Gardening

Guarana: the seeds that protect the liver and stomach and can help you lose weight

Guarana seeds have become a discovery for many people due to their exceptional nutritional and therapeutic qualities.

If you like to take care of yourself in a natural way, read this post that we have dedicated to introduce you to the properties of guarana. In it we tell you what guarana is, what is the composition of guarana seeds, what guarana is good for, its uses and the possible contraindications of guarana.

Also, at the end of the post I invite you to watch a video in which I summarize the properties of guarana.

What is guarana?

The product known as guarana is the seed of the fruit of a native species of the Amazon rainforest called Paullina cupana , whose cultivation is expanding due to the growing demand in the international market.

The Paullina cupana is a climbing and woody shrub that can reach 12 m 2 in circumference, whose spherical orange fruit, when ripening partially opens, revealing a white pulp and its seed, blackish and shiny, which has the appearance of an eye.

The name “guaraná”, in Tupí-guaraní “wara’ná” means “ fruit like people’s eyes ”.

The round, dark and shiny seed is extracted through a cleaning and roasting (drying) process.

The commercialization of the seed locally is carried out in various ways, both in roasted and ground bunches, in capsules, in bars, in syrup or directly as an additive in beverages.

The first testimonies of the cultivation of guarana for traditional trade date back to the seventeenth century in Maués, Brazil, by the Sateré-Mawé, original inhabitants of the Amazon region to whom knowledge about the cultivation, harvest and post-harvest treatment of the seeds, which give the product its particular qualities.

Throughout the centuries, the harvest of different products of the region has been crossed by conflicts of access, tenure and use of the lands, among others, by the participation of intermediaries who monopolize the commercialization of guarana seeds from the moment of the harvest.

Today, after various state and private interventions, the Brazilian Amazon markets products with extracts of guarana that have certifications, geographical indications and other national and international accreditation labels.

One of the most recognized products in South America is the soda made with guarana extract , manufactured since the mid-20th century in Brazil and then extended to almost the entire region in different blends and brands.
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Composition of guarana seeds

Guarana seed contains between 6 and 8% caffeine (one of the highest levels in nature), in addition to theophylline and theobromine, the substances of greatest interest in the investigation of its therapeutic action, although some also call it guaranine.

It is also rich in minerals such as titanium and phosphorus , and in cathekic tannins (8 to 12%), saponosides, choline, renin and mucilage.

guarana properties uses

Benefits of consuming guarana

It has invigorating, antidiarrheal, diuretic, antineuralgic, antioxidant, antiplatelet, heart invigorating, nervous system stimulant and improves memory.

The effects are similar to those produced by coffee , but more intense, due to the higher content of tannins and caffeine.

This composition of caffeine with theophylline and theobromine, confer therapeutic action as bronchoprotective, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory, delaying aging and improving blood supply, mainly to the brain.

Thus, it is usually used in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, depression, arteriosclerosis and hemorrhages, and also acts topically as a tissue regenerator.

In addition, it has some importance as an adjunct in weight control diets , due to various actions such as:

  • Increases physical capacity and energy expenditure, exciting the central nervous system.
  • It has anorectic properties, as an appetite suppressant or depressant.
  • It has a mild lipid and diuretic effect, which contributes to weight loss.
  • Some studies have found that it delays gastric emptying (satiating effect), which could lead to weight loss without further gain.

Although still being studied, the phenolic compounds in guarana seeds show antioxidant activity and the ability to capture free radicals and prevent coronary heart disease and cancer.

Other studies have focused on its inhibitory properties of hepatocarcinogenesis and as a gastric protector for lesions caused by indomethacin or ethanol, as well as on its properties as an antiplatelet agent and inhibitor of thromboxane formation.

Drinks and different preparations that include guarana extracts are used to:

  • Improve concentration
  • Slow down the effects of aging
  • Relieve migraines caused by states of tension
  • Improve resistance and physical performance

The European Medicine Agency (EMA) Committee for Herbal Medicines (HMPC) recognizes the use of medicines containing guarana seed for the relief of symptoms of fatigue and weakness .

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How to take guarana seeds

Guarana seeds, after having been subjected to post-harvest cleaning and roasting treatments, are marketed in different presentations and in some preparations with extracts (sometimes mixed with others, such as ginseng ).

Of the dry extract, the recommended dose is 100 mg per dose, with 2 g being the maximum daily dose.

Another form in which it can be found on the market is as a fluid extract, whose recommended daily dose is between 25 and 50 drops daily.

To avoid ingesting pesticide residues used during the cultivation of guarana, choose organic guarana capsules , for your health.

The tablets produced with guarana extracts are normally used to combat states of general fatigue, convalescence and as an adjunct in weight control diets , whose doses correspond to what is established in the package insert.

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Guarana contraindications

Due to its high caffeine content, no presentation should be administered during the night, or associated with infusions with an exciting effect, such as coffee, tea, cola, mate, among others. Insomnia, palpitations and nervousness may appear as adverse effects.

Its use is not recommended in children under 12 years of age, pregnant women and during lactation, since there are not enough studies on its use in these cases.

It is contraindicated in people with anxiety, gastric and duodenal ulcers, hypertension, arrhythmias and hyperthyroidism.

We have prepared this video with the most outstanding qualities of guarana, enjoy it!

Consulted bibliography

  • “Chemical and pharmacological properties of the guarana fruit ( Paullinia cupana )”, Eugenia M. Kuskoski, Fett Roseane, Agustin García A., Ana M. Troncoso G. Vitae, Journal of the Faculty of Chemistry Farmacéuitca, Vol. 12 N ° 2. Colombia. 2005
  • “Guarana, seed of. Paulinia cupana Kunth ex HBK var. sorbilis (Mart.) ducke, semen ”, Herbal Medicines Committee (HMPC), European Medicines Agency. 2013
  • “Innovate to resist? The territorialization of guarana in the Amazon (Bresil) ”, Florence Pinton and Mélanie Congretel. Eutopia N ° 10. 2016
  • “Study of dietary products used for weight control”, Elena Requejo López. Faculty of Pharmacy, Complutense University of Madrid. 2016
  • “Guarana. Paullina cupana , sorbilis . Also known as Brazilian cocoa and ‘Zoom’ ”, David J. Woods. Jorunal of Primary Health Care, Vol. 4 Num. 2. 2012

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