Green Tea and Guarana
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Suzan
Posted on: February 29, 2004

I would like to know about some herbs named: green tea, garcinia cambogia, guarana seed, eleuthero, gotu kola, fo-ti, and bladderwrack. I would like to know what kind of stimulants that they have, and are they ok to take?

As a holistic practitioner, I work with the patient on factors in the diet and lifestyle that may be changed to bring the body back into balance. Herbs are used to alleviate signs and symptoms to help in this process. They are not usually used long term, nor are they used only to suppress symptoms. All stimulants are dangerous when taken in excess, in combination or for a long term.

Green tea contains the stimulant theophylline, a close relative of caffeine. It also contains phenols that lower cholesterol, improve fat metabolism and are antioxidant and antibacterial. Because green tea is a stimulant similar to coffee, it is advisable to limit consumption to 1 or 2 cups a day. For more information on green tea, please see our web site at http:// Choose "Q&A", then enter "green tea" for the search.

According to Thomas Bartram in "Bartrem’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine" (available at Richters),, guarana seed contains theobromine, theophyllin, caffeine (7%), saponins, tannins and choline. Like coffee, high doses will cause overstimulation. Taken in moderate doses, guarana is used to gently stimulate in recovery from surgery, chronic fatigue and depression. Taken in large doses, over time, its stimulating actions will have a negative effect on the nervous system, which can then cause health problems in other body systems. The medicinal dose of guarana is 1000 mg. daily. For more information on guarana, please see our web site at http:// Choose "Q&A", then enter "guarana" for the search.

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