Herbs Containing Caffeine

Caffeine is perhaps the most commonly used stimulant in the world. Several plants produce caffeine and theophylline and theobromine, which are close relatives of caffeine. Most people readily know that coffee (Coffea arabica and C. robusta) and tea (Camellia sinensis) have caffeine in them, but several other herbal medicines also contain caffeine. Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) is the main ingredient in chocolate-flavored foods, from candy bars to hot cocoa. There are usually 20 to 60 milligrams of caffeine in an average chocolate bar (200 grams of chocolate). That isn't a lot of caffeine, but eating several pieces of chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, can add up to a significant amount. It also takes the body several hours to process caffeine, so eating several pieces throughout a day can have a cumulative effect. Cocoa also has higher amounts of theobromine in it, which acts in a manner similar to caffeine.

The cola nut (sometimes spelled kola) (Cola acuminata and Cola nitida) comes from Africa and also contains caffeine. As the name suggests, it was part of the original recipe for Coca-Cola®. Two plants from South America, maté (Ilex paraguariensis) and guarana (Paulinia cupana), also contain caffeine. Maté comes from a holly-like bush and is prepared as a popular tea in Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. Guarana is made from the seed of a climbing shrub that grows in the Amazon. It was used as a stimulant by Amazonian natives, but its popularity in developed countries has been growing. People are usually less aware that these plants also contain caffeine.

Caffeine and its relatives stimulate the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, thus increasing brain activity and creating a mentally stimulating effect. Caffeine can prolong seizure activity in several animal studies. Caffeine can also prolong seizures in people who are given electroshock treatments for depression. So, it is probably best for people with seizures to avoid or at least minimize their use of caffeine. It is also important to pay attention to the contents of supplements and foods to avoid the accidental ingestion of caffeine. Many nonprescription weight reduction or energy formulas contain caffeine as a key ingredient.

600 Chocolate Recipes

600 Chocolate Recipes

Within this in cookbook full of chocolate recipes you will find over 600 Chocolate Recipes For Chocolate Lovers.

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