Guarana

What other names is Guarana known by?

Brazilian Cocoa, Cacao Brésilien, Guarana Seed Extract, Guaranine, Paullinia cupana, Paullinia sorbilis, Zoom.

What is Guarana?

Guarana is a plant named for the Guarani tribe in the Amazon, who used the seeds to brew a drink. Today, guarana seeds are still used as medicine.

Guarana is used for weight loss, to enhance athletic performance, as a stimulant, and to reduce mental and physical fatigue. It is a frequent addition to energy and weight loss products.

Some people also use guarana to treat low blood pressure and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and to prevent malaria and dysentery. It is also used to enhance sexual desire, to increase urine flow, and as an astringent.

Other uses include treatment of ongoing diarrhea, fever, heart problems, headache, joint pain, backache, and heat stress.

In food manufacturing, guarana has been used as a flavoring ingredient in beverages and candy.

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Anxiety. Early research suggests that taking two tablets of a specific product (Euphytose) containing hawthorn, black horehound, passionflower, valerian, cola nut, and guarana three times daily for 28 days can reduce anxiety in some people. However, it is not clear if guarana alone is beneficial.
  • Mental performance. Early research in healthy people suggests that taking a single dose of guarana dry extract can improve thinking speed. However, other research suggests that taking guarana daily does not improve mental function in adults or older people.
  • Weight loss. Guarana might promote weight loss when used in combination with mate and damiana. There is also developing evidence that a specific combination product containing guarana, ephedra, and 17 other vitamins, minerals, and supplements (Metabolife-356) might help reduce weight by approximately 2.7 kg over eight weeks when used with a low-fat diet and exercise. However, more evidence is needed to rate guarana for this use.
  • Malaria.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Fever.
  • Headaches.
  • Heart problems.
  • Improvement of exercise endurance.
  • Improvement of short-term, high-intensity performance and power.
  • Increasing blood pressure in people who have low blood pressure.
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
  • Joint pain.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate guarana for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).


Therapeutic Research Faculty copyright

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.


Health Solutions From Our Sponsors