Guarana


Tupi Mythology:

Omniamasabe, a female shaman of extensive knowledge of "the Reality that humans do not see", was impregnated in sylvan solitude by Mboy, the snake God bearing a son. Her jealous brother charged a shaman to kill the child. The Shaman took Ayahuasca and assumed the form of an arara parrot. In this shape he hunted and killed the boy. As the tears of the mother flowed over his corpse, he was transformed into the Guarana bush. Since that time, shamans eat guarana fruits so that they may be initiated into the secrets of Omniamasabe.

(Melzer 1987;39-44)

Guarana contains up to 5% caffeine, saponin, tannin, resin, starch, a red dye, and guaranin, a little studied essential oil. It's high caffeine content makes it the strongest of all purine drugs; it is three times stronger than coffee. The oil has mild Psychoactive and Aphrodisiac effects. Interestingly, Guarana reduces the pulse frequency and heightens perception. Drinks made from Guarana make a person awake and are consumed for migraine, neuralgia, menstrual headaches and bladder ailments, and to combat fever and Diarrhoea and as an aphrodisiac and anti-depressive agent.

"The Dictionary of Sacred and Magical plants" Dr Christian Ratsch PRISM Press. 1992

Guarana is a stimulant produced from the seed or nut of the climbing shrub Paullinia Copana of the family Sapindaceae.

It takes it's popular name from the Guarani tribe of Brazil who have revered it for hundreds of years for its beneficial properties. The active stimulant, guaranine, takes its name from the combined form of the plant name and caffeine terminology, which appends 'ine'.

They use it principally for bowel complaints, regaining strength after illness and as an aid to the energetic expenditure of the hunters, although other uses include treatment for headache and dizziness, and general fatigue. It has been found to be more powerful than caffeine alone, without the normal drawbacks associated with caffeine use.

The nut contains 5.6 - 5.8mg per gram of both caffeine and guaranine, its active stimulants. Guaranine contains higher levels of the alkaloids theophylline and theobromine that increase mental alertness and dilate the vassals so the heart rate actually reduces. The efficacy of guaranine means that far less can be consumed to gain the stimulant effect. On average a dose of 11.6mg caffeine/guaranine will be found in one gram of guarana, an effective dose. This is around a quarter of a cup of coffee in caffeine terms.

It is traditionally roasted for 6 hours and the husk loosened in sacks that are agitated. The resulting clean seed or nut is then ground into a powder with a reddish brown colour. This is then mixed with water and the dough formed into a tubular shape. This is carried by hunters who scrape off and ingest the guarana as needed as well as being a convenient means of general use.

The popular method of consumption in South America is in the form of Soda. The leading exporter Ambev have produced a version since 1921 called " Antarctica " , Pepsi Cola produce a version called "Kuat!", and the Guarani Indians have produced their own version "Guarana Power!".

They have recently been championed by a group of Danish artists called Superflex, who are helping the cause of the Guarani Indians who have been largely disenfranchised of their lands and have seen their payment for guarana reduced by 80% while world prices rise.

We will be donating 10% of profits from this site to the Guarani Indians to help their plight. You can help too, by trying your first Guarana Truffle – and loving it.





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