Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Guarana: A Unique Energy-Boosting Herb

Guarana is a South American plant that has very unique energy boosting properties.  Aside from being a natural energy-booster, guarana has many other health benefits.  Historically, the Amazonian Indians used guarana just before entering the jungle in order to sustain themselves during long periods of hiking.  They would also use the herb medicinally, to combat fever, headaches, and pain. 

What makes guarana different than other natural energy boosters like coffee?

Guarana contains guaranine, which is similar to caffeine but differs in a few key ways.  Guaranine is released slowly, over as much as six hours, making the energy boost it provides long lasting rather than short-lived.  This is very different than caffeine, which provides a short energy burst but overexcites the body.  Guarana's effect is revitalizing and relaxing rather than stimulating and depleting.  This is because guarana contains other components that modify the activity of this substance.  Note, however, that when guarana is over-consumed, it produces the same undesirable effects that caffeine does (like insomnia, anxiousness, etc.). 

Research indicates that Guarana gently stimulates the adrenal system to alleviate fatigue without producing harmful adrenaline shots.  In contrast, caffeine consumption does produce adrenaline shots that can damage the adrenal glands over time.  This is the reason the continuous use of caffeine can lead to chronic fatigue issues. 

Guarana also contains theobromine- the stimulant and euphoriant substance found in chocolate.  Its theobromine content adds depth to guarana's uses as an herbal medicine.  Just like raw chocolate, it is useful for improving mood and sharpening your mental faculties. 

In summation, guarana is useful for: 

- providing a natural energy boost
- reducing fatigue
- stress related conditions including anxiety and depression
- improving mental and physical stamina
- use as a general tonic and stress reliever
- assisting with illness recovery
- slowing or reversing aging
- as a natural diuretic, to rid the body of excess fluids
- to relieve menstrual pain
- as a non-addictive natural anti-depressant
- as a natural appetite suppressant
- aiding in smoking cessation
- providing natural pain relief

A good starting dose of guarana is 1/8 tsp. powder, which can be mixed with fruit juice, punch or herbal tea.  I recommend cold-processed guarana rather than heated varieties.  Daily intake should not exceed 3 grams. 

* Guarana is not recommended during pregnancy.  Check with your physician before adding herbal remedies to your health regimen. 


Moritz, Andreas.  Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation.

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