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Guarana comes from potent South American
berries that when extracted, consists a crystallizable agent
called guaranine, which is identical to caffeine and exists
in the seeds of the berry. Guarana is useful for mild forms
of diarrhea, but its primary use is for headache, especially
if of a rheumatic nature. It is a gentle stimulant and helpful
when irritated or depressed by mental exertion; fatigue
or exhaustion from hot weather or distress that accompanies
menstruation. Natives in the Amazon have used it to maintain
stamina and physical endurance. The herbal tonic has been
used for the above mentioned conditions as well as hangovers,
weight control, and stress. It is used by the Indians for
bowel complaints, but is not indicated in cases of constipation
or high blood pressure.
In Europe, Guarana was initially marketed
as an alternative, medicinal plant from the Amazon. Its
use was touted as beneficial to the overall health and the
powder was and still is sold in health shops. Some retailers
promote it as an aphrodisiac; however, there is to current
evidence to support this claim.
Although suggested as a treatment for headaches,
it is not recommended for chronic headache or in cases where
it is not desirable to increase the temperature, excite
the heart, or increase arterial tension. Many over the counter
diet medications contain caffeine and now many have added
Guarana, but it is important to remember how it effects
the body are. Guarana has been called the alternative smart
drug with mind expanding capabilities,
but the only effect it has is similar to that of caffeine.
Not only does it possess the same chemical composition as
caffeine; it has the same physiological action.