Muira Puama

Dr.Abhay Kumar Pati, Author, Best Nutrition Inc USA,,,

Ptychopetalum is a genus of two species of flowering plants in the family Olacaceae .The indigenous name for the genus is Muira Puama or Marapuama “potency wood” which grows in regions surrounding Brazil and is said to enhance sexual function, especially in older men.

Common Name(s): Muira puama , Marapuama, Potency wood, Raiz del macho, Potenzholz

History of medicinal use – The root and bark are used for a variety of ailments by indigenous peoples in the Rio Negro area of South America. Historically all parts of Muira Puama have been used medicinally, but typically it is the bark and root of Ptychopetalum olacoides  which is harvested and used both traditionally and in herbal products. Ptychopetalum uncinatum, which is sometimes used as a substitute or adulteration with the only noticeable difference being a lower concentration of the chemical lupeol. Traditionally the bark and root of this herb has been used by indigenous Brazilian tribes for rheumatism, neuromuscular problems, gastrointestinal upset, influenza and sexual debility. This herb is best known for its aphrodisiac qualities. Some of the other common names of this herb are “erection root” and “potency wood”


  1. olacoides root bark produces a volatile oil containing α-pinene, α-humulene, β-pinene, β-caryophyllene, camphene, and camphor as major constituents. Coumarin is also detected. Fatty acid esters of sterols, free fatty acids (C 21 -C 25 ), and free sterols such as lupeol have been isolated and identified.

Dosage and Administration- 1 to 1.5 grams of the bark, stem, and/or root. Muira puama is used  as an extract or in powdered form in capsules.

How does muira puama work?

One study on rabbits showed that this plant has the ability to relax the corpus cavernosa of the penis, allowing for the penis to become engorged with more blood than is what is typical for a normal erection. While another study showed that Muira puama may block an enzyme known as acetylcholinesterase. How does this help fertility? Well, acetylcholine aids in the dilation of blood vessels, including those to the genitals. This may allow more blood into the genitals, which in theory aids in sustained erection.

Muira puama is  promoted today as a treatment for erectile dysfunction and as a male aphrodisiac.

Reported  fertility benefits of Muira puama in men:

Increases libido in men.

Shown to support healthy erection.

Supports male fertility.

Increases muscle strength and stamina.

May aid in depression due to sexual dysfunction.

Supports healthy stress response.

Neuropathy remedy –Muira puama has also been used as a tonic for nervous conditions and depressions. It has been used to promote overall nerve function and to relieve nerve pain.

Digestive disorder – It has also been used for gastrointestinal disorders and as a treatment for indigestion.

Treatment for alopecia –It is also used to naturally treat hair loss.

Gynecological disorders- Women have used  Muira puama to treat the discomforts of menopause, as well as cramping associated with menstruation.

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