TYPEBASE4 INDEX >> HERB/SPICE >>
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Guaraná is a creeping shrub native to the Amazon (and particularly the regions of Manaus and Parintins). In the lushness of the Brazilian Amazon where it originates, it often grows to 12 m high. The fruit is small, round, bright-red in color, and grows in clusters. As it ripens, the fruit splits and a black seed emerges-giving it the appearance of an “eye” about which Indians tell legends. The uses of this plant by the Amerindians predates the discovery of Brazil. South American Indian tribes (especially the Guaranis, from whence the plant’s name is derived) dry and roast the seeds and mix them into a paste with water. They then use it much the same way as chocolate-to prepare various foods, drinks, and medicines. The rainforest tribes have used guaraná mainly as a stimulant and astringent, and in treating chronic diarrhea. It is often taken during periods of fasting to tolerate dietary restrictions better. Botanist James Duke cites past and present tribal uses in the rainforest: as a preventive for arteriosclerosis; as an effective cardiovascular drug; as an analgesic, astringent, febrifuge, stimulant, and tonic used to treat diarrhea; and for hypertension, migraine, neuralgia, and dysentery.
Serving Size Analyzed: 100 grams
GRAPH 1 (ABOVE). Total Calories (0) as part of a 2200 calorie daily dietary intake.