.
Cultivation and processing
Guaranà is grown on small or large farms. Guaranà is harvesting by hand in the dry season. If the entire fruit bunch is ripe, it is either snipped off with scissors or small pruning shears, or broken off manually. If only a few berries are ripe, they are picked individually. The guarana fruits are then placed in a basket and carried. Before roasting the seeds, the red skin must be removed. The fruits are skinned by hand, left to soak in water or simply stored for several days until the skin softens.
Guaranà seeds are roasted in an open-sided hut, but it is hot work and it takes several hours, periodically stop stirring the seeds to pick some up if the seeds smell is right, they are ready to come off the griddle. The toasted seeds are then pounded in a wooden mortar, mixed with water and then molded into cylinders before drying in the sun. They are then smoked in specialized huts for several weeks to impart a unique flavor. The smoked cylinders last up to a year, whereas powdered guarana loses some of its flavor after a few months.(1)
Industrial plants grind the roasted beans with machinery similar to that used for processing coffee.
Guaranà is an effective energy booster: it contains about two-tree times more caffeine than found in the coffee beans (about 2-4,5% caffeine in gurana seeds compared to 1-2% for coffee beans)(2) Guarana seeds are rich in tannins, theophillin and theobromine and other alkoloids, vitamin C and complex of vitamins group B, 5% to 25% tannin, 3% fats, 5-6% starches, 7% resin, a saponin, mucilage, choline and pigments
The benefits of guarana
Guaranà is excellent in helping with many things that’s why the Brazilian tribes call it “the magical fruit”. Guaranà has been said to have magical properties since it has the ability to cure countless diseases, ailments, and other physical and mental problems. Some top benefits of guaranà are:
- Speeds up metabolism – Guarana has also been show to increase metabolism, which would help in the fat burning process. It is caffeine in guarana that helps to boost the metabolism. When metabolism working harder the body can more easily burn a larger amount of fat. It has been used to suppress appetite and cause to not feel hungry. (Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics.2001 June:14(3):243-50 (5).
- Burns fat cells & Increase energy - Guarana aids is a temporary, natural increase in body temperature and metabolic thermogenesis through nutritional stimulation of the body's ß-receptor pathway, which can induce the breakdown and release of stored body fat, thereby allowing stored fats to be turned into energy.(4) Products with content of guarana are very effective in the fight.
- Helps with pains – Another health benefit of guarana extract is reducing painful symptoms. Traditionally guarana seeds have been used as a treatment for migraine, headache, rheumatism.
- Boots mental abilities- guarana has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function as well as stabilizing mood and can clear mind, focus on thought. (Journal of Pharmacology,2007 Jan;21(1)65-70)
- Blood thinning, anti-platelet activity, anti-thrombosis - guarana extract contains caffeine and catechins, epicatechines this dimers might be responsible for anti-platelet aggregatory activity. These substances might offer health benefit decreasing risk of thrombosis and cardiovascular disease.(3,6) It is also used as a cardiovascular health and cleanse the blood, keep it from becoming “sticky” and forming clots.
Popularity of guaranà is mainly due to mental alertness, is it suitable for season with increase psychical and physical activities with maximal concentration, it's advisable for drivers, people working with PC, students, soldiers, athletes …
Guaranà can be used for tablets, Energy drinks, mineral waters, juices, musli and chocolate bars, candies and chewing gums.
The US Food and Drug Authority(FDA) has branded Guarana as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) meaning there are no grave side effects associated with designated subject.
The following references are available in our Catalogue. Call for samples:
- Guaranà seed soluble dry extract ≥ 5,0% Caffeine
- Guaranà seed dry extract ≥ 10,0% Caffeine
- Guaranà seed dry extract ≥ 22,0% Caffeine (partially added)
These claims' axes are obviously given as an indication. Please note that the plant effect greatly depends on the amount implemented in the product. From a regulatory point of view, all claims appended on the labeling of all dietary supplements must be justified by pertinent bibliographical data file according to Regulation 1924/2006/EC.
1. Ecological and social P. Hernman AR. Guarana (Paullinia capana var. sorbilis): ecerspectives on an economic plant of the central Amozon basin. J Ethoèharmacol (1982) 6;311-38
2. D.K. Bempong a; P.J. Houghton a; Kathryn Steadaman a. The Xanthine content of Guarana and Its Preparations. Pharmaceutical Biology. August 1993.
3. RaviSubbiah MT, Yunker R. Anti-platelet aggregatory factors in the seeds of the Amzonian Herb Guarana (Paullinia cupana). Int.J. Vitam Nutr. Res. 2008 March., University Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
4. Berube-Parent S, Pelletier C, Dore J, et al. Effects of encapsulated green tea and Guarana extracts containing a mixture of epigallocatechin-3-gallate and caffeine on 24 h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in men. Br J Nutr 2005;94(3):432-436
5. Breum L, Pederson JK, Ahlstrom F, Frimodt-Moller J. Comparison of an ephedrine/caffeine combination and dexfenfluramine in the treatment of obesity. A double-blind multi-centre trial in general practice. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord . 1994;18:99-103.
6. Mattei R, Dias RF, Espinola EB, Carlini EA, Barros SB. Guarana ( Paullinia cupana ): toxic behavioral effects in laboratory animals and antioxidants activity in vitro. J Ethnopharmacol . 1998;60:111-116.