A dried paste, chiefly consisting of the crushed or pounded seeds of Paullinia Cupana, Kunth (Nat. Ord. Sapindaceae), yielding not less than 4 per cent of caffeine. A shrubby vine of northern and western Brazil.
Common Name: Guarana.
Description.—Cylindrical, dark reddish-brown sticks, paler internally, and admixed with fragments of seeds and integuments. Slight odor, and feeble astringent, bitter taste. Partly soluble in water and in alcohol. Dose, 15 to 30 grains.
Principal Constituents.—Caffeine, volatile oil, saponin, and tannin.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Guarana. Dose, 10 to 30 drops.
Specific Indications.—Headache with pallor, weak circulation, the pain aggravated by exertion; sick headache (migraine), with cerebral anemia; menstrual headache, with cerebral anemia; mental exhaustion or depression; headache from dissipation.
Action and Therapy.—Guarana is a gentle excitant acting very much like tea and coffee. It is valuable where the brain becomes exhausted or depressed through mental overwork, or when the body is fatigued or exhausted. It must be carefully used as it sometimes causes difficult urination. Neither should it be employed in neuralgias that are aggravated by stimulation of the heart. It is indicated only in atonic conditions.
Guarana is a remedy for the relief of nervous headache, or those forms following menstruation or drunkenness. The face is pale, the pulse feeble, the eyes dull and expressionless, and nausea is prominent. Every movement causes an aggravation of the pain, the patient is mind-weary, and cerebral anemia is always present. It sometimes relieves lumbago, and while contraindicated in sthenic neuralgias it sometimes relieves occipital neuralgia when the indications are as given above. Temporary paralysis of the motor oculi nerve, followed by headache, has been relieved by it. In headaches the doses of 20 to 30 drops of the specific medicine should be given.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.