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Paullinia cupana

This product is no longer sold by Raintree Nutrition, Inc. See the main product page for more information why. Try doing a google search or see the rainforest products page to find other companies selling rainforest herbal supplements or rainforest plants if you want to make this rainforest formula yourself.

The rainforest tribes in the Amazon have traditionally used guaranį mainly as a stimulant and as an astringent (drying agent) for treating chronic diarrhea.* This plant is well known in Brazil and has been turned into a highly popular softdrink. For more information guaraná (Paullinia cupana), please refer to the Database File for Guaraná in the Tropical Plant Database. To see photographs of guaraná, click here. Check out the new Discussion Forums to see if anyone is talking about how they are using this natural rainforest remedy.

Traditional Uses:* as a caffeine stimulant for energy; as a weight loss aid (suppresses appetite and increases fat-burning); for headaches and migraines; to tone, balance, and strengthen the heart, as a blood cleanser, and to reduce/prevent sticky blood and blood clots; as a refrigerant (lowers body temperature) to prevent overheating and heat stroke

Suggested Use: This plant is best prepared as a decoction. Use one teaspoon of powder for each cup of water. Bring to a boil and gently boil in a covered pot for 20 minutes. Allow to cool and settle for 10 minutes and strain warm liquid into a cup (leaving the settled powder in the bottom of the pan). It is traditionally taken in 1 cup dosages, 1-3 times daily, or as desired. For more complete instructions on preparing herbal decoctions, see the Methods for Preparing Herbal Remedies Page.

  • Not to be used during pregnancy or while breast-feeding.
  • Guaranį contains caffeine and should not be used by those who are sensitive or allergic to caffeine or xanthines. Excessive consumption of caffeine is contraindicated for persons with high blood pressure, cardiac disorders, diabetes, ulcers, epilepsy, and other disorders.
Drug Interactions: May have adverse effects (headaches) if used with MAO-inhibitors.

Third-Party Published Research*

All available third-party research on guaraná can be found at PubMed A partial listing of the published third party research on guaraná is shown below:

Stimulant Actions:
de Oliveira Campos, M., et al. "Guarana (Paullinia cupana) improves fatigue in breast cancer patients undergoing systemic chemotherapy." J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Jun;17(6):505-12.
Burke, L., et al. "A-Z of nutritional supplements: dietary supplements, sports nutrition foods and ergogenic aids for health and performance--Part 19." Br J Sports Med. 2011 Apr;45(5):456-8.
da Costa Miranda, V., et al. "Effectiveness of guaranį (Paullinia cupana) for postradiation fatigue and depression: results of a pilot double-blind randomized study." J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Apr;15(4):431-3.
Roberts, A. T., et al. “The effect of an herbal supplement containing black tea and caffeine on metabolic parameters in humans.” Altern. Med. Rev. 2005 Dec; 10(4): 321-5.
Berube-Parent, S., et al. “Effects of encapsulated green tea and guarana extracts containing a mixture of epigallocatechin-3-gallate and caffeine on 24 h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in men.” Br. J. Nutr. 2005 Sep; 94(3): 432-6.
Campos, A. R., et al. “Acute effects of guarana (Paullinia cupana Mart.) on mouse behaviour in forced swimming and open field tests.” Phytother. Res. 2005; 19(5): 441-3.
Weckerle, C. S., et al. “Purine alkaloids in Paullinia.” Phytochemistry. 2003 Oct; 64(3): 735-42.
Lieberman, H. R., et al. “Effects of caffeine, sleep loss, and stress on cognitive performance and mood during U.S. Navy SEAL training." Psychopharmacology. 2002; 164(3): 250–61.
Espinola, E. B., et al. “Pharmacological activity of guaraná (Paullinia cupana Mart.) in laboratory animals.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1997; 55(3): 223–29.
Marx, F., et al. “Analysis of guaraná (Paullinia cupana var. sorbilis). Part 1. HPLC determination of caffeine, theobromine and theophylline in guaraná seeds." Dtsch. Lebenstm. Tundsch. 1985; 81(12): 390–92.
Belliardo, F., et al. “HPLC determination of caffeine and theophylline in Paullinia cupana Kunth (guaraná) and Cola spp. samples.” Z. Lebensm. Unters. Forsch.1985; 180(5): 398–401.

