PAULINIA aff. CUPANA var. sorbilis
FAMILY :: SAPINDACEAE
GUARANÁ, GUARANA: A form of guaraná, a tropical, South American liana, with larger seeds than the normal. These seeds are ground and formed into a ‘bread’ which is grated into water to form a very stimulating tea, containing about 5% caffeine. It is widely used as an aphrodisiac in South America and many commercial ‘soft’ and ‘power’ drinks use Guarana as their active ingredient.
“In the mythology of the Tupi, the guaraná is said to have had a shamanic origin. Omniamasabé, a female shaman whose ‘knowledge of the real world that is hidden from humans’ was very extensive, was impregnated in sylvan solitude by Mboy, the snake god. Shortly thereafter, she bore a son. Thereupon, her jealous brother charged a shaman to kill the child. This shaman drank Ayahuasca and assumed the form of an arara parrot. In this shape, he searched for and killed the boy. As the tears of the mother flowed over his corpse, he was transformed into the guaraná bush. Since that time, shamans eat guaraná fruits so that they may be initiated into the secrets of the knowedgeable shaman Omniamasabé.”
— from Dschungelmärchen by Dietmar Melzer, as translated by Christian Rätsch in The Dictionary of Sacred and Magical Plants, 1992.
To use fresh guarana seeds, grind them and mix between 1 and 2 teaspoons of the powder in water and drink. Guarana does not readily dissolve in water so the mixture is a bit gritty. It also digests slowly so the stimulant effects last longer than, say, those of coffee.
- GUARANA.COM :: Good general commercial information