Liriosma ovata – Muira puama, Potency wood


A shrub-like tree with a slightly pink colored bark, that occurs mostly in the Amazon and Orinoko areas of Brazil.

Use: Traditionally, aqueous extracts are prepared from the wood. For 2 portions about 4 tablespoons of the cut wood are cooked for 20 min. in half a liter of water. The effective resin however is hardly water-soluble. Hence, alcoholic extracts of the wood are much more effective than an aqueous extract.

Active constituents: The wood contains, besides various esters, tannin und sitosterol a large part of resin. An older report lists an alkaloid muira-puamin. Supportive pharmacological assays are lacking.

Effects: South American Indians take muira puama for its aphrodisiac, potency-enhancing and tonic-like effect. It acts – most of all in the pelvic region – relaxing and intensifies the sensitivity of the skin. Warm shivers run through the body, especially along the spinal column. Mainly the sexual and sensual aspects of perception are elevated. muira puama acts moreover stress reducing and calming. Regularly taken in small doses it restores the balance of the psyche und strengthens potency.

Side effects: None are known.

Suppliers: The chipped wood as tea in herbal and ethnobotanical stores. Liqueurs, for example “Venuswave”, which contain muira puama, are available.

Miscellaneous: Muira puama is found in various “potency drugs” offered in sex-shops  – but usually in hardly effective dosages. Besides Liriosma ovata also the camphor containing root of the related tree Ptychopetalum olacoides is often offered under the term muira puama in Europe. Both plants seem to have similar effects.


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