Anti-obesity Actions:
Costa Krewer, C., et al. "Habitual Intake of Guaranį and Metabolic Morbidities: An Epidemiological Study of an Elderly Amazonian Population." Phytother Res. 2011 Feb 22.
Lima, W. P., et al. “Lipid metabolism in trained rats: Effect of guarana (Paullinia cupana Mart.) supplementation.” Clin. Nutr. 2005 Dec; 24(6): 1019-28.
Andersen, T., et al. “Weight loss and delayed gastric emptying following a South American herbal preparation in overweight patients.” J. Hum. Nutr. Diet. 2001; 14(3): 243–50.

Antiaggregation Actions:
Subbiah, M., et al. "Studies on the nature of anti-platelet aggregatory factors in the seeds of the Amazonian Herb Guarana (Paullinia cupana)." Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2008 Mar;78(2):96-101.
Bydlowski, S. P., et al. “An aqueous extract of guaraná (Paullinia cupana) decreases platelet thromboxane synthesis.” Braz. J. Med. Biol. Res. 1991; 24(4): 421–24.
Bydlowski, S. P., et al. “A novel property of an aqueous guaraná extract (Paullinia cupana): inhibition of platelet aggregation in vitro and in vivo." Braz. J. Med. Biol Res. 1988; 21(3): 535–38.

Anti-Allery Actions:
Jippo, T., et al. "Inhibitory effects of guarana seed extract on passive cutaneous anaphylaxis and mast cell degranulation." Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2009 Sep;73(9):2110-2.

Memory Enhancement Actions:
Kennedy, D., et al. "Improved cognitive performance and mental fatigue following a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement with added guaranį (Paullinia cupana)." Appetite. 2008 Mar-May;50(2-3):506-13.
Haskell, C. F., et al. "A double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-dose evaluation of the acute behavioural effects of guarana in humans." J. Psychopharmacol. 2007; 21(1): 65-70.
Kennedy, D. O., et al. “Improved cognitive performance in human volunteers following administration of guarana (Paullinia cupana) extract: comparison and interaction with Panax ginseng.” Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 2004 Nov; 79(3): 401-11.
Espinola, E. B., et al. ”Pharmacological activity of Guarana (Paullinia cupana Mart.) in laboratory animals.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 1997 Feb; 55(3):223-9.
Galduróz, J. C., et al. “The effects of long-term administration of guaraná on the cognition of normal, elderly volunteers.” Rev. Paul. Med. 1996; 114(1): 1073–78.
Benoni, H., et al. “Studies on the essential oil from guaraná.” Z. Lebensm. Unters. Forsch. 1996; 203(1): 95–8.
Galduróz, J. C., et al. “Acute effects of the Paulinia cupana, ‘guaraná,’ on the cognition of normal volunteers.” Rev. Paul. Med. 1994; 112(3): 607–11.

Anti-anxiety & Antidepressant Actions:
Roncon, C., et al. "Anxiolytic effects of a semipurified constituent of guaranį seeds on rats in the elevated T-maze test." Planta Med. 2011 Feb;77(3):236-41.
Otobone, F., et al. "Effect of lyophilized extracts from guaranį seeds [Paullinia cupana var. sorbilis (Mart.) Ducke] on behavioral profiles in rats." Phytother Res. 2007 Jun;21(6):531-5.
Ernst, E. "Herbal remedies for anxiety - a systematic review of controlled clinical trials." Phytomedicine. 2006 Feb;13(3):205-8.

