Muira Puama

Health Benefits
Muira puama is said to act as a natural remedy for certain health issues including depression, erectile dysfunction, joint pain, loss of appetite, menstrual complaints, premenstrual syndrome, and upset stomach.

Muira puama is also sometimes used as an adaptogen, a substance thought to increase the body's resistance to the negative effects of chronic stress.

In addition, muira puama is purported to treat the loss of libido. It's said to protect against aging-related memory problems as well.

While there's currently a lack of clinical trials testing the health effects of muira puama, some preliminary studies indicate that this herb may offer certain benefits. Here's a look at several key findings from these studies.

Brain Health
Several preliminary studies have demonstrated that muira puama shows promise in the treatment of aging-related declines in brain function. In a mouse-based study published in Phytomedicine in 2007, for instance, scientists discovered that compounds found in muira puama may help shield brain health by reducing damage induced by oxidative stress, a destructive process linked to aging-associated cognitive decline.

There's also some evidence that muira puama may help enhance memory.

Erectile Dysfunction
In a rat-based study published in the journal Andrology in 2015, researchers found that treatment with a combination of muira puama, ginger, L-citrulline (an amino acid), and guarana may help protect against aging-related erectile dysfunction.

Taking a combination of muira puama and ginkgo biloba may help treat sexual dysfunction in healthy women, suggests a study published in Advances in Therapy in 2000.

For the study, 202 healthy women complaining of low sex drive were treated with an herbal formulation containing muira puama and ginkgo biloba for one month. At the end of the treatment period, questionnaires completed by the participants showed that the herbal formulation led to improvements in factors such as frequency of sexual desires and satisfaction with sex life.

Muira puama extract may have antidepressant-like effects, according to a mouse-based study published in Phytotherapy Research in 2009.

A preliminary study published in Phytomedicine in 2010 shows that muira puama may counteract the harmful effects of prolonged stress. In tests on mice, the study's authors observed that muira puama might possess adaptogen-like properties.