Muira Puama Powder
Muira puama, also called “potency wood,” is a small tree up to 15 feet in height native to the Brazilian Amazon. The bark and root are the primary parts that are utilized. Indigenous peoples use muira puama for the therapy of sexual debility, fatigue, neuromuscular problems, and rheumatism. It’s botanical name is Ptychopetalum olacoides. Don’t be surprised if you see it spelled in many different ways, including mara puama, marapuama, and marapama.
Muira Puama root and bark studies, what are the benefits?
A review of articles published in PubMed in March 2014 did not reveal any new human studies which is frustrating since I believe this plant is effective and it would be nice to have human trials to give us a better understanding of this plant’s benefits.
In 1990, at the Institute of Sexology in Paris, France, a clinical study with 262 patients complaining of lack of sexual desire demonstrated muira puama extract to be effective. Within two weeks, at a daily dose of 1 to 1.5 grams of 4:1 extract, 62% of patients with loss of libido claimed that the treatment was helpful. I found this study mentioned all over the internet, but could not find an official Medline mention.
In 2000, researchers at the Institute of Sexology published another study. The effectiveness of a herbal formulation of muira puama and ginkgo biloba 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. Statistically significant improvements occurred in frequency of sexual desires, sexual intercourse, and sexual fantasies, as well as in satisfaction with sex life, intensity of sexual desires, excitement of fantasies, ability to reach orgasm, and intensity of orgasm. Reported tolerability of the muira puama and ginkgo combination was good.
Recently, muira puama has been gaining in popularity in the US where herbalists are using it for sexual enhancement, menstrual cramps and PMS, and central nervous system disorders. It has been traditionally known as a nerve tonic. Amazonian natives use traditional remedies prepared with it for treating various central nervous system conditions, including those associated with aging.