The guarana grows shrubby or in the form of a vine. In its region of origin, the entire Amazon Basin, it can reach a stature height of up to 12 meters. Meanwhile, the cultivation is also in other South American countries. The brownish hairy bark becomes increasingly wooden and bald.
Their changeable leaves are 20 to 30 cm long and up to 9 cm wide. Flowers form the guarana plant only sporadically. These bundle grape or tendril-like. The resulting fruits are capsule-like and take on a ripe orange orange color. These measure 2 to 3 cm in length. The trained fruits are carriers of caffeine.
Partially open the capsules and contain few seeds. These are green in color and are bounded by a white seed coat, the so-called Arillus. Seed and seed coat look like a keen eye. Due to this phenomenon, the Guarana is an integral part of numerous myths of the American indigenous people.
In the countries of the original occurrence of the guarana plant, it finds a diverse use. Especially in powder form and processed into pastes Guarana is consumed there for several centuries. The crushed seeds are now preferably added to soft drinks and energy drinks. Thus, the exotic Liana plant is also increasingly popular in Europe. The bitter taste is balanced by the addition of honey.
In addition to proteins, fats and starch, the seeds contain numerous other phytochemicals. Especially the proportion of caffeine is important. It measures 7 percent and is equivalent to three times the amount of caffeine in ground coffee beans. Unlike coffee, Guarana is better tolerated by the human organism. It is gentler in its action, especially on the mucous membranes.
The guarana seed contains caffeine and a high proportion of tannins (25 percent). Before the body can absorb the caffeine, it must break down the tannins. Thus, the process of caffeine intake is slowed down. Up to six hours, the stimulating substance is thereby in the organism. Equally comprehensive is the duration of action of the substance.
In addition, Guarana promotes concentration, mental and physical performance and reduces hunger and thirst. Thus, Guarana is advertised for performance and learning stress situations as well as for weight loss. Guarana does not effectively increase the physical performance of the body, but deceives across borders. It is a stimulant, drug-like substance that stimulates the body for a short time to higher energy input.
The powdered, slightly bitter-tasting seeds of the Guarana plant can be mixed with liquids or other stir-fried foods. In most cases, the powder is advertised in capsule form or as a tablet in the field of dietary supplements.
Also, drinking ampoules are offered by the trade. Furthermore, chewing gum, sweets or fitness drinks can be purchased. Tea is also added to the substance. Due to the stimulating effect and already traditional use to increase potency Guarana is also added Gleitgels.
The powder has a stimulating and revitalizing effect, reduces fever and is diuretic. It stimulates breathing, the cardiovascular system and the muscles. Guarana has an astringent effect. This results in applications ranging from headaches to migraines as well as general weaknesses and performance decline. Furthermore, it is used for weight loss, as Guarana bridges hunger and thirst. Guarana can also make you dependent on the stimulating effect of caffeine.
In its traditional use for personal care and as a medicinal plant, the duration of application is limited. The Indian tribes use Guarana mainly on their hunting trips. In order to provide energy at short notice, a paste is made and formed into a loaf of bread. There is no long-term consumption, but should be used in moderation for health. Side effects of guarana are possible and result from the high caffeine content. The symptoms are similar.
Excessive consumption of guarana may cause sleep problems, headaches, inner agitation, tachycardia, tremors and muscle aches. Diarrhea problems are also known. By reducing the feeling of hunger and, above all, thirst, it is important to ensure adequate hydration. Especially at warm ambient temperatures there is a risk of dehydration. This becomes dangerous in physically demanding situations.
Guarana is therefore not recommended for pregnant and nursing women. The same applies to children, people with hypertension and hyperthyroidism and people who can not tolerate caffeine or tein. A daily intake of 3 g guarana powder is classified as safe for human health. A solution of this amount in water corresponds approximately to a caffeine content of 150 mg.
This would be equivalent to eating about 3 cups of coffee. A maximum daily intake of between 1 and 2 g is recommended. When using Guarana powder, compliance with the recommended dosage is more difficult than with capsules or tablets. In case of overdose, physicians recommend the supply of plenty of water.