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common name for the plant family Sapindaceae, a primarily tropical family of trees, shrubs, lianas, and herbaceous climbers, as well as a genus, Sapindus, in that family found in Asia and the Americas. The soapberry family includes the litchi.
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(Paullinia cupana), an evergreen shrub of the family Sapindaceae, growing wild in Brazil and Venezuela. The seeds of the guaraná contain resins, tannins, and up to 5 percent caffeine. A paste, also called guarana, is obtained from the seeds; it is used for medicinal purposes in some countries. The paste yields caffeine: it is also mixed into chocolate and is used in preparing a beverage that is similar to coffee.