Muira Puama an Aphrodisiac

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muira puama aphrodisiac

Also referred to as “potency wood”, “marapuama”, and “Potenzholz”; Muira Puama (Ptychopetalum Olacoides) is a native shrub with white flowers found in Brazil and the Amazon forest area. Reaching up to 5 meters in height and produces pungent flowers with a jasmine like fragrance, it grows abundantly across the Amazon River basin. There are only two species of small trees under the genus, Ptychopetalum. One variety, P. olacoides, grows in the tropical parts of America, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname. The P. uncinatum is found only in Brazil.

For many decades, Muira Puama has been used as medicine owing to its parts which have medicinal and healing properties. The indigenous people living in the Amazon basin have been using Muira Puama as a healing medicine. The stems and roots of young plants were used as tonics to treat neuromuscular problems. The natives also used a root concoction in baths and massages. It was believed to have therapeutic effects on paralysis and beriberi. It also helps with gastrointestinal and reproductive disorders, stress and trauma. Besides its long history as a therapeutic herb, Muira Puama is well known for its aphrodisiac qualities that significantly improve erectile function and sexual desires.

The short term effects of Muira Puama include increasing the blood flow to the pelvic area, aiding erections in men as well as improved sensation and orgasm in women. Longer term use enhances the production of sex hormones in both sexes. It has no noted side effects though, as with many sexual stimulants, it can slightly raise blood pressure. French studies showed that Muira Puama seemed to improve libido and sexual function. Scientists also believe that this herb increases testosterone levels, though this has not yet been clinically proven. Dr. Jacques Waynberg, a world authority on sexual functioning of the Institute of Sexology in Paris, showed that it is effective in increasing sexual desires as well as attaining and maintaining an erection.

A clinical study with 262 patients complaining of lack of sexual desire and the inability to attain or maintain an erection demonstrated Muira Puama extract to be effective in many cases. Within 2 weeks, at a daily dose of 1 to 1.5 grams of the extract, 62% of patients with loss of libido claimed that the treatment had dynamic effect while 51 percent of patients with "erection failures" felt that Muira Puama was of benefit. Presently, the exact mechanism of action of this herb is still under investigation. The action of muira puama is not fully understood, but from the preliminary information, it appears that it works on enhancing both psychological and physical aspects of sexual function.

Another study investigated the possibility of Muira Puama and Ginkgo biloba as alternatives to chemical medication in the treatment of sexual dysfunction in healthy women. The efficacy of the unique formulation of the two herbal aphrodisiac was assessed in 202 healthy women complaining of low sex drive. Various aspects of their sex life were rated before and after 1 month of treatment with Muira Puama. Responses to self-assessment questionnaires showed significantly higher scores from baseline (before treatment) in 65% of the women after taking the formulation. Statistics showed that significant improvements occurred in their frequency of sexual desires, sexual intensity of sexual desires, ability to reach orgasm, and intensity of orgasm.

More discoveries about the healing properties of Muira Puama plant were uncovered due to the advance in modern science. It was found that the root and bark of the plant is rich in fatty acids and fatty acid esters, especially behenic acid. It also has lots of essential oils, including beta-caryophyllene and alpha-humulene, plant sterols, triterpenes with lupeol, and a new alkaloid, which they named muirapuamine. All these components were reported to be the ones responsible for all the therapeutic benefits of the Muira Puama plant.

Muira puama is considered a safe herb; whereas another herbal sexual stimulant called yohimbine can induce anxiety, panic attacks, and hallucinations in some individuals, as well as elevated blood pressure, high heart rate, dizziness, headache, and skin flushing.

Many clinical trials were conducted to prove the medicinal benefits of the plant. And while many people are skeptical about sexual stimulants or "herbal viagra", like Muira Puama, could treat impotency, one study was able to prove that treatment using the plant could result in a positive effect. In Brazil, the plant was reported to have a permanent effect in locomotor ataxia, neuralgias of long standing chronic rheumatism, and partial paralysis. Research also showed that an extract from the root is effective in treating disorders affecting the central nervous system and relieving physical and mental fatigue.

Today, Muira Puama is being used and known worldwide. This popularity of the plant was due to the early European explorers who brought Muira Puama back with them to their respective countries when they knew of its many benefits. Today, the plant is listed in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, a noted herbal medicine source from the British Herbal Medicine Association. In Europe alone, Muira Puama is used to treat impotence, infertility, nerve pain, menstrual disturbance, and rheumatism. Germany also adopted this plant and used it for hookworms, while in the United States, traditional herbalists and health practitioners used it to relieve central nervous system disorders.


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