Cellular Protective, Adaptogenic, Anti-cancerous, & Antioxidant Actions:
Bittencourt, L., et al. "The Protective Effects of Guaranį Extract (Paullinia cupana) on Fibroblast Nih-3T3 Cells Exposed to Sodium Nitroprusside." Food Chem Toxicol. 2012 Dec 5.
Leite, R., et al. "Advantage of Guarana (Paullinia cupana Mart.) Supplementation on Cadmium-induced Damages in Testis of Adult Wistar Rats." Toxicol Pathol. 2012 Jun 1.
Costa Krewer, C., et al. "Habitual Intake of Guaranį and Metabolic Morbidities: An Epidemiological Study of an Elderly Amazonian Population." Phytother Res. 2011 Feb 22.
de Oliveira, D., et al. "Paullinia cupana Mart. var. Sorbilis protects human dopaminergic neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line against rotenone-induced cytotoxicity." Hum Exp Toxicol. 2011 Sep;30(9):1382-91.
Fukumasu, H., et al. "Paullinia cupana Mart. var. sorbilis, guarana, increases survival of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) bearing mice by decreasing cyclin-D1 expression and inducing a G0/G1 cell cycle arrest in EAC cells." Phytother Res. 2011 Jan;25(1):11-6.
Leite, R., et al. "Protective effect of Guaranį (Paullinia cupana var. sorbilis) pre-treatment on cadmium-induced damages in adult Wistar testis." Biol Trace Elem Res. 2011 Jun;141(1-3):262-74.
Fukumasu, H., et al. "Paullinia cupana Mart var. sorbilis, guaranį, reduces cell proliferation and increases apoptosis of B16/F10 melanoma lung metastases in mice." Braz J Med Biol Res. 2008 Apr;41(4):305-10.
Yamaguti-Sasaki, E., et al. "Antioxidant capacity and in vitro prevention of dental plaque formation by extracts and condensed tannins of Paullinia cupana." Molecules. 2007 Aug 20;12(8):1950-63.
Freitas, R., et al. "Effect of a commercial extract of Paullinia cupana (guarana) on the binding of 99mTc-DMSA on blood constituents: An in vivo study." Appl Radiat Isot. 2007 May;65(5):528-33.
Mendes, F. R., et al. "Brazilian plants as possible adaptogens: An ethnopharmacological survey of books edited in Brazil." J. Ethnopharmacol. 2007 Feb; 109(3): 493-500.
Fukumasu, H., et al. “Protective effects of guarana (Paullinia cupana Mart. var. Sorbilis) against DEN-induced DNA damage on mouse liver.” Food Chem. Toxicol. 2006 Jun; 44(6): 862-7.
Basile, A., et al. “Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of ethanol extract from Paullinia cupana Mart.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Oct; 102(1): 32-6.
Fukumasu, H., et al. “Chemopreventive effects of Paullinia cupana Mart var. sorbilis, the guarana, on mouse hepatocarcinogenesis.” Cancer Lett. 2005 May 7;
Campos, A. R., et al. “Guarana (Paullinia cupana Mart.) offers protection against gastric lesions induced by ethanol and indomethacin in rats.” Phytother. Res. 2003 Dec; 17(10): 1199-202.
Mattei, R., et al. “Guaraná (Paullinia cupana): Toxic behavioral effects in laboratory animals and antioxidant activity in vitro." J. Ethnopharmacol. 1998; 60(2): 111–16.
Miura, T., et al. “Effect of guaraná on exercise in normal and epinephrine-induced glycogenolytic mice.” Biol. Pharm. Bull. 1998; 21(6): 646–48.

Antimicrobial Actions:
Basile, A., et al. “Antibacterial and antioxidant activities of ethanol extract from Paullinia cupana Mart.” J. Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Oct; 102(1): 32-6.
da Fonseca, C. A., et al. “Genotoxic and mutagenic effects of guaraná (Paullinia cupana) in prokaryotic organisms.” Mutat. Res. 1994; 321(3): 165–73.

Non-Toxic Effect:
Antonelli-Ushirobira T., et al. "Acute and subchronic toxicological evaluation of the semipurified extract of seeds of guaranį (Paullinia cupana) in rodents." Food Chem Toxicol. 2010 Jul;48(7):1817-20.

* The statements contained herein have not been evaluated
by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is
not intended to treat, cure, mitigate or prevent any disease.
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Last updated 12-17-2012