Subscribe to our Newsletter:
Healthy Diet Plans >>  Herbs and Natural Cures >>  Guarana

Health Benefits Of Guarana

The primary component of guarana is guaranine, a chemical substance that has similar properties as caffeine. The plant has been used since ancient times by native South American tribes. In fact, guarana contains more caffeine than coffee or cocoa beans. Guarana has been used to treat hypertension, migraines, dysentery, diarrhea, indigestion, gas, obesity, and fatigue. Owing to the stimulating effects of guarana on the nervous system, it has been used as an ingredient in sports drinks and diet aids.
It is believed that consuming guarana can improve the metabolism, burn more calories, as well as increase athletic performance. Guarana helps improve concentration and alertness. Studies show that people who take guarana supplements have better memory and more energy.
  • Weight loss – Gurana is currently being touted as the most promising weight loss supplement available. You can now get guarana in the form of powders, liquids, energy tonics, and capsules that ensure a ‘natural’ way to lose weight. Recent research showed that overweight people who were given guarana felt full for longer and were also more satisfied after a meal. This is because guarana slows down the digestive process and keeps food in the stomach for a longer time. By increasing your metabolic process, guarana can also speed up the weight loss process. Guarana products work as a diuretic and increase the elimination of toxins from the body. Manufacturers of guarana products and supplements boast that guarana is a 100% natural weight loss product made with only plant-based material, however, it is still a stimulant and should be used judiciously. Pregnant women and those who have heart problems, high blood pressure and kidney damage should stay away from guarana products.
  • ADHD – ADHD is a disorder that affects both children and adults alike. Some of the symptoms of ADHD include hyperactivity and lack of focus and concentration. Herbal therapy affirms that guarana can improve the condition of people suffering from such symptoms of ADHD, as it works as a stimulant on the nervous system and can increase alertness and focus. However, there are plenty of experts who insist that using guarana on children with ADHD only aggravates the condition. As it is a stimulant, it will cause these children to be more hyperactive than normal and should therefore, be avoided. Speak to your doctor before trying out guarana as a treatment for ADHD to learn more about the possible pros and cons of this alternative form of therapy.
  • Pregnancy – Guarana affects the body in the same way caffeine does. Therefore, just as pregnant women are advised to abstain for coffee and caffeine products, they should stay away from guarana as well. Research shows that caffeine can directly affect the baby and cause problems in development as well as increase the risk of miscarriage.
  • Skin – Guarana is a diuretic and causes an increase in the frequency of urination and the elimination of toxins from the body. This results in clearer skin and fewer problems such as acne and skin rashes.
  • Diabetes – There is research that indicates that the caffeine in guarana affects blood sugar levels in diabetics. Symptoms of low blood sugar may be exacerbated with the presence of caffeine and cause other health complications. If you suffer from diabetes, speak to your health care provider before starting any form of guarana therapy.
  • Depression and Energy – Guarana is often used as an energy booster and mood lifter. People suffering from depression can get some relief by using guarana supplements and products. Guarana is not only high in caffeine content, but this caffeine also releases more slowly into the body. This provides the body with a sustained amount of energy over a longer period of time, making guarana an effective energy booster in comparison to plain coffee.  
  • Hair – The astringent properties of guarana make it an excellent addition to shampoos and conditioners for oily hair.
  • Libido – In cases where a low libido is caused by depression or low energy levels, guarana may be able to help. Guarana has been used as a sexual stimulant among certain South American tribes since ancient times, but it is not particularly known for its libido enhancing properties nowadays.
  • Migraine – Guarana has analgesic and neurasthenic properties that lend it to being used to treat migraines and headaches and offer speedy pain relief.

Side Effects Of Guarana

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations
  • Tremors
  • Frequency of urination
  • Hyperactivity
  • High blood pressure
  • Increase the risk of kidney disease
  • Affect normal functioning of the thyroid
  • Allergic reactions that include breathing difficulties and swelling of the lips, tongue and face
  • Acidity
  • Indigestion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Headaches
People who suffer from high blood pressure and cardiac problems and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid guarana and guarana products. Guarana should not be combined or taken when formulated with ephedrine (as found in diet drinks and sports supplements), as this can cause irregular heartbeats and can even prove fatal.

Information & Facts

Guarana is a shrub native to the Amazon rainforest and is also known as Brazilian cocoa. The guarana plant produces bright red fruit with black seeds that are used for several purposes. Guarana has been used traditionally to treat a number of different ailments and health conditions. It is also used as an ingredient in soft drinks in South America and provides similar energy boosting and stimulating properties as caffeine. Before starting any new herbal or alternative treatment, it is recommended that you consult with your doctor, as herbs such as guarana could react adversely with your regular medication and cause more damage than good. Conclusive evidence is still required on all the side effects and complications caused by the regular use of guarana. When buying guarana supplements and products, it is important to ensure that they come from a reliable source as there have been several instances where contaminated herbs and herbal supplements have been sold.
Submitted on January 16, 2014