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Health Benefits of Muira Puama


Updated June 27, 2014

What is Muira Puama?

Muira puama is a small Brazilian tree that grows across the Amazon river basin. It has a long history of use in Brazilian folk medicine as an aphrodisiac.

The root and stem of the tree are used medicinally.

Why Do People Use Muira Puama?

Muira puama is used mainly as a herbal remedy for erectile dysfunction and sexual dysfunction in women.

None of the compounds identified in muira puama have yet been found to support this use.

Preliminary animal studies suggest that muira puama is also a mild stimulant.

Other Names

Potency Wood, Ptychopetalum olacoides, Ptychopetalum uncinatum


A typical dose is 2 to 4 mg of muira puama liquid extract per day.


In one study, muira puama was found to cause significant inhibition of the cholinesterase enzyme. This can theoretically increase the risk of loss of muscle co-ordination and jerky movements due to acetylcholine buildup in muscles.

Drug Interactions

There are no well-known drug interactions.


Bardini S et al. "Anxiogenic properties of Ptychopetalum olacoides Benth. (Marapuama)". Phytotherapy Research. 16.3 (2002):223-6.

Siqueira IR et al. "Ptychopetalum olacoides, a traditional Amazonian "nerve tonic", possesses anticholinesterase activity". Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behavior. 75.3 (2003):645-50.

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