bbc.com 28 Apr, 2021 23:00 am

Guaraná: The edible 'eyes of the Amazon'

Guaraná: The edible 'eyes of the Amazon'
Guaraná is gaining status as a stimulant and superfood – but has a centuries-old heritage and mythical status for the Sateré-Mawé indigenous people.

The Sateré-Mawé waraná legends are liberally reinterpreted on stage as flamboyant musicals, though the indigenous people are notably excluded from the festivities.View image of In 2020, the Sateré-Mawé's waraná was awarded a Brazilian Appellation of Origin status (Credit: Credit: Guayapi) Scientists from three public universities (Brazil's Universidade do Estado do Amazonas and Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, and the University of León in Spain) began a research project in Maués in 2009 to study the impact of guaraná on the local elderly population.In late 2020, the Sateré-Mawé's waraná was awarded a Brazilian Appellation of Origin status – an official recognition of the exclusive link between the product and its place of origin.After all, as he put it: "there would be no Sateré-Mawé without waraná and no waraná without the Sateré-Mawé.

View image of Native to the Amazon basin, guaraná bears a unsettling resemblance to an eyeball (Credit: Credit: Guayapi) Guaraná contains high levels of caffeine – as much as four times that of coffee beans, as well as other psychoactive stimulants (including saponins and tannins) associated with improved cognitive performance.View image of Guaraná contains high levels of caffeine and is often used as an ingredient in fizzy drinks and energy drinks (Credit: Credit: pxl.

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