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Caffeine and its History
Transcript of Caffeine and its History
What is caffeine?
Caffeine is a white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that acts as a psychoactive (hallucinatory) drug. It is a central nervous system stimulant.
It appears as odorless, white needles or powder.
What does caffeine do?
Caffeine is used recreationally or medically to reduce fatigue and restore awareness. It increases alertness, increased focus, faster movement.
It also acts as natural pesticide found in the beans, leaves, and fruits of some plants.
When was it first used?
Caffeine has been used since Stone Age. Seeds, bark, or leaves of certain plants were chewed and had the effects of reducing fatigue, stimulating awareness, and elevating mood. It was later discovered that when soaked in water, the strength was increased.
Were there others to use caffeine?
Emperor of China Shennong (3000 BC) discovered that when leaves were put into boiling water, a restoring drink was made- tea. Tea is one of the drinks made solely out of caffeine.
Although there were many other uses of products containing caffeine it was not discovered until 1819
Where does caffeine come from?
It is extracted from the cherries of the coffee plant and the leaves of the tea bush, the kola nut, yerba mate, guarana berries, and the Yaupon Holly.
It is from these plants that it recieved its alternative names- mateine and guaranine
Is caffeine a drug?
Caffeine is the world's most consumed psychoactive drug. It is legal unlike most others.
How is it consumed?
It is most commonly consumed by humans through coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks . A can of Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine per serving.
How was it discovered?
Friedrich Ferdinand Runge, a German chemist,was given a box of Arabian mocha beans by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Runge was asked to analyze the beans and isolated caffeine in the process.
Can it be addictive since it is a drug?
It can be addictive if consumed in large amounts (i.e. more than 2 cups of coffee in a day).
One can go through withdrawal symptoms and experience headaches and fatigue.
Caffeine can also cause sleep disorders
What addictions can it cause?
It can cause caffeinism.
Caffeinism is a physical addiction with a wide range of unpleasant physical and mental conditions including nervousness, irritability, anxiety, muscle twitching (hyperreflexia), insomnia, and heart palpitations
Are there any legends about caffeine?
In 850 A.D., in Upper Egypt, there lived a goat herder named Khaldi. One night, Khaldi's goats did not return. Khaldi found them dancing around a shrub with red berries, or coffee beans. After Khaldi tried some of the berries, he started to dance, too. Khaldi spoke with some monks who used the berries to make a drink. This drink would later be called coffee.