Guarana comes from the crushed and powdered seeds of the plant.
It has been used for thousands of years in South America to treat diarrhoea, reduce hunger and as a tonic. This herbal tonic has also traditionally been used to assist in the relief of various ailments such as stress and nervous tension, weight control, headaches and hangovers, and even menstrual pain.
It is usually found in tablets, drinks and chewing gum.
Its main constituent is chemically identical to caffeine, but Guarana also contains other compounds that moderate its actions.
It is not simply another caffeine pill.
Guarana is a tonic with effects like those of ginseng.
It combats stress and tiredness, giving more energy and a cheerful mood.
It gives extra stamina and strength during exercise.
It is a mild diuretic and is said to help cure hangovers.
It may help with weight loss by speeding up your metabolism, curbing appetite and reducing hunger.
The dose will depend on the strength of the product, so follow manufacturers advice.
It is safe in normal doses with no harmful side effects. Excessive amounts can cause insomnia, anxiety and palpitations.
Pregnant or lactating women should not take this herb