The Tupi Indians of Brazil have a long history of cultivating and utilizing various traditional herbs, and Catuaba is one of the leading therapeutic plants used in their culture. This plant is so popular that the tribe has included its name in many of the songs and myths of its people, exclaiming their gratitude for its existence and healing capabilities. While typically grown in the Amazon, Catuaba is readily available worldwide. Research is beginning to show numerous beneficial qualities related to Catuaba, especially for women.
Health Benefits of Catuaba Bark for Women
While many of the benefits of Catuaba apply to men, women can benefit too. If you’re a woman seeking to nurture your overall quality of life, you may find these three health benefits of Catuaba especially interesting.
1. It’s a Natural Aphrodisiac
Traditional Indian cultures have employed Catuaba for a wide range of uses, but its ability to act as a potent aphrodisiac for both genders appears to be its most popular application. Catuaba contains yohimbine, which seems to be the active compound that provides a stimulatory effect to the libido. 
2. Mood Support
Therapeutic herbs from the Amazon, like maca root, Muira Puama, and suma root, possess natural mood-lifting properties. A study from Brazil examined the effect of Catuaba on mood and found that it is highly effective for supporting overall well being while promoting mental acuity and memory.  Women suffering from PMS may also be interested to learn that the herb is great for supporting a normal response to stress.
3. It’s Good Brain Food
There is a need for finding ways to minimize damage to the brain as a result of exposure to environmental toxins. Scientists have long known that free radicals via toxin exposure can damage brain cells. One investigation found that antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Catuaba extract protected the brain of participants from oxidative damage, possibly playing a role in protecting against brain-related disorders. 
A Word of Warning
If you’re thinking about supplementing with Catuaba bark extract, make sure you are using a supplement from a high-quality organic source. Catuaba is mainly prepared from the bark of Erythroxylum vacciniifolium and Trichilia catgut, two trees that provide roughly the same benefits. Always make sure at least one of these names are mentioned on a Catuaba supplement. And, I’ll mention it again — make sure it’s organic. There is an alarming influx of low-quality, grown-in-toxic-conditions supplements flooding the market from unscrupulous companies just looking to make a buck. Don’t let them make that buck off you.
What are you thoughts on Catuaba? Have you ever taken it? What were your results? Leave a comment and let us know!
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- Oliveira CH1, Moraes ME, Moraes MO, Bezerra FA, Abib E, De Nucci G. Clinical toxicology study of an herbal medicinal extract of Paullinia cupana, Trichilia catigua, Ptychopetalum olacoides and Zingiber officinale (Catuama) in healthy volunteers.Phytother Res. 2005 Jan;19(1):54-7.
- Campos MM1, Fernandes ES, Ferreira J, Santos AR, Calixto JB. Antidepressant-like effects of Trichilia catigua (Catuaba) extract: evidence for dopaminergic-mediated mechanisms. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005 Oct;182(1):45-53.
- Kamdem JP1, Waczuk EP, Kade IJ, Wagner C, Boligon AA, Athayde ML, Souza DO, Rocha JB. Catuaba (Trichilia catigua) prevents against oxidative damage induced by in vitro ischemia-reperfusion in rat hippocampal slices. Neurochem Res. 2012 Dec;37(12):2826-35. doi: 10.1007/s11064-012-0876-0.