Guarana (Paullinia cupana)

Guarana (Paullinia cupana)

the eyes of the gods

Main species and characteristics of the plant


Paullinia cupana

of the family of Sapindaceae,better known as guarana, it is an evergreen tree that in the wild can reach 10 m in height (cultivated does not exceed 3 m) and is native to the Amazonian rainforests, cultivated mainly between Manaues and Manau in Brazil.

The usually unisexual flowers (there are distinct male and female flowers on the same plant) gathered in racemic inflorescences, are inconspicuous, whitish yellow and fragrant.The fruit is a hazelnut that opens when ripe releasing a black seed that looks like unocchio (hence the legends that have arisen around this plant - See paragraph Curiosity -) The leaves of the plant are large palmate, leathery, with serrated edges.

Used parts of the plant

The peeled, dried, toasted and finally pulverized seeds are used.

In the past, each tribe had its own preparation methodology. The most common way was to retrieve the seeds by collecting the open seeds and then cleaning and roasting them the same day they were harvested. Subsequently they were reduced to powder and transformed into small cakes that were left in the sun when they were smoked with resinous woods and then used.


The benefits of guarana are many and all tested: it fights premature aging; the stress; has a regularizing action on the intestine; it is effective against neuralgia and migraines; it acts as an appetite regulator and tones the muscles. It is also used in body care products as an astringent, to reduce cellulite, to treat oily hair and hair loss. It also fights atherosclerosis which justifies its name long life elixir that in the past centuries ran among the Brazilian Indians.

Guarana seeds contain caffeine but contrary to what happens for example with coffee, it does not produce phenomena of excitement or insomnia because it is present in solid form and, in conjunction with the other substances present, the pharmacokinetics of caffeine is balanced by optimizing its effect. therefore it is released and absorbed by the body very slowly.

stimulating on the cortical areas favoring the state of wakefulness and makes you more attentive by counteracting physical fatigue.

Guarana also acts as a vasodilator and spasmolytic at the bronchial level, also carrying out glycogenolytic and lipolytic activities, i.e. it frees fats and sugars from deposits and this would favor weight loss especially in people who practice sports.

Another effect is to promote weight loss through increased thermogenesis, which promotes the consumption of reserve fats.The Food Drug Administration considers it a safe and risk-free substance.

Curiosity and history

Guarana is well known and used universally and is also the basic ingredient of the national drink of Brazil. guarana soda.

The ancient inhabitants of the Amazon tell about its origin, which the natives believe is guarana born from the eyes of the gods. This is linked to a legend about a very beautiful girl named Cereaporanga. One day this girl meets a warrior of an enemy tribe and falls in love with him. The two young people, aware that the hatred between the two tribes would have divided them, decide to flee together.

While escaping, they meet an injured anaconda and despite the danger she posed, she decides to help him. Because of this stop the warriors of his tribe locate them and reach them. As the girl was aware that if they took them her partner would die, she asked the anaconda to hold them tightly together in a last embrace.The people of the tribe seeing so much pain and love invoked the goddess of beauty and life to save him. spirit of the girl. The goddess, moved, with the girl's big black eyes gave birth to a plant, guarana, whose fruits seemed, when opened, magnificent black eyes, like those of the girl.