Catuaba (Erythroxylum catuaba) is a medium-sized tree found in the northern
part of Brazil. In Brazilian herbal medicine, catuaba bark is considered a
central nervous system stimulant with aphrodisiac properties and a bark
decoction is used for nervousness, poor memory, and sexual weakness.
What the Research Says
I found only one study on Medline regarding catuaba. Back in 1992,
researchers in Japan found catuaba extracts to have potential antibacterial
and anti-HIV activity in mice. Human trials are not available.
Mechanism of Action
The constituents found in catuaba include alkaloids (catuabine A, B, and C),
tannins, aromatic oils and fatty resins, phytosterols, and cyclolignans. How
catuaba works is not known.
I took 1 ml of catuaba tincture morning and lunch for three days. I noticed
that my erections were easier to start and maintain, but I didn’t experience
any other physical or mental effects.
There are no known side effects, however the use of catuaba in North America
is relatively new.
Dosage and Availability
Catuaba is usually consumed as a tea made from the bark. Natives claim that
after drinking one to three cups of tea steadily over a period of a few days
or weeks, the first effects that occur are usually erotic dreams, and then
increased sexual desire. Claims have been made that an alcohol tincture
extract contains more of the active constituents and provides better results,
although I have not come across research to document this. Capsules are sold
containing a range of 500 to 1,000 mg. The dose would be 1 to 2 g per day.
One full dropper of the tincture can be taken twice a day with breakfast and
Catuaba has been used traditionally in combination with muira puama. Muira
puama has a stronger effect on energy, mood, and overall sexual interest, and
it would seem logical to combine it with catuaba, which, to me, had a more
direct effect on the genital region.
Catuaba can certainly be combined with other herbs and nutrients,
including tongkat ali, yohimbe, tribulus, and others.
Ray Sahelian, M.D. is the best selling author of several books including Natural Sex Boosters, Mind Boosters, and The Stevia Cookbook.
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