Nutrient of the Month – Guarana

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Guarana means “secret eyes” and was so named because the fruit resembles a human eye.

Guarana is the pure seed of the Paullinia Cupana vine – a climbing shrub found in isolated areas of the Amazon rain forest. The seed is about the size of a pea, looks like a brown pebble and has a slightly bitter taste. When dried and ground to a powder, it is mixed into drinks.

Guarana is mostly used as an energy supplement.  Guarana has also been used to assist in the relief of various ailments such as stress and nervous tension, weight control, headaches, hangovers, and even menstrual pain.

The effects of guarana alkaloids (the active ingredients) are not the same as coffee and other caffeine products. You only need a small serving of pure guarana seed to obtain optimum results. Guarana contains about 3.6%-5.8% caffeine per weight as compared to coffee, which only contains about 2%.

The medical effects of pure guarana seed powder are well documented from both folklore and research in the 21st Century. The stimulant effects of this rain forest plant were recognized in the western world during the late 1980s.

As a result of observational studies, the beneficial effects of Guarana have become the subject of scientific research. Guarana was listed on the Australian Register as a complementary health medicine in 1994.

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