Ancient Indian Remedy,
New Western Craze
(pronounced gwa-ra-naa) is a berry that grows in Venezuela and the
northern parts of Brazil. The name 'Guarana' comes from the Guarani
tribe that lives in Brazil. Guarana plays a very important role
in their culture, as this herb is believed to be magical, providing
relief of intestinal problems and as a way to gain energy. Guarana's
biological name, Paullinia Cupana, was taken from the German medical
botanist C.F. Paullini, who discovered the tribe and the plant in
the 18th century. The success and popularity of the herb has been
attributed to its success as an energy drink in Brazil. The main
ingredient found in the herb is guaranine, which is chemically identical
to caffeine. Guarana based products are very prevenlant in Brazil
and have been for many years. Coca Cola and Pepsi have tried to
capitalize on the market by creating their own drinks. Coca Cola
manufactures “Kuat” in Brazil and is having moderate success, and
Pepsi launced “Josta” in the United States, but the drink failed.
Most Brazilians feel that most of the drinks are made with too much
added sugar, and I agree with them. Adding too much sugar takes
credit and effectiveness away from the herb itself, relinquishing
any point of even drinking the Guarana in the first place.
centuries the many benefits of guaraná have been passed on to explorers
and settlers. European researchers began studying guaraná (in France
and Germany) in the 1940s, finding that Indians' uses to cure fevers,
headaches, cramps, and as an energy tonic were well-founded. Presently,
guaraná is taken daily as a health tonic by millions of Brazilians,
who believe it helps overcome heat fatigue, combats premature aging,
detoxifies the blood, and is useful for intestinal gas, obesity,
dyspepsia, fatigue, and arteriosclerosis. The plant is also used
for heart problems, fever, headaches, migraine, neuralgia, and diarrhea.
Guaraná has been used in body care products for its tonifying and
astringent properties, and to reduce cellulite. Guaraná also has
been used as an ingredient in shampoos for oily hair and as a ingredient
in hair-loss products. In Peru the seed is used widely for neuralgia,
diarrhea, dysentery, fatigue, obesity, cellulite, heart problems,
hypertension, migraine, and rheumatism.
the plant is known and used worldwide (and is the main ingredient
in the "national beverage" of Brazil: Guaraná Soda!).
Eighty percent of the world's commercial production of guarana paste
is in the middle of the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil-still
performed by the Guarani Indians, who wild-harvest the seeds and
process them into paste by hand. The Brazilian government has become
aware of the importance of the local production of guaraná by traditional
methods employed by indigenous inhabitants of the rainforest. Since
1980, FUNAI (the National Indian Foundation) has set up a number
of projects to improve the local production of guaraná. Now, under
the direction of the FUNAI regional authority in Manaus, many cooperatives
in the rainforest support indigenous tribal economies through the
harvesting and production of guaraná.
is no question that the world is in current craze for energy products
more than ever in the history of the developing world. Red Bull
has seen the success in its profits that have sky rocketed in recent
years, even though some country like France and Sweden have banned
the drink from being sold in their countries. Red Bull is packed
with Taurine and Caffeine making it potentially dangerous. In my
opinion I think that Guarana is the safe alternative to the energy
drink craze. I predict the production of Guarana in Manaus to increase
in future years.