Low sex drive and poor sexual function is an uncomfortable topic for most men. Our society expects men to be virile and because of that we have an image in our mind that virility lasts forever. So what can you do if your libido has taken a vacation? Well there are many medicinal herbs that support a healthy sex drive in men; Muira Puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides) is one of them. This plant grows about 50 ft. in height and is native to the Brazilian Amazon.
Traditionally the bark and root of this herb has been used by indigenous Brazilian tribes for rheumatism, neuromuscular problems, gastrointestinal upset, influenza, and sexual debility. This herb is best known for its aphrodisiac qualities. Some of the other common names of this herb are “erection root” and “potency wood”. You can see how these common names have come to give this plant a great reputation as a male sexual enhancer.
Reported Fertility Benefits of Muira puama in Men:
- Increased libido in men
- Shown to support healthy erection
- Supports male fertility
- Increase in strength and stamina
- May aid in depression due to sexual dysfunction
- Supports healthy stress response
Dr. Jacques Waynberg performed a study using Muira puama on 262 men who had a lack of libido and impotence (lack of ability to sustain or attain erection) in Paris France, which was published in the American Journal of Natural Medicine in 1994. The men were given 1 to 1.5 grams of Muira puama 4:1 extract. Within two weeks 62% of the men reported that the extract “had a dynamic effect”, with an increase in both libido and erectile function. 51% of the men who desired to have more erections said the herb was “beneficial”.
In another study performed by Dr. Waynberg, he evaluated the effects of Muira puama on psychological effects of sexual asthenia in 100 men. Sexual asthenia is known as loss of strength and libido due to testosterone deficiency. 66% reported an increase in frequency of intercourse. 70% reported increase in libido. 55% found they could restore stability of erection during intercourse. 66% reported an increase in physical energy, stamina, lowered fatigue, and improved sleep. Also noted was an increase in intensity and frequency of morning erections. In this same study, this herb was shown most effective for men with no apparent psychosomatic conditions. 100% of men with no noticeable psychosomatic conditions reported that muira puama effectively treated their sexual asthenia. 85% had improved libido and 90% reported sustained erection during intercourse.
Of all the herbal aphrodisiacs, Muira puama has staying power due to not only the studies performed by Dr. Jacques Waynberg, but also due to it proven results over hundreds of years of use.
How Does Muira Puama Work?
Honestly Muira puama is not very well researched. It contains a variety of different chemical constituents, none of which have been identified as the one reason this herb aids in male sexual function. One study on rabbits showed that this plant has the ability to relax the corpus cavernosa of the penis, allowing for the penis to become engorged with more blood than is what is typical for a normal erection. Another study showed that Muira puama may block an enzyme known as acetylcholinesterase. How does this help fertility? Well, acetylcholine aids in the dilation of blood vessels, including those to the genitals. This may allow more blood into the genitals, which in theory aids in sustained erection.
Traditional Suggested Dosage
While Muira puama has been shown to be effective; when used in teas and capsules it has been shown most effective as a liquid extract. Most of the active constituents including essential oils, terpenes, gums, and resins are best extracted with alcohol.
Tincture: 4:1 ratio of 1-3 mL twice daily
Caution: This herb should not be used with those with heart conditions or those on blood pressure or heart medications.
- Waynberg, J. (1990). Aphrodisiacs: Contributions to the Clinical Validation of the Traditional Use of Ptychopetalum guyanna. Presented at the First International Congress on Ethnopharmacology, Strasbourg, France.
- Waynberg, J. (1995). Male Sexual Asthenia—Interest in a Traditional Plant-Derived Medication. Ethnopharmacology (in French). Retrieved from Have I got an herb for you! by Deborah A. Schwartz.
- Sahelian, Ray, MD. (2017). Muira Puama benefit, side effect as aphrodisiac herb, use with catuaba, marapuama – Brazilian Jungle Passion. Retrieved from: http://www.raysahelian.com/muirapuama.html
- Jacques Waynberg. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://sexologies.fr/