Muira Puama

Reviewed on 6/11/2021
Other Name(s):

Bois de la Puissance, Bois de la Puissance Sexuelle, Marapuama, Muira-Puama, Muirapuama, Potency Wood, Ptychopetali lignum, Ptychopetalum olacoides, Ptychopetalum uncinatum.


Muira puama is a plant. The wood and root are used to make medicine.

Muira puama is used for preventing sexual disorders and to increase interest in sexual activity (as an aphrodisiac). It is also used for upset stomach, menstrual disorders, joint pain (rheumatism), and paralysis caused by poliomyelitis; and as a general tonic and an appetite stimulant.

Some people apply muira puama directly to the skin as an aphrodisiac and for rheumatism and muscle paralysis.

In combination with other herbs, muira puama is used as a remedy for male sexual performance problems (erectile dysfunction, ED).

How does it work?

The chemicals in muira puama have no known effects on the body.


Vitamin D Deficiency: How Much Vitamin D Is Enough? See Slideshow

Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Sexual disorders. Early research suggests that taking 2-6 tablets of a specific product (Herbal vX) containing muira puama extract and ginkgo extract modestly improves sexual desire and the frequency of sexual intercourse in women with a low sex drive.
  • Stomach upset.
  • Menstrual disorders.
  • Sore joints.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of muira puama for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

It is not known if muira puama is safe or what the possible side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking muira puama if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.


Next to red peppers, you can get the most vitamin C from ________________. See Answer


The appropriate dose of muira puama depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for muira puama. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

FDA Logo

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors


Antunes, E., Gordo, W. M., de Oliveira, J. F., Teixeira, C. E., Hyslop, S., and De, Nucci G. The relaxation of isolated rabbit corpus cavernosum by the herbal medicine Catuama and its constituents. Phytother.Res. 2001;15(5):416-421. View abstract.

Auterhoff, H. and Momberger, B. [Lipophilic constituent of Muira puama]. Arch.Pharm Ber.Dtsch Pharm Ges. 1971;304(3):223-228. View abstract.

Auterhoff, H. and Pankow, E. [Contents of Muira puama]. Arch Pharm Ber.Dtsch.Pharm Ges. 1968;301(7):481-489. View abstract.

da Silva, A. L., Piato, A. L., Bardini, S., Netto, C. A., Nunes, D. S., and Elisabetsky, E. Memory retrieval improvement by Ptychopetalum olacoides in young and aging mice. J Ethnopharmacol. 2004;95(2-3):199-203. View abstract.

Ito Y, Hirayama F, Aikawa Y, and et al. Constituents from Muira-puama (the roots of Ptychopetalum olacoides). Natural Medicines 1995;49(4):487.

Pankow, E. and Auterhoff, H. [Contents of Muira puama. 2]. Arch Pharm Ber.Dtsch.Pharm Ges. 1969;302(3):209-212. View abstract.

Siqueira, I. R., Cimarosti, H., Fochesatto, C., Nunes, D. S., Salbego, C., Elisabetsky, E., and Netto, C. A. Neuroprotective effects of Ptychopetalum olacoides Bentham (Olacaceae) on oxygen and glucose deprivation induced damage in rat hippocampal slices. Life Sci 8-27-2004;75(15):1897-1906. View abstract.

Siqueira, I. R., Fochesatto, C., da Silva, A. L., Nunes, D. S., Battastini, A. M., Netto, C. A., and Elisabetsky, E. Ptychopetalum olacoides, a traditional Amazonian "nerve tonic", possesses anticholinesterase activity. Pharmacol.Biochem.Behav 2003;75(3):645-650. View abstract.

Steinmetz E. Muira puama. Quart J Crude Drug Res 1979;11(3):1787-1789.

Toyota A. Studies of Brazilian crude drugs. 1. Muira-puama. Shoyakugaku Zasshi (Natural Medicines) 1979;33(2):57.

Vaz ZR, Mata LV, and Calixto JB. Analgesic effect of the herbal medicine catuama in thermal and chemical models of nociception in mice. Phytotherapy Research 1997;11:101-106.

Waynberg J. Aphrodisiacs: contribution to the clinical validation of the traditional use of Ptychopetalum guyanna. The First International Congress on Ethnopharmacology 1990;

Waynberg J. Male sexual asthenia - interest in a traditional plant-derived medication. Ethnopharmacology 1995.

Waynberg J. Unpublished study of HV 430's effects on healthy males with sexual dysfunction. 2001.

Waynberg, J. and Brewer, S. Effects of Herbal vX on libido and sexual activity in premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Adv Ther 2000;17(5):255-262. View abstract.

Bucci LR. Selected herbals and human exercise performance. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72:624S-36S.. View abstract.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors