Guarana consists of the prepared seeds of Paullinia Cupana,H. B. and K. (N.O. Sapindaceae), a climbing shrub indigenous to Brazil and Uruguay (It doesn't grow in Uruguay. -Henriette). It is official in the U.S.P. The seeds, collected when ripe, are washed and partially freed from their shells by beating, the kernels are then crushed, water is added to form a paste, which is shaped into cylindrical or globular masses, and dried in the sun, or by the heat of a slow fire. The dried product is called guarana. It occurs in hard, heavy, more or less cylindrical pieces, from 10 to 30 centimetres long, and 25 to 40 millimetres thick. Externally it is of a dark, reddish-brown colour, and almost smooth; internally paler, and of a reddish colour, exhibiting pale fragments of the seeds embedded in a dark reddish mass. The powder is of a light reddish-brown colour, and exhibits under the microscope numerous, rounded, parenchymatous cells, filed with more or less gelatinised starch; fragments of the dark-brown epidermis of the seed, consisting of palisade cells, which in surface view have wavy outlines, may also be easily found. The inner portion of the seed-coat consists of parenchymatous cells, with beaded, or very coarsely pitted walls. Guarana has a slightly astringent and bitter taste, but no marked odour.
Constituents.—The chief constituent of the drug is 2.5 to 5 per cent. of caffeine (U.S.P. no less than 3.5 per cent. of alkaloidal principles). It also contains catechutannic acid, starch, and a little fat.
Action and Uses.—Guarana is used for the same purposes as caffeine; it is especially employed for sick headache, and is sometimes used as an astringent in diarrhoea and dysentery. The drug may be administered in powder form in a cachet or mixed with water to form a draught. Elixir of guarana is a pleasant liquid form of the drug. Tincture of guarana is suitable for use in mixture form.
Dose.—¼ to 4 grammes (10 to 60 grains).
- Elixir Guaranae, B.P.C.—ELIXIR OF GUARANA. 4 (tincture) in 5.
- Given mainly for sick headache. Dose.—2 to 8 mils (½ to 2 fluid drachms).
- Elixir Guaranae, N.F.—ELIXIR OF GUARANA, N.F.
- Fluidextract of guarana, 20; aromatic elixir, 20; compound elixir of taraxacum, 60. Four mils (1 fluid drachm) represents about 7 ½ decigrams (12 grains) of guarana. Average dose.—4 mils (1 fluid drachm).
- Fluidextractum Guaranae, U.S.P.—FLUIDEXTRACT OF GUARANA.
- Guarana, in No. 60 powder, 100; alcohol (49 per cent.), sufficient to produce about 100. The drug is exhausted with the alcohol and the product standardised to contain 3.5 per cent. of alkaloidal matter. Average dose.—2 mils (30 minims).
- Tinctura Guaranae, B.P.C.—TINCTURE OF GUARANA. 1 in 4.
- Given chiefly in sick headache. It acts in virtue of its caffeine. Dose.—4 to 8 mils (1 to 2 fluid drachms) in water.