Guarana

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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.

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