What Are The Benefits Of Muira Puama Proven By Science?

Written by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
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Muira puama is a powerful ingredient used in Brazilian folk medicine. Its most important use is as an aphrodisiac – though its wood and roots have several other benefits too. In this post, we’ll discuss how you may use this Brazilian plant for improving your health.

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How Does Muira Puama Work?

Muira puama, also known as Ptychopetalum olacoides, is predominantly used in the Brazilian region to enhance sexual function in older men. The plant is known to enhance vitality and sexuality (which is why it is also known as potency wood). It also acts as a nerve tonic for treating chronic nervous degenerative ailments.

Muira puama contains terpenoids, which are believed to be the most active parts of the plant that contribute to the benefits. Studies show that terpenoids work as powerful plant antioxidants (1). Other important compounds include flavonoids and alkaloids (2).

All of these essential components of muira puama can have remarkable health benefits. We will look at them in detail.

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How Can Muira Puama Benefit Your Health?

1. Treats Erectile Dysfunction

Muira puama acts as as nerve stimulant and increases receptiveness to sexual stimuli (enhancing penile hardness). It also enhances the physical sensation of sex.

The plant is rich in sterols (campesterol and lupol) that activate the body’s receptors to hormones like testosterone. Muira puama also contains volatile oils like camphor that restore sex drive (3).

Muira puama is also one of the ingredients used in a therapy for reversing age-related erectile dysfunction (4).

2. Boosts Libido

A unique herbal formulation containing muira puama was found to significantly boost sex drive in 65% of the women participants tested. Over a period, this resulted in statistically significant improvements in the frequency of sexual desires, sexual fantasies, and satisfaction with sexual life (5).

It also improved the ability to reach orgasm and the intensity of the orgasm (6).

3. Helps Treat Alzheimer’s

Treatment with muira puama for 14 days had prevented cognitive impairment in mice induced with Alzheimer’s (7).

Muira puama also boosts testosterone, which is considered a neuroprotective compound. The hormone is found to decrease amyloid B secretions, thereby cutting the risk of Alzheimer’s (8).

4. Can Boost Memory

In a mice study, consistent use of muira puama was found to aid memory retrieval. This effect, as per the study, may be attributed to the antioxidant effects of muira puama (9).

Muira puama can also be used to treat conditions associated with cognitive deficits. This may also include problems related to the malfunction of nerve cells (10).

The plant also promotes the growth of neurons that further helps boost memory and enhance learning (11).

5. Helps Relieve Stress

Helps Relieve Stress
Image: Shutterstock

In a study, muira puama was found to counteract some effects of chronic stress. The plant offers antioxidant and neuroprotective benefits, thereby combating stress. The study concludes by stating that muira puama might have adaptogen-like properties (12).

6. Aids Depression Treatment

Muira puama was also found to have anti-depressant properties, which can also help prevent stress-induced hyperactivity (13).

Muira puama belongs to the class of natural aphrodisiacs with potent properties. It has been in use since ages in Brazilian folklore – all for its benefits. In case you were wondering how you can consume muira puama, it is quite simple.

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How To Consume Muira Puama

The best way to consume muira puama is as an alcohol-based tincture. This works better than a capsule or tea. You may take 2 to 4 ml, twice daily. But, ensure you check with a herbal practitioner.

The active range for anxiolytic and anti-stress effects in rats is 100-300 mg/kg, and in humans, this may convert to the following values:

  • 1,100 – 3,300 mg for a person weighing 150 lbs
  • 1,500 – 4,400 mg for a person weighing 200 lbs
  • 1,800 – 5,500 mg for a person weighing 250 lbs

These are not absolute values, and there is less research on them. Hence, we recommend you check with an expert (a herbal practitioner/physician) before going for muira puama.

Another reason you must check with an expert before consuming this herb is that there is insufficient research on its side effects. We don’t know what long-term use of muira puama can lead to. Hence, exercise caution. Some anecdotal evidence states that regular use of the plant may trigger insomnia in certain individuals.

There is insufficient information on drug interactions too. If you are on any medication, please check with your doctor before going for the herb. Also, it is better if pregnant and lactating women keep away from it.

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The effects of muira puama are potent, and a ton of research supports its use. But since we don’t have enough information on its adverse effects, we recommend you to use it under medical supervision.

What do you think about muira puama? Are you going to use it? Do share your thoughts by leaving a comment in the box below.


  1. Terpenoids as plant antioxidants” Vitamins and Hormones, US National Library of Medicine.
  2. Amazonian plant crude extract…” European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences.
  3. Asian herbals and aphrodisiacs…” Translational Andrology and Urology, US National Library of Medicine.
  4. Treatment with a combination of…” Andrology, US National Library of Medicine.
  5. Effects of herbal vX on libido and sexual…” Advances in Therapy, US National Library of Medicine.
  6. Effects of herbal vigRX on…” Iranian Journal of Psychiatry, US National Library of Medicine.
  7. The Amazonian herbal...” Phytomedicine: International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine.
  8. The overlooked role of chronic infection…” CiteSeerX.
  9. Memory retrieval improvement by…” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine.
  10. MK801- and scopolamine-induced amnesias…” Psychopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine.
  11. Clerodane diterpenoids with…” Journal of Natural Products, US National Library of Medicine.
  12. Anti-stress effects of the…” Phytomedicine, US National Library of Medicine.
  13. Effects of marapuama in the chronic...” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine.
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Ravi Teja Tadimalla
Ravi Teja TadimallaSenior Editor
Ravi Teja Tadimalla is a senior editor and a published author. He has been in the digital media field for over eight years. He graduated from SRM University, Chennai, and has a Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition & Research from Wageningen University.

Read full bio of Ravi Teja Tadimalla
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