Guaraná

Also indexed as:Paullinia cupana
Guaraná: Main Image © Martin Wall
Botanical names:
Paullinia cupana

Parts Used & Where Grown

Guaraná is an evergreen vine indigenous to the Amazon basin. The vast majority of guaraná is grown in a small area in northern Brazil. Guaraná gum or paste is derived from the seeds and is used in herbal preparations.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

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This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Athletic Performance
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Some athletes take guaraná, which contains caffeine, during their training, although there is no scientific research to support this use.
Fatigue
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Guaraná contains caffeine, and the indigenous people of the Amazon rain forest have used crushed guaraná seed as a beverage and a medicine to decrease fatigue.
Obesity
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Guaraná contains caffeine and the closely related alkaloids theobromine and theophylline, these compounds may curb appetite and increase weight loss.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

The indigenous people of the Amazon rain forest have used crushed guaraná seed as a beverage and a medicine. Guaraná was used to treat diarrhea, decrease fatigue, reduce hunger, and to help arthritis.1 It also has a history of use in treating hangovers from alcohol abuse and headaches related to menstruation.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.