Muira Puama or Marapuama for Herbal Naturopathy: properties, benefits, uses, side effects

Muira puama or Marapuama (also commonly called natural anti impotence) is a typical plant of Brazil well known for its aphrodisiac effects. Let’s find out better.

Property of Muira puama

The properties of Muira puama are: 

  • It is an excellent sexual stimulant (improves erection in men and hardening of the genitals in women) and, in general, has aphrodisiac properties (increases sexual vigor and desire in both men and women).
  • It is an excellent neuromuscular tonic for the whole organism. 
  • It has excellent effects against fatigue, as an antineuralgic, as a digestive.
  • It treats lack of appetite, depression, exhaustion, menstrual pains and rheumatism.
  • It can reduce body fat by increasing lean muscle mass as well as lowering cholesterol.
  • It has a beneficial effect on memory and nervous disorders.

The active ingredients of Muira puama are contained in almost all parts of the plant but it is mainly in the bark and root that there are substances rich in foreign fatty acids, essential oils (including beta-caryophyllene and alpha-humulene), plant sterols, triterpenes (including lupeol) and in particular an alkaloid, muirapuamine, with a specific vasodilating action and a marked aphrodisiac action.

This alkaloid would act on the “catecholaminergic” systems of the central nervous system and its active ingredients would work as precursors of brain neurosteroids. Catecholamines and neurosteroids oversee the decisive role of generating the sensation of energy and overall physical vitality, resulting in a general revitalizing action that has positive influences on the general state.

How to use

The roots of Muira puama are used, where many resinous substances and a particular alkaloid (muirapuamina) are found in considerable quantities. Muira puama is used in cases of impotence, decreased libido, mental asthenia, physical and intellectual fatigue.

This medicinal plant is used to combat impotence in internal use, in the form of drops, and as external use, in the form of a concentrated decoction, to wet the genital parts.

  • Decoction: put 10-15 g of Muira puama to infuse in 1 liter of boiling water and leave to boil for 15 minutes with the juice of a lemon. Sweeten to taste. Start with one cup a day and eventually increase to two cups a day.
  • Infusion: one teaspoon per cup. Boil 5 minutes, infuse 5-10 minutes. 1 to 2 cups a day.

Many studies have shown that a two / three week intake cycle, respecting the recommended dose, improves erectile status in general, sexual functions, vigor and desire in both men and women.

Excellent as a nerve stimulant. However, we must not overdo the doses, because the increase of acetylcholine in the muscles can even alter the coordination of movements.

Contraindications of Muira puama

The side effects associated with the use of Muira puama are mild and mostly limited to the possible appearance of occasional pains in the stomach and head , associated with nervousness and hyperagitation. In any case, always contact your doctor before using Muira puama based products.

Description of the plant

Muira puama is also known as marapuama whose name means ” wood of power ” and “herb of love”. It is the Ptychopetalum olacoides belonging to the Olacaceae family. Ptycopetalum olacoides is a shrub with thin branches and evergreen oval leaves that can reach 5 m in height. It has white flowers that have a pungent and aromatic smell reminiscent of jasmine. 

Muira puama habitat

Muira puama, is a typical tree of the Brazilian Amazon and other areas of the rainforest. In the genus Ptycopetalum there are several species including the Ptycopetalum olacoides typical of Brazil in the Amazon rainforest, and Ptycopetalum uncinatum of Brazil. Of the two species it is preferred to use the first as it is richer in active principles useful to man. 


Ancient native tribes attributed fantastic properties to this plant, calling it the herb of love and using it in many propitiatory mating ceremonies. The first European explorers, in the 1920-1930s, observed that the indigenous people of the Amazon used Muira puama to treat multiple diseases.

Once brought to Europe, this plant became part of English herbal medicine and is included in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, an authoritative source of English herbal medicine, where it is recommended for the treatment of both impotence and dysentery.