Alternative names: Brazilian cocoa
Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is used in the Brazilian Amazon like coffee or tea in much of the rest of the world. While guarana is most often used for its caffeine content, some have used it for its tannin constituents as an astringent (for diarrhea, intestinal inflammations etc.)
Guarana is available as a dried herb, extract, powders, and standardized extracts. The dried paste made from ground seeds is the most common medicinal portion. Containing about 3.5% caffeine (dry weight), guarana extract preparations can be as high as 20% caffeine.
Many herbalists believe it is dangerous to use guarana as a stimulant for weight loss, especially when it is combined ephedrine containing products (Ephedra etc.).