The guarana-plant is a liana that grows along the upper Amazon and the Orinoco river in Brazil.
Use: What is used are the ground seeds. Since Guarana became also popular in other countries, various preparations of it are found in the trade: ground seeds, tinctures, even bubble gums, liqueurs and more.
Active constituents: Up to 5 percent caffeine and up to 25 percent tannins, tetramethyl xanthine, theophylline, theobromine. Due to the high content of tannin a uniform assimilation of the substances is achieved, which takes place during a longer period of time.
Effects: Stimulating. South American Indians supposedly take guarana also for sexual stimulation, and against headache and fever.
Side effects: Like all caffeine-containing substances, a long-lasting intake of high doses can lead to sleeplessness, nervousness, circulatory problems and habituation.
Suppliers: Herbal stores, pharmacies, head shops, etc.
Miscellaneous: Users often report that they were able to stay awake for a very long time without any problems by the intake of guarana and that they could not attain a comparable effect by using coffee or tea. My own experiments with guarana lead to effects, that were not very different than those of a strong coffee.