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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 7 (2010), Issue 3, Pages 279-282
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nem162
Review

Guaraná's Journey from Regional Tonic to Aphrodisiac and Global Energy Drink

1Department of Geography, PO Box 117315, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7315, USA
2EMBRAPA Amazônia Occidental, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil

Received 13 May 2007; Accepted 12 September 2007

Copyright © 2010 Nigel Smith and André Luiz Atroch. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Guaraná (Paullinia cupana H.B.K., Sapindaceae) is a rainforest vine that was domesticated in the Amazon for its caffeine-rich fruits. Guaraná has long been used as a tonic and to treat various disorders in Brazil and abroad and became a national soda in Brazil about a century ago. In the last two decades or so, guaraná has emerged as a key ingredient in various ‘sports’ and energy drinks as well as concoctions that allegedly boost one's libido. For some time, guaraná's high caffeine content was thought to be a detriment because of health concerns about excessive intake of caffeine-rich drinks. But it is precisely this quality, and the fact that it has a mysterious name and comes from an exotic land, that has propelled guaraná into a global beverage.