Guarana: properties, benefits and contraindications
Guarana is a plant native to the Amazon region. Its Latin botanical name is Cuban Paullinia and is a plant belonging to the Sapindaceae family .A large production of Guarana is present in particular in countries like Peru, Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia, where it is cultivated by the Sateré-Mawé indigenous peoples. The plant is a large-sized climbing vine that has cluster flowers and red fruits, tending to orange containing white seeds; the fruits are produced only after a long time, and sometimes it takes even years.
Properties : energizing, combats tiredness and fatigue, calms the sense of hunger, poisoning action in case of toxin accumulation, intestinal disinfectant, draining, lipolytic, reduces the stasis of the microcirculation, has an anti-aging action on organs and tissues.
Guarana contains many other elements including:
- a high proportion of almidone (60%):
- traces of theophylline and theobromine: these active ingredients make it an excellent stimulant of the central nervous system, yet safe because it does not leave undesired effects.
- Tonic, stimulating and energizing of the central nervous system . The active ingredient that gives Guaranà the greatest tonic and stimulating properties is guaranine, another name of caffeine, which is contained in the average of 4%, and which gives an important charge after intake, whose stimulating effect is expressed in the 4 – 6 hours after hiring. Guarana also has a high content in catechist tannins (up to 13%) which gives it antioxidant and anti-aging properties; it also has a good supply of fiber.
- Improves intellectual activities and strengthens physical strength. Guarana can be a valid support in those who must take an exam, in case of intense study, in case one needs to stimulate thought and make the memory more active. Guaranine, joining adenosine brain receptors, increases alertness and alertness; moreover, it increases the physical prowess with more resistance in case of physical efforts.
- Activate the disposal of excess fats. Its stimulating capacity of the nervous system makes it an excellent active for the disposal of excess fats. It turned out to be useful if you want to lose weight because of its ability to mobilize fats, a process that occurs through the stimulation of basic metabolism. The lipolytic process is in fact more likely to be activated if Guarana is assumed: a study published in 2001 in the journal Human Nutrition and Dietetics confirmed the weight loss in a group subjected to the intake of Guarana and other plants for 45 days, compared to the placebo group.
The presence of Guarana in slimming preparations is frequent , in the form of granules to be dissolved in a bottle of water and to drink during the day. Almost always in these cases, to have an even more important effect, it is used in communion with other substances, such as Garcinia Cambogia , to intervene as a slimming support in case of diets.
- Regulates gastrointestinal activity . Guarana stimulates intestinal peristalsis, increasing gastric secretion; its effects act favorably on intestinal motility, with beneficial contribution in the case of constipation, intestinal irregularity, bloating and meteorism. It also activates diuresis.
- It acts beneficially in those suffering from hypotension . Excellent in case of dizziness, loss of attention, excessive physical and mental fatigue, convalescence, medical treatment, prophylaxis, etc.
Guarana can be taken to avoid the worsening of this symptomatology typical of those who have lower blood pressure than normal together with anemia, iron deficiency and asthenia.
- Liver and cardiovascular protector. Guaranine is a molecule that has a protective action on organs and tissues. 1 university study in Brazil confirms this. The study shows a 40% decrease in substances such as thromboxanes, chemical compounds of a lipidic nature produced by the transformation of arachidonic acid, better known as unsaturated fatty acids; they have vasoconstrictor properties and intervene in platelet aggregation, however their high content can negatively intervene, causing heart problems and memory problems.
- Valid help in aesthetics. Ready remedy for beauty and to counteract blemishes and mental and physical fatigue. Its diuretic properties, its anti-aging activity, and the lipolytic and antioxidant action of this plant make it a valid remedy especially in aesthetics. Thanks to the presence of tannins Guarana is able to delay aging and is a valid supplement in case of senility and slowing down of brain functions. It acts beneficially on tissues, improving their elasticity, intervenes in the case of pefs and water retention thanks to its powerful stimulation on fluid retention, often the cause of edema and imperfections such as ” orange peel skin””. It is advisable to take Guarana capsules, or better still, draining drinks to improve the reabsorption of liquids, stimulate diuresis by reducing the percentage of toxins and activating the lipolytic action in order to eliminate the annoying fat pads, often the cause of a silhouettenot perfect.
Availability: where to find guarana
Available in herbalist’s shops and parapharmacies, it is sold in the form of galenic and phytotherapeutic preparations with a stimulating and revitalizing power. It can be found in formulations such as syrups, herbal teas, energy drinks, capsules, infusions. For the dosage read the leaflet carefully and follow the advice of the doctor or herbalist.
Curiosities about the plant
The Sateré-Mawé Indians are the indigenous people who live in the Amazon and were the first to cultivate Guarana, a plant that they consider magical enough to have built a myth. The importance and devotion to this plant arise from the fact that it has healing properties; its beneficial effects range from the disinfectant power in the case of dysentery to the stimulation of the nervous system in the event of prolonged physical and mental activity.
Moreover, for the indigenous peoples its cultivation represents a guarantee for the survival of this people, thanks precisely to its therapeutic virtues and to their resonance in the whole of the West and the East. The historical phrase of these populations, concerning the Guarana plant, is “if you are not wise Guarana cannot help you”; phrase that the natives turn to whites who in the Guaranà seek the magic remedy that nullifies the stress and the frenzy of living.
The commercial interest for Guaranà by whites has been at the center of controversies and historical alternations based on the exploitation and depredation by whites of the Amazon basin; in fact, constantly, the local people must defend themselves from attacks by predators arriving by river.
The attraction for Guaranà derives above all from the interest of multinationals that produce drinks that have become famous, where this plant is present, which gives the drink an energizing sprint.
The selection of the seedlings to be cultivated, and above all of the fruits to be harvested, needs scrupulousness and precision, and is the result of long work and extensive knowledge, since the fruits can only be harvested when not yet ripe. Once collected, the latter are used as dried pasta obtained from the seeds, but only after being first washed and then dehydrated in the sun for 4 weeks. The fruits are then cooked, peeled, and smoked; this procedure takes place with particular lumber of the place and has a duration of at least 4 days. Local artisans make Guarana sticks to grate on occasion; the natives are in fact used to use it in powder, however today it is easier for us to find it in tablets.
Contraindications and side effects
Pregnancy, breastfeeding. Its use in children is not recommended. Use should be avoided by allergy sufferers or those suffering from hyperthyroidism. Guarana is an exciting substance on a par with teine, caffeine or other xanthines. Generally its content in galenic preparations remains below the caffeine content present in a coffee, this makes it safe, yet equally stimulating on hypertensive subjects, severe heart patients, with alterations affecting the snow system such as epilepsy. The active ingredient, called guaranine, although fairly safe and not too stimulating, is nonetheless invigorating and therefore it is not advisable to use it in those hypersensitive and nervous subjects, due to its tonic and stimulating properties on the nervous system:
- Intake by insomnia subjects should also be avoided.
- Inordinate intake may rarely cause undesirable phenomena such as irritation, nervousness, tachycardia, insomnia.