Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is a creeping shrub native to the Amazon rainforest, particularly the regions of Maués and Parintins. A plant so valuable to the local Indians, that is was used as a form of currency to treat headaches, fevers and cramps. Locally, it had the name « secret eyes », because the red pods split to reveal chestnut-brown seeds with a round white middle. It was as if you were being looked at by a tree full of peering eyes.
The first examination of the guarana seeds was performed by the German botanist Theodore von Martius who isolated the guaranine, later identified as caffeine, the main component of the drug.


Guarana seed contains caffeine (3 - 7 %), and other xanthines (theophylline, theobromine), and is high in tannins about 12 % (primarily catechutannic acid, d-catechin, and catechol). It also contains trace amounts of saponin (known as timbonine) and includes starch, fats, and minerals.


Guarana contains very high concentrations of caffeine and related alkaloids and its pharmacologic effects are similar to those of coffee or tea. Though guarana is probably best known for its energy giving properties, it is also a valuable astringent and skin tonic, which has been used successfully in products designed for cellulite.
Xanthines (caffeine as well as theophylline and theobromine) have a double action against the cellulite :
1. They stimulate the activity of enzymes responsible for the lipolysis (conversion of the fatty reserves into glycerol and free fatty acids), thus favouring to break down triglycerides and trigger their release.
2. They are desinfiltrant and prevent from an excessive hydrous retention in the connective tissue.

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