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Paullinia cupana

Guarana nuts available to commerce look just like miniature Chestnuts. They are derived from a creeping bush native to the Brazilian Amazon - though 'creeping' here is a relative term, as it may creep up to 12m in height. While still growing on the tree, the nuts look like bright red ever-wakeful eyes that seem to penetrate the dim light of the jungle. Few plants bear their signature as obvious as that, and the message was not lost on the Guarani Indians, who have used and cultivated this plant for centuries. In fact, Guarana is so central to their culture that it figures prominently in their origin myth. They use it daily to suppress appetite and stay alert during the hunt. Brazilian entrepreneurs soon adopted the magic seeds and incorporated them into all kinds of soft drinks and energy bars. Guaranine, the active compound, is very similar to caffeine, though the body apparently can process it more easily due to certain buffer substances that are also present. In recent years Guarana has become increasingly popular in the West, especially among party heads looking for an energy booster that could help them keep going all night. The Indigenous people consider Guarana an 'elixir of life' that helps them see the true nature of things, the world beyond our world of apparition. However, compared with some other 'elixir of life' herbs, Guarana does not score as well in terms of long term benefit. Although it boosts stamina in the short term, it lacks vital nutrients that can restore Chi.

Guarana is a great energy booster which can be of great service for those who are studying long hours or need to work extra hard for a period of time. It may also help those who wish to lose weight as it suppresses the appetite while simultaneously making more energy available. It can also be considered aphrodisiac for its power to increase sexual stamina. Athletes may also find Guarana helpful as it can dispose of lactic acid build up quite efficiently, thus avoiding painful muscle spasms associated with lactic acid build up from sudden bursts of energy exertion. Some people have found it helpful in the treatment of migraines, especially of rheumatic nature, nervous headaches, exhaustion and depression.

Guarana is a great herb for prolonged meditation sessions as it enhances alertness and concentration. It may be given as a sustaining provision for vision quests, especially when fasting. Guarana is also excellent for tantric practices and sex magic. Although not directly stimulating it enhances energy levels and stamina.