Muira puama, also referred to as Murapuama, is mostly known as an aphrodisiac and strong libido herb that effective help by erectile dysfunction - but it is also an excellent tonic for increasing general well-being and mental tiredness. Muira puama is derived from two species of small, shrubby trees in the olive family. (References to muira puama as "liriosma," from the name of another Brazilian shrub, Liriosma ovata, are out-dated.) South American Indians make use of it either by chewing the bark or brewing a beverage from the bark, stems, or roots. The bark and root are used to make herbal supplements.
The active constituents are free long-chain fatty acids, sterols, coumarin, alkaloids and essential oils. Chemically, it contains .05% muirapuamine, .4% fat, .5% alkaloids, .6% pholbaphene, .6% alpha-resinic acid, .7% beta resinic acid, .5% of a mixture of esters including behenic acid, lupeol and beta-sitosterol, as well as tannin, volatile oils and fatty acids.
Muira puama is traditionally used as an aphrodisiac and a sexual tonic that promotes virility and treats impotence. Natives sometimes drink a muira puama beverage before planned lovemaking to enhance sexual desire. Muira puama is also a traditional herb for nervous exhaustion and depression. South American Indians consider it a tonic for the nervous system, capable of promoting overall nerve function while preventing or treating nerve pain and disorders of the nervous system. Muira puama is a traditional herb for indigestion and other gastrointestinal disorders. Women have used it to alleviate menstrual cramps and discomforts of menopause. Amazonian tribes have also been known to use muira puama to treat rheumatism, dysentery, paralysis, and beri-beri. Some say it even prevents baldness. Current applications of muira puama center around its ability to boost libido. It may be of particular help to men suffering from impotency or erectile dysfunction. Muira puama has a mildly stimulating effect on some users. It may also be helpful for: stress and anxiety nervous exhaustion mild depression.