The herb guarana is commercially promoted in the
health food industry, among other uses, as a weight loss agent and a smoking cessation
aid. Guarana is considered to be an astringent, containing tannic acid and related
compounds, and is acceptable as a flavoring agent and a beverage constituent. The herb
guarana is permitted as a food additive in small quantities, provided no claims are made.
Guarana plays an important role in the culture of the
Amazonian Indians. In certain regions, the guarana fruit extract is believed to be an
aphrodisiac and to protect from malaria and dysentery.Guarana has been used by the
indigenous people of the Amazon for centuries.
In the United States, Guarana is generally regarded as
safe, with a caffeine content of 3-5% by dry weight. The effect of the caffeine in Guarana
results in a boost of energy and appetite suppression. Increasing numbers of athletes,
dancers and sportsmen and women are using it as a natural aid to maintaining peak
performance. Guarana is also perceived to bring energy levels back to normal more quickly
Guarana takes about one hour to be metabolized via the digestive system. The slower rate
of absorption leads to less tension in the body. Guarana is used more effectively and does
not lead to stress reaction which might happen in case of high coffee intake.