Muira puama (marapuama) is a medicinal plant found in the Amazon rainforest. Muira puama helps with sexual dysfunction, improves cognitive function, and may reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Read this post to see how you could benefit from muira puama.
What is Muira Puama?
Muira puama or potency wood (Ptychopetalum olacoides) is a species of small trees native to the Amazon rainforest of Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname .
Constituents of Muira Puama
- 12-oxo-hardwickiic acid
- ptycholide I
- ptycholide II
- ptycholide III
- ptycholide IV
Health Benefits of Muira Puama
Muira Puama promotes brain development and healing, decreases stress, body fat percentage, cholesterol, and aids in sexual performance.
1) Is an Aphrodisiac
Muira puama increased sexual desire in 60% of men with initial low libido and improved erectile function in 50% of men with a poor erection. Muira puama also improved sexual desire, sexual fantasies, and the ability to reach orgasm in 65% of women with sexual dysfunctions .
Moreover, muira puama increases libido. Muira puama combined with ginkgo biloba (Herbal vX, 175 mg muira puama and 16 mg of gingko) increased sex drive in 65% of 202 women who reported low sex drive .
Muira puama supplements of (1,000 – 1,500 mg daily) for 2 weeks increased libido in 60% of 262 men with low libido .
2) Can Stop the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease
Muira puama is considered a “brain tonic” and protects the brain in Alzheimer’s .
- Preventing cognitive impairment
- Decreasing brain amyloid plaque deposits
- Decreasing hippocampal (brain memory center) loss caused by amyloid plaques
- Inhibiting enzymes that break down acetylcholine in the brain (hippocampus and striatum), similar to how Alzheimer’s treatments work
3) Can Enhance Memory
Muira puama improved memory retrieval without interfering with acquisition or consolidation in mice. Old mice given muira puama exhibited more memory improvement than young mice without muira puama .
Muira puama also restored memory in mice with brain damage .
4) Promotes the Growth of Neurons Which Can Help with Memory and Learning Processes
5) May Benefit the Brain by Decreasing Damage to Neurons
In mice, antioxidants from muira puama were able to cross the blood-brain barrier and reduce damaging oxidative stress .
6) Helps with Stress-Induced Depression
Chronic stress can lead to HPA-axis dysfunction, which is often found in depression. In mice, muira puama extract treated stress-induced depression as effectively as an antidepressant (imipramine) .
7) Helps with Stress and Anxiety
Stress increases cortisol and blood sugar. Muira puama prevents a stress-induced increase in cortisol and blood glucose in mice .
8) Helps with Fatigue
9) May Reduce Cholesterol and Body Fat
In rats, muira puama reduces fat deposits, total cholesterol, and increases lean body mass .
A case report of a 45-year-old man taking 50 – 100mg of muira puama resin twice a day for three months included :
- Gaining 15 pounds of muscle mass
- Decreasing body fat percentage from 18 to 13%
- Dropping bad cholesterol (LDL)
- Increasing good cholesterol (HDL)
In studies, doses range from 100 – 1,500 mg daily. Some websites selling the supplement recommend a maximum dose of 2,850 mg.
Muira puama is not recommended for children or women who are pregnant or are breastfeeding.
You should ask your doctor before taking muira puama. While there are no clinical studies yet, muira puama might interact with nitrates (in a similar way as Viagra) causing a severe drop in blood pressure.
Given the effect of muira puama, it could interact with the following drugs; however, no scientific studies have confirmed this.
- Nitrates (ex. nitroglycerin)
- Blood pressure medications
- Heart medications
- Erectile dysfunction medications
- Hormone medications
- Alzheimer’s medications
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“I usually am skeptical about supplements which enhance mood, libido, etc. But when I saw Life Extension review this herb [and use it in one of their supplement formulations], I paid closer attention. I’m a guy, and for 2 weeks I conducted a personal experiment with this brand of muira puama. Every other day, I took 3 capsules in the morning. After the 2 week period, it was clear to me that it increased libido and arousal. The effects can be somewhat subtle at first, as I noticed that the full effects may take several hours after taking the herb, and usually subside by evening. And, no side effects at all.”
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“My husband and I take this supplement mostly for the results we get for joint relief. We are in our 40’s and are starting to feel the effects of getting older. Our joints sometimes get a little sore, but we have noticed that when we take this supplement it really makes a difference. It helps you not to feel so sore. In fact, we noticed how well it was working when we ran out of them and didn’t order any right away. We have been taking these about a year now and have found this to be the one great quality about these.”
“I tried this with very little to no effect. But it did cause me to break out in rashes under my arms. Maybe others would be immune, but be careful!”