About Muira Puama
Muira Puama is the indigenous name for the Ptychopetalum genus of two species of flowering plants from the Amazon rainforest. Also known as “potency wood,” Muira Puama is a shrub that grows up to 14 feet high. Muira Puama is found primarily in Brazil. The root of the Muira Puama shrub has a faint odor and tastes slightly salty and acrid.
There is a long history of use of the Muira Puama root and bark as a tonic for energy, well-being and as a remedy for erectile dysfunction. Many people equate Muira Puama to the Yohimbe that is used for the same sexual impotence remedy purpose. However, the consensus among users is that there are less side effects with Muira Puama than with Yohimbe.
The bark and root of Muira Puama are most often used in herbal products, although the entire shrub has been used medicinally. The Muira Puama plant contains long-chain fatty acids, coumarin, lupeol, plant sterols and alkaloid muirapuamine.
There is another species of plant that is almost identical to the Muira Puama. It is often used as a substitute for Muira Puama, but that plant has lower concentrations of lupeol than is found in Muira Puama.
Indigenous peoples in Rio Negro of South America use the root and bark of Muira Puama for treatment of a multitude of illnesses and disorders.
Medical research with Muira Puama has shown that the plant causes anxiety in rodents as a stimulant would, without affecting coordination.
What is Muira Puama Used for in Modern Medicine?
Muira Puama bark, Muira Puama extract and Muira Puama root are used to make medicine. Like its traditional Amazonian tribal use, Muira Puama is utilized to prevent sexual disorders and to improve libido in both men and women. Men tend to note improvement in erectile function when using Muira Puama for two weeks or longer.
Muira Puama is also used for treating stomach disorders, menstrual cramping, joint pain, poliomyelitis paralysis and as tonics for well-being and appetite improvement. For use as an aphrodisiac, in rheumatism and for muscle paralysis, Muira Puama may be applied as a topical cream.
Use for men affected by erectile dysfunction shows significant success in return of erectile functioning and accompanied by libido improvement.
There are no known side effects from the use of Muira Puama, beyond a slight stimulant effect.
Muira Puama Research Results
UCLA School of Medicine conducted a study of the Muira Puama plant’s roots. Their results reflected that both erectile function and libido were significantly improved in subjects who ingested the Muira Puama root. Amazonian natives have used Muira Puama for erectile dysfunction in men and as an aphrodisiac by both sexes for hundreds of years. The use has resulted in the Muira Puama root being called “potent wood” in the Amazon.
The Muira Puama increases blood flow to the groin. This aids in an erection in men and heightened sensation and orgasm for females. Enhanced production of sex hormones is said to result from long-term use of Muira Puama, for both sexes. Beyond slightly raising blood pressure as most sexual stimulants do, Muira Puama does not have any real side effects.
Two Muira Puama studies in France also indicated improvement in sex drive and sexual function. Although it has not yet been proven in Muira Puama clinical studies, scientists believe that the Muira Puama boosts testosterone levels. The Muira Puama plant has also been indicated as useful in treating mild fatigue, much like an energy elixir. Gastrointestinal and reproductive disorders, stress and trauma have all been treated with Muira Puama.
A total of 262 patients with low libido and erectile dysfunction participated in a clinical study of Muira Puama, with 62% reporting dynamic libido effect and 51% reporting return of satisfactory erection for sexual activity in just two weeks. The Muira Puama herb is believed to be effective for both psychological and physical origin erectile dysfunction.
South Americans and Brazilians use Muira Puama for asthenia, chronic rheumatism, erectile dysfunction, grippe, ataxia, paralysis and central nervous system disorders. Europeans use Muira Puama for treatment of impotency, menstrual issues, dysentery, neurasthenia and infertility. British medical annals recommend use of Muira Puama for impotence and dysentery. American Muira Puama use is gaining some ground, with health practitioners in the U.S. recommending the Muira Puama plant to patients with erectile dysfunction, menstrual cramping, central nervous system problems and neurasthenia.
