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Ptychopetalum olacoides - Benth.

Common Name Muira Puama, marapuama
Family Olacaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Native to the Amazon rainforest.
Range Northern S. America - Brazil.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (4 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Ptychopetalum olacoides Muira Puama, marapuama


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Ptychopetalum olacoides Muira Puama, marapuama
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Summary

Ptychopetalum olacoides or commonly known as Muira Puama is a tropical plant that can be found in northern South America and grows about 5m in height. The wood and roots are edible. It is an effective medicinal plant for the treatment of sexual impotence, nervous system disorders, erectile dysfunction, paralysis, influenza, rheumatism, etc. It has analgesic effects and it improves libido.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Ptychopetalum olacoides is an evergreen Tree growing to 5 m (16ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a medium rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

No synonyms are recorded for this name.

Habitats

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Adaptogen  Analgesic  Antirheumatic  Aphrodisiac  Cardiac  Hypotensive  Stimulant  Tonic


Muira Puama has a long history of medicinal use by the native peoples of the Amazon region. Many of these uses were adopted by the Europeans when they arrived in S. America and have subsequently been verified by modern research. The plant is commonly used in many areas of S. America, and this use is spreading to other areas of the world[318 ]. The main plant chemicals found in muira puama include: alpha-copaene, alpha-elemene, alpha-guaiene, alpha-humulene, alpha-muurolene, alpha-pinene, alpha-resinic acid, alpha-terpinene, arachidic acid, allo-aromadendren, behenic acid, beta-bisabolene, beta-caryophyllene, beta-pinene, beta-resinic acid, beta-sitosterol, beta-transfarnesene, borneol, campesterols, camphene, camphor, car-3-ene, caryophyllene, cerotic acid, chromium, coumarin, cubebene, delta-cadinene, dotriacontanoic acid, elixene, ergosterols, eugenol, essential oils, gamma-muurolene, hentriacontanoic acid, heptacosanoic acid, lignoceric acid, limonene, linalool, lupeol, melissic acid, montanic acid, muirapuamine, myrcene, nonacosanoic acid, para-cymene, pentacosanoic acid, phlobaphene, stigmasterols, trichosanic acid, and uncosanic acid. One of the early studies into the plant showed that Muira puama was effective in treating disorders of the nervous system and sexual impotence, and that 'permanent effect is produced in locomotor ataxia, neuralgias of long-standing, chronic rheumatism, and partial paralysis.'[318 ]. The benefits of treating impotence with Muira puama have been studied in two human trials in France, which reported that Muira puama was effective in improving libido and treating erectile dysfunction[318 ]. In another study, Muira puama extracts have been reported to have adaptogenic, antifatigue, antistress, and beneficial effects on the central nervous system[318 ]. Researchers in Brazil have documented a definite central nervous system effect of the bark[318 ]. The bark of Muira puama also has demonstrated a mild, short-lived, hypotensive effect[318 ]. The root was found to inhibit stress-induced ulcers[318 ]. The leaf has demonstrated an analgesic effect[318 ]. Brazilian researchers reported in 2003 that an alcohol extract of Muira puama facilitated memory retrieval and noted it may be beneficial for Alzheimer's patients. Their next study published in 2004 reported that an alcohol extract of Muira puama protected and increased the viability of brain cells (partly through an antioxidant effect) which may be beneficial for stroke victims[318 ]. Traditionally, the stems and roots from young plants are used as a tonic to treat neuromuscular problems; a root decoction is used in baths and massages for treating paralysis and beriberi; whilst a root-and-bark tea is taken to treat sexual debility, rheumatism, influenza, and cardiac and gastrointestinal weakness. The plant is also valued there as a preventive for baldness[318 ]. In modern herbalism, Muira puama is a highly-regarded sexual stimulant with a reputation as a powerful aphrodisiac. It is used as a neuromuscular tonic to treat weakness and paralysis, dyspepsia, menstrual disturbances, sexual impotency, influenza, and central nervous system disorders[318 ]. It is applied externally to treat chronic rheumatism[318 ]. To achieve the libido and potency effects of this particular plant, proper preparation methods must be employed. The active constituents thought to be responsible for Muira puama's potency and libido effect are not soluble in water - taking bark or root powder in capsules or tablets will not be effective because this chemical cannot be digested or absorbed. High heat for at least 20 minutes with alcohol is necessary to free the volatile and essential oils, terpenes, gums, and resins found in the bark and root which have been linked to Muira puama's beneficial effects[318 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Other Uses: None known

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Closely related to Ptychopetalum uncinatum, it can be used interchangeably with that species[318 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Propagation

Seed -

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

marapuama, muira puama, muira-puama, muirapuama, potency wood, potenzholz, ptychopetali lignum.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Brazil; French Guiana; Guyana; Suriname, South America,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Ptychopetalum uncinatumMuira PuamaTree5.0 10-12 MLMHNM040

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

Benth.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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Subject : Ptychopetalum olacoides  
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