Muira puama (Ptychopetalum olacoides)


Historically, all parts of the plant have been used medicinally, but the bark and roots are most highly utilized. Indigenous tribes in Brazil use the tea for treating neuromuscular problems, rheumatism, influenza, cardiac and gastrointestinal asthenia and to prevent baldness. In Europe, muira puama has a long history in herbal medicine as an anti-rheumatic, aphrodisiac, a tonic for the nervous system, and for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.
Muira puama is included in combination products as a remedy for sexual impotence. Recent studies show promising evidence that it may increase sexual vitality and treat erectile dysfunction in males. Muira puama has also been used by bodybuilders and weight lifters to improve physical performance. This is due to proposed testosterone-like effects of muira puama.
If buying preparations of muira puama, do so with caution, as Liriosma ovata and Acanthea virilis are commonly incorrectly sold as muira puama.

Related Terms

Herbal vY®, jarrow, lignum, marapama, marapuama, maripuama, muira-puama, muira puama wood, muirapuam, Muirae puama, muirapuamine, Olacaceae (family), olacoides, potency bark, potency wood, potenzholz, Ptychopetali lignum, ptychopetalum, Ptychopetalum guyanna, Ptychopetalum olacoides Bentham, Ptychopetalum unicatum, Ptychopetalum uncinatum Anselmino, Ptychopetalum unicatum Anselmino, Ptychopetalum spp., raiz del macho, Testor-plus®.
Note: Not to be confused with Acanthea virilis or Liriosma ovata (also called muira puama).

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Erectile dysfunction (Grade: C)
Muira puama has long been used by Brazilian indigenous people as a treatment for impotence, and preliminary study has investigated muira puama's use for erectile dysfunction. Additional human study is needed before a firm recommendation can be made.
Sexual dysfunction (females) (Grade: C)
Muira puama has historically been recommended for enhancement of libido. However, there are no well-conducted human clinical trials available of monotherapy muira puama for this indication. Additional study is needed in this area.