Although many plants and other edibles have been called aphrodisiacs over past centuries, Muira Puama remains highly recommended and is continuously considered effective.
Muira Puama Root as an Aphrodisiac in Both Sexes
202 pre- and postmenopausal women were studied while using Muira Puama in a 4 to 1 ratio, with Ginkgo biloba at the quantity of two to six 175mg tablets per day. 65% of those Muira Puama users studied showed significant libido improvement on scales of self-assessment. 71% of those women studied communicated significant improvement from Muira Puama in at least one area of the parameters examined. Those parameters were:
• Sexual thoughts and fantasies frequency
• Enticement of fantasies
• Improved sexual frequency
• Higher satisfaction with sexual activity
• Ability to reach orgasm
• Intensity of orgasm
A similar study of 262 men using Muira Puama reflected improvement in self-reported libido for 62% of those men. 51% of the men also reported improved erectile functioning after two weeks of taking the Muira Puama root.
Muira Puama Testosterone Improvement
Although it has not yet been proven through documented medical research, scientists believe that Muira Puama may boost testosterone levels in people who take the Muira Puama herbal remedy for at least two weeks with consistency.
Testosterone is a male hormone produced in the man’s testicles, which maintains bone density, fat distribution, strength, muscle mass, production of red blood cells, sperm production and sex drive. Male testosterone levels peak during teen years and into early adulthood. As men age, their testosterone levels naturally decrease at the rate of about one percent per year. That decline starts after age 30. Men should get their testosterone levels checked, to determine if their level is declining according to normal standards or if a decrease could be due to a disease.
As testosterone levels decrease, men start noticing signs and symptoms of that decline. Some of those changes attributed to testosterone reduction are:
• Reduced sexual desire
• Fewer spontaneous erections
• Sleep disturbance, such as insomnia
• Increased body fat
• Reduced muscle mass and strength
• Decreased bone density
• Swollen or tender breasts (gynecomastia)
• Loss of body hair
• Hot flashes
• Reduced energy
• Lower motivation and self-confidence
• Memory problems and trouble concentrating
Although many of these changes are normal in aging, some may be due to varied factors such as medication side effects, thyroid disease, depression and alcohol consumption. Blood tests administered by a physician will diagnose diminished testosterone levels.
Some exciting results from Muira Puama use reflects improved testosterone levels in men who have consistently taken the Muira Puama herbal remedy for a minimum of two weeks at certain dosage levels. Although these Muira Puama results have not been scientifically confirmed, there is some suspected validity to these testosterone level improvements for men on Muira Puama supplements.
Muira Puama Dosage
Muira Puama use and dosage varies according to the user’s age, state of health and other conditions. There is little Muira Puama scientific research or information available outside of very limited studies on small samplings of Muira Puama subjects. Because there is so little Muira Puama research, there is not enough present data to adequately summarize or instruct the right range of dose for Muira Puama for use by individual men or women.
When considering use of Muira Puama, the patient of erectile dysfunction or other health concern for which the Muira Puama is being recommended should consult with their physician, naturopath or other health care practitioner for appropriate dose and schedule of use. It is always important to remember that natural remedies, however long used in indigenous society, are not always considered safe, and knowing the right amount to take is very important. Printed instructions on product labels and those provided by health care practitioners should be regarded. Pharmacists and physicians are the best sources of information regarding a patient’s individual health state and applicability of Muira Puama for personal use.
Although a patient’s doctor should be consulted regarding appropriate dosage specific to that patient and his or her individual health needs, published information on Muira Puama use reflect that the daily dose range will fall somewhere between 1000 to 1500mg of a 4:1 concentrated Muira Puama extract. This recommendation does not specify whether the dose should be taken with or without a meal.
According to individual body weight, recommended daily dosages may be in the following ranges:
• 150lb person: 1100 mg to 3300 mg
• 200lb person: 1500 mg to 4400 mg
• 250lb person: 1800 mg to 5500 mg
Muira Puama Reviews
Reviews of Muira Puama use by patients are mixed, yet lean more heavily to promising results in treatment of sex drive and erectile dysfunction.