I’ve talked at length before about muira puama and its place in sexual health tonics. It’s been referred to by indigenous peoples in the Amazon as “potency wood” for quite some time and seems to hold promise for supporting male and female sexual health. Now, emerging research also seems to support the idea that it has a positive effect on brain health, too. Neurological problems like dementia are a growing concern and many people are seeking new and innovative tools to approach the problem. Muira puama contains powerful compounds and may be such a tool to support 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 have also been shown to support normal brain function. Although not conclusive and by no means should it be assumed as a definitive solution for Alzheimer’s, one study did report positive effects on some of the indications of the disease.  Regardless, some researchers believe that muira puama has a place in the approach to dealing with brain degeneration.
Muira puama extracts have also been shown to have adaptogenic properties, which means they may help the body adapt to environmental changes. More specifically, this means the herb may help support energy levels and combat stress while benefiting the central nervous system.  This is important because stress is one of the leading contributors to brain degeneration. To date, toxicology studies on muira puama indicate that the herb presents no toxicity at high levels.
Supplementing With Muira Puama
Be aware that I’m not suggesting muira puama is the end-all, be-all for brain support. There are a number of factors to consider and muira puama is only one potential piece of the puzzle. If you choose to look further into it for yourself, it does seem that extracts provide the plant’s potent compounds in a higher concentration and combining it with other herbs to support brain health may even enhance the effects.
Have you taken muira puama? What did you notice? Please leave a comment below and share your experience with us!
- 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. Phytomedicine. 2011 Feb 15;18(4):327-33. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2010.07.013. Epub 2010 Aug 23.
- 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.