Paullinia Cupana,


A dried paste consisting chiefly of the crushed seeds, containing 4 p. c. of caffeine.

Habitat. N. and W. Brazil, Guiana, Venezuela - banks of Tapajos and Rio Nigro Rivers; cultivated chiefly along the Itenez River.

Syn. Brazilian Cocoa, Guarana Bread; Fr. Guarana; Ger. Pasta Guarana.

Paul-lin'ia. L. after C. F. Paullini (1643-1712), a German botanist and writer.

Cu-pa'na. L. after Father Francis Cupani, Italian monk, botanist, and author; did much work on this family; died 1710.

Gua-ra'na. L. of native Brazilian name, fr. guaranis, guarana, guarani, a tribe of South American Indians; often pronounced gua-ra-na'.

Plant. - Climbing shrub; stem woody, angular; leaves impari-pinnate; leaflets 2 pairs and an odd one, 12.5-15 Cm. (5-6') long, 5-7.5 Cm. (2-30 broad; flowers yellowish, spicate panicles, 10-15 Cm. (4-6') long fruit Oct., size of a grape, small horse-chestnut, ovoid, pyriform, 6-ribbed, splitting into 3 divisions, exposing 3 rounded seeds, size of filberts; seeds filling the fruit; arillus white, membranous; testa thin, brittle, flattish-convex, brownish-black. Paste (guarana), usually in cylindrical sticks, 3-5 Cm. (1 1/5-2') thick, elliptical cakes, dark reddish-brown, hard, heavy; fracture uneven, often fissured in the centre; internally pale reddish-brown, showing coarse fragments of seeds with blackish-brown integuments; odor slight; taste slightly astringent, bitter. Powder, light pinkish-brown; microscopically - irregular masses of parenchyma with altered starch grains, scler-enchymatous cells; few altered and unaltered starch grains .01-.025 Mm. (1/2500-1/1000') broad. Test: 1. Place .001 Gm. on slide, + a drop of hydrochloric acid, + a drop of gold chloride T. S., let stand - caffeine crystals and gold chloride separate in orthorhombic plates (needles). Solvent: alcohol (75 p. c). Dose, gr. 15-60 (1-4 Gm.).

Commercial. - Plant is a vine cultivated extensively and trained upon stakes or trellises. Guarana is prepared by washing from seeds the mucus-like coating, drying or roasting slightly to make the kernel shrink from testa, removing the latter by putting seeds into bags, heating with sticks and winnowing; kernels are broken up on heated stones or in wooden mortars (hollowed stumps), avoiding iron, kneaded into dough with water, or exposure to dew, adding sometimes small amounts of cacao powder or tapioca to aid cohesion, then molded into rolls or other forms and dried slowly by sun or fire on wooden gratings of bamboo strips; too rapid or irregular drying, or improper fuel, impairs flavor, and too slow admits of molding or fermentation.

Fig. 248.   Paullinia Cupana: a, leafy branch with flowers; b, branch with ripe fruit, 1/4 nat. size; also male and hermaphrodite flowers, pistil, stamens, and fruit, enlarged.

Fig. 248. - Paullinia Cupana: a, leafy branch with flowers; b, branch with ripe fruit, 1/4 nat. size; also male and hermaphrodite flowers, pistil, stamens, and fruit, enlarged.

Constituents. - Caffeine (guaranine) 3-5 p. c, Tannin 26 p. c, resin, volatile oil, fixed oil, catechin, saponin, starch, gum, ash 2-5 p. c.

Caffeine. - Obtained by boiling for a considerable time powdered paste with litharge and water, adding near the end of the process a few drops of lead subacetate solution to hasten subsidence of insoluble matter; pass hydrogen sulphide through filtered solution to precipitate lead, evaporate filtered solution to get rid of hydrogen sulphide and sulphur, then allow caffeine to crystallize out.

Tannin (paullini-tannic, catechu-tannic acid). - Precipitates ferric salts (blackish-green), gelatin, alkaloidal and barium salts, but neither tartar emetic nor copper sulphate; reduces silver and gold salts.

Preparations. - 1. Fluidextractum Guaranoe. Fluidextract of Guarana. (Syn., Fldext. Guaran., Fluid Extract of Guarana; Fr. Extrait fluide de Guarana; Ger. Guaranafluidextrakt.)

Manufacture: Similar to Fluidextractum Sabal, page 95; menstruum: 75 p. c. alcohol; reserve first 80 Ml. (Cc.), in which dissolve soft extract, assay and add enough 75 p. c. alcohol for the 100 Ml. (Cc.) to contain 3.6-4.4 - 4 Gm. of caffeine. Dose, exv-60 (1-4 Ml. (Cc.)).

Unoff. Preps.: Elixir, 20 p. c. (fldext.), + aromatic elixir 20, compound elixir of taraxacumq.s. 100. Extract, dose, gr.2-5 (.13-3Gm.). Infusion, 5 p. c, dose, ℥j-2 (30-60 Ml. (Cc.)). Syrup, dose, 3ij_4 (8-15 Ml. (Cc.)). Tincture (extract 1 part + alcohol 30), dose, 3j-4 (4-15 Ml. (Cc.)).

Properties. - Nervine, stimulant, tonic, astringent. Similar to coffee, tea, and mate. Produces gayety, restlessness, quick perception, wakefulness; slows pulse, impairs appetite, occasions vesical irritation.

Uses. - Chiefly in nervous sick headache (migraine), such as occurs with menstruation or following a debauch, attended with bloodshot eyes and throbbing head; diarrhoea of phthisis, convalescence, tonic in general. The native Indians use the powder mixed with cassava or chocolate as a food, or suspend it in sweetened water and allow fermentation to take place, thus furnishing a very popular yellow beverage.

Allied Plants:

1. Sapindus margina'tus, S. Sapona'ria, Wild China Tree, S. United States. Fruit, resembling that of Azedarach, used as antipenodio. Fruits of many species of this genus substituted for soap - soapberries - in the tropics.