Latin Name: Erythroxylum catuaba (Erythroxylaceae (cocoa) family)
Catuaba (pronounced with the accent on the last syllable) is a Brazilian rain forest tree with alternating leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers. It is in the same plant family as coca, the plant from which cocaine is derived but lacks the narcotic alkaloids found in coca. The bark is used in herbal medicine.
EVIDENCE OF BENEFIT:
Catuaba is an aphrodisiac that is useful in the treatment of impotence and prostatitis.
HIV/AIDS. Scientific studies in Japan have confirmed that catuaba both inhibits the ability of HIV to destroy cells and protects people with AIDS against infection with Escherichia coli (E.Coli) or Staphylococcus aureus. Catuaba is not recommended as a primary treatment for AIDS but rather as a defense against opportunistic infection.
Impotence and prostatitis: Catuaba is the most famous of the Brazilian aphrodisiac plants, noted for its ability to strengthen erections. The Tupi people, who first discovered the herbs sexually stimulating properties, even recorded its qualities in song. Catuabas use results in increased erotic dreams and increased sexual interest. The herb also normalizes prostate function and prevents reinfection of the prostate with E.Coli.
(Source: Prescription for Herbal Healing, Copyright 2002, Phyllis A. Balch, CNC)