The aphrodisiac qualities of this plant are, without doubt, its most famous and popular use. Containing 3 specific alkaloids believed to support libido, including “yohimbe” which seems to be the most active compound that produces a stimulatory effect on the libido of both men and women. These alkaloids are thought to enhance sexual function by stimulating the nervous system.
Catuaba stimulates blood flow to the genitals, can strengthen and prolong an erection, enhances sexual excitement and is said to give more powerful orgasms.
Central Nervous System
Amongst the constituents of this plant reside a group of alkaloids known as "catuabine", with these compounds thought to be responsible for further stimulating the nervous system. Catuaba works its magic quite quickly, effectively calming anxiety and nerves in less than an hour after use. It can also be used as a sleep aid; however this may increase the chance of having erotic dreams so use at your own risk!
Studies have found that Catuaba has dopaminergic actions, meaning it has the ability to modulate the receptors in the brain related to the neurotransmitter dopamine. One particular study conducted in 2005 by Maria M Campos et al found convincing evidence of Catuaba providing a dopamine-mediated antidepressant effect in mice and rats. In addition they found no significant change in serotonin uptake after long term use of Catuaba – unlike its pharmaceutical counterpart – making this herb a powerful ally in the treatment of depression.
In another study by Jean Paul Kamdem et al, Catuaba was found to have significant neuroprotective effects. This was measured by the lowered oxidative damage found in the hippocampus of mice who had been treated with the herb. Another investigation found that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of Catuaba protected the brains of the participants from oxidative damage and concluded that it could possibly play a role in protecting against brain related disorders. These effects are thought to be due to the high amounts of antioxidant flavonoids found within Catuaba.
Folklore and history
Catuaba is a legendary Brazilian Aphrodisiac plant first used by the Tupi Indians, with many songs composed over the last few centuries praising its wonders and abilities. They believe that Catuaba has bestowed them with extraodinarily large genitals and a powerful sexual ability - it is for this reason they have earned a special nickname, the Elephant Men of the Jungle!
Catuaba has also been used in Brazilian Folk Medicine to enhance health by toning the central nervous system, cardiovascular system, to improve memory and energy and to reduce anxiety and fatigue.
A relation to the coca plant, Catuaba doesn’t actually contain any of the alkaloids found in cocaine! However, within Brazilian herbal medicine Catuaba bark is categorised as a stimulant and is renowned in South America – and indeed the rest of the world in recent times – as a powerful aphrodisiac.
The aphrodisiac qualities of this plant were discovered by the Amazon’s Tupi Indians many centuries ago. It is said that Catuaba has bestowed the Tupi men with unrivalled sexual prowess. There is a saying in Brazil, “Until a father is 60 the son is his, after that the son belongs to Catuaba”.
Meaning “what gives strength to an Indian”, Catuaba is also traditionally used as a general tonic to strengthen and balance overall bodily functions, a nervous system stimulant and due to the red colour of the extract, it was believed to be good for the heart and the blood.
Make tea with 1-2 teaspoons of the bark per cup of hot water and drink one cup 3 or 4 times a day( before sexual activity) Sweeten with a little honey or Agave syrup.
OR add 1 teaspoon powdered bark into a smoothie (tastes very good ) or mix with a little hot water and honey or Agave syrup to taste, take once per day, or as directed by a Herbal practitioner.
The chemical constituents found in catuaba include alkaloids, tannins, aromatic oils and fatty resins, phytosterols, cyclolignans, sequiterpenes, and flavonoids.