Pharmacological activity of Guarana (Paullinia cupana Mart.) in laboratory animals

J Ethnopharmacol. 1997 Feb;55(3):223-9. doi: 10.1016/s0378-8741(96)01506-1.


Mice that ingested a suspension of guarana (Paullinia cupana, Sapindaceae) in a dose of 0.3 mg/ml showed a significant increase in physical capacity when subjected to a stressful situation such as forced swimming after 100 and 200 days of treatment. Such an effect, however, was not obtained with a concentration of 3.0 mg/ml, nor with the ingestion of a suspension of ginseng 5.0 mg/ml, nor of a solution of caffeine 0.1 mg/ml. Guarana, both after a single (3.0 and 30 mg/kg) or chronic administrations (0.3 mg/ml), was able to partially reverse the amnesic effect of scopolamine as measured through a passive avoidance test in mice and rats, indicating a positive effect on memory acquisition. However, no effect was observed when an active avoidance task was used in rats, even after 20 days of guarana administration. There was also a tendency of rats treated with 0.3 mg/ml of guarana to better maintain the memory of a Lashley III maze path. The animals had the same average lifespan, indicating a low toxicity of guarana, even after 23 months of treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning / drug effects*
  • Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Caffeine / pharmacology
  • Longevity / drug effects
  • Male
  • Memory / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Panax
  • Physical Exertion / drug effects
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Scopolamine / antagonists & inhibitors


  • Plant Extracts
  • Caffeine
  • Scopolamine