3 Health Benefits of Muira Puama + Side Effects

Muira puama (marapuama) is a medicinal plant found in the Amazon rainforest. Muira puama seems to help with sexual dysfunction, and preliminary research suggests it may improve cognitive function and 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 [1].

Constituents of Muira Puama

The root and bark of muira puama are rich in alkaloids, phenolic compounds, fatty acids, fatty acid esters, essential oils, plant sterols, and triterpenes. Its main components include [2]:

Eight diterpenoids in muira puama’s bark have been described [3]:

Diterpenoids are natural compounds with potential antibacterial, anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties [4].

Health Benefits

Muira puama is commercialized in supplements for sex drive and several other uses, many of which remain unproven. Due to the lack of solid clinical research, muira puama is not approved by the FDA for medical use. Regulations set manufacturing standards for them but don’t guarantee that they’re safe or effective. Speak with your doctor before supplementing with muira puama.

Possibly Effective as:


In two studies, 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 [5].

In another study, muira puama combined with ginkgo biloba (Herbal vX, 175 mg muira puama and 16 mg of gingko) increased libido in 65% of 202 women who reported low sex drive [6].

Muira puama supplements of (1,000 – 1,500 mg daily) for 2 weeks increased libido in 60% of 262 men with low libido [7].

Although limited, the evidence suggests that muira puama may work as an aphrodisiac. You may try it to improve your sex drive if your doctor considers that it may help in your case.

Insufficient Evidence for: