ONLINE HERBALIST

Muira Puama: Snapshot


Muira puama has been a premier remedy, especially as an aphrodisiac, for centuries in South America. It has an arousing effect, both physically and psychologically, on both men and women and is believed to increase testosterone production.

Botanical Name

Ptychopetalum olacoides

Part Used

Bark, Root.

Common Names

Muira Puama, Marapuama, Marapama, Potency Wood, Potenzholz

Brief History

Ptychopetalum olacoides

Historically, all parts of the plants have been used medicinally, but the bark and roots are the primary parts of the plant utilised. It has long been employed in the Amazon by indigenous peoples for some purposes and found its way into herbal medicine in South America and Europe in the 1920’s.

Indigenous tribes in Brazil use the roots and bark taken internally as a tea for treating sexual debility and impotence, neuromuscular problems, rheumatism, grippe, cardiac asthenia, gastrointestinal asthenia and to prevent baldness. It is also used externally in baths and massages for treating paralysis and beriberi.

Cultivation

Wild-collected. Prefers moist soil in shade with a minimum temperature of 60-65F. Does not appear to be in cultivation. Roots, bark, wood and balsam are collected for liquid extracts.

Constituents

Fatty acids (behenic acid), alkaloid (muirapuamine), coumarin, phytosterols (beta-sitosterol), essential oils (beta-carophyllene, alpha-humulene), triterpenes (lupeol), tannin

Therapeutic Properties

adaptogen, analgesic (pain-reliever), anti-fatigue, antioxidant, aphrodisiac, central nervous system tonic (tones, balances, strengthens), hypotensive (lowers blood pressure), memory-enhancer, nervine (balances/calms nerves), neurasthenic (reduces nerve pain), neuroprotective (protects brain cells)

Vitalist Properties

Temperature: Warm

Moisture: Drying

Therapeutic Indications

  1. erectile dysfunction and impotence
  2. male aphrodisiac and libido promoter
  3. tonic for males
  4. hair loss and balding
  5. central nervous system tonic and antidepressant

Primary Uses

Impotence and diminished sex drive

Muira puama is an excellent addition to or replacement for treatment with Yohimbe. Clinical studies of Muira puama in France have found that using the herb as a sole treatment restores sex drive and erectile function in 51 to 62 percent of cases. From the preliminary informa­tion, it appears that it works by enhancing both psycholog­ical and physical aspects of sexual function.

Clinical Research

Sexual Function

The benefits of treating impotence with Muira puama have been studied in two human trials in France, which reported that Muira puama was effective in improving libido and treating erectile dysfunction. In one French study among 262 male patients who experienced lack of sexual desire and the inability to attain or maintain an erection, 62% of the patients with loss of libido reported that the extract of Muira puama “had a dynamic effect,” and 51% of patients with erectile dysfunction felt that Muira puama was beneficial.

The second study evaluated positive psychological benefits of Muira puama in 100 men with male sexual weakness. The therapeutic dosage was 1.5 g of a Muira puama extract daily. In their final report, researchers indicated Muira puama could “enhance libido [in 85% of test group], increase the frequency of intercourse [in 100%] and improve the ability to maintain an erection [in 90%].”

Dosage (Divided Daily)

• Dried Bark: 1,000 – 2,000mg (as a decoction)

Dried Powder: 500 – 1,000mg (10:1 Extract)

• Tincture: 5 – 10mL (1:5)

Contraindications

None

Side effects

None

Interactions with other drugs

None



 Bibliography
  1. Balch, P. A. (2002). Prescription for herbal healing. New York: Avery.
  2. Herbalpedia (2013)
  3. Taylor, L. (2005). The healing power of rainforest herbs: a guide to understanding and using herbal medicinals. Garden City Park, NY: Square One Publishers.

All material on this website is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

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