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Guarana History - Guarana Information

 
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Guarana History - Information



The first record of the use of Guarana, (a sprawling, shrub like vine) dates all the way back to 1669! It was this year that a Jesuit missionary named J. Felipe Betendorf visited an area deep in the Amazon Basin where the Maué Indians were found using it as a daily tonic/stimulant. These Indians and the white settlers who lived with them lauded the beverage for its ability to ward off headaches, relieve cramps, fevers, diarrhoea, water retention and as a nervous system stimulant, and also as an aphrodisiac. Maybe most responsible for its popularity was the belief by these people that their daily usage helped to prevent malaria and dysentery. It is still consumed today for all of these reasons.

They pulverized the seeds and added water until they had a thick paste, then dried it in stick shapes. Presently Guarana is used as flavouring for some carbonated soft drinks, is popular as a stimulant drink and is present in many recreational "health" drinks and weight loss products.

Guarana claims to be useful to enhance brain function (Galduroz, & Carlini, 1994). It is used with heavy exercise routines, to stay awake, and as a stimulant for physical and intellectual stress (Santa Maria et al., 1998).

Galduroz, and Carlini (1994) found that guarana did not increase cognition and did not change in sleeping patterns in normal volunteers. Animals treated with guarana had better physical performance over time in comparison with animals treated with ginseng. Guarana also stimulated brain function by reversing the amnesic effects of scopolamine (Espinola, et al., 1997). Guarana did not exert any toxic effects nor was sleep time and motor ability affected in animals treated with high doses (Mattei et al., 1998).

 

 


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