Latin name: Ptychopetalum ovata (Oleaceae [olive] family)
Other common names: marapuama, potency wood, potenzholz.
Muira puama is a tree native to the Amazon rain forest, where it reaches a height of fifty feet (fifteen meters). It has a gray trunk, dark brown leaves, white flowers, and orange to orange-yellow fruits. The bark, root, and wood of the tree are used in herbal medicine. Many traditional remedies require the bark and wood of young plants.
EVIDENCE OF BENEFIT
Muira puama has long been valued as an aphrodisiac and a tonic for the nervous system. It is soothing and helpful for nervous exhaustion, stress, and trauma, and helps alleviate symptoms of depression. It is also used in formulations designed to treat male pattern baldness.
Benefits of muira puama for specific health conditions include the following:
(Source: Prescription for Herbal Healing, Copyright 2002, Phyllis A. Balch.)