Muira puama is one of the key components in many sexual health tonics and, fittingly, is revered by indigenous peoples in the Amazon as ‘potency wood.' While it does hold promise for supporting male sexual health, there is emerging research showing its positive impacts on brain health. Dementia is a rising concern, and more research is being performed to find new, innovative tools to approach the disease. Muira puama may be one of those tools, containing powerful compounds helpful for neurological health.
Muira Puama and Brain Health
Also known as Ptychopetalum olacoides, muira puama may be one of the most powerful neuroprotective herbs on the planet. Muira puama contains compounds that have been shown to support memory in mice. Water extracts of the plant material have also been shown to support healthy brain function. One study has shown that the plant may fight symptoms related to Alzheimer's disease; yet this research remains inconclusive.  Some researchers believe that muira puama may hold the key for possible future approaches to brain degeneration.
Muira puama extracts have also been shown to have adaptogenic properties, possibly aiding the body in adapting to environmental changes. The herb has also been indicated in supporting energy and combating stress as well as benefiting the central nervous system.  Stress is one of the leading contributors to brain degeneration, so finding natural tools (like muira puama) may be helpful for preventing these issues. Toxicology studies on muira puama indicate that the herb presents no toxicity at high levels.
Using Muira Puama
Muira puama is best used in its extracted form as this will deliver the plant's potent compounds in a higher concentration. When combined with like herbs designed to support brain health, muira puama's effects may be enhanced. Remember that muira puama is only a complementary approach and shouldn't be used as a replacement for conventional treatments associated with brain disorders. Consult with your doctor before taking this, or any other herbal product, for brain support.
Have you taken muira puama? What did you notice? Please let us know!
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- Figueiró M, Ilha J, Linck VM, Herrmann AP, Nardin P, Menezes CB, Achaval M, Gonçalves CA, Porciúncula LO, Nunes DS, Elisabetsky E. The Amazonian herbal Marapuama attenuates cognitive impairment and neuroglial degeneration in a mouse Alzheimer model. Other info.
- Figueiró M, Ilha J, Pochmann D, Porciúncula LO, Xavier LL, Achaval M, Nunes DS, Elisabetsky E. Acetylcholinesterase inhibition in cognition-relevant brain areas of mice treated with a nootropic Amazonian herbal (Marapuama). Phytomedicine. 2010 Oct;17(12):956-62. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2010.03.009.
Source: Muira Puama and Brain Health