Are There Any Side Effects of Muira Puama?

Muira puama is also referred as potency wood. It is a small herbal tree bearing flowering and is native to Brazilian Amazon and Guyana. While the dried roots and bark of Muira puama is useful for treating inflammatory conditions and central nervous system, Muira puama plant is best known as a traditional herbal remedy for treating sexual dysfunction. This herb is also known to enhance cognitive function. Research and further studies are needed to know the effects of this herb. One must consult their doctor before using this herb. Read on to know more about the side effects of herb Muira puama.

Muira puama side effects:

Gastrointestinal effects:

One among the primary actions associated with Muira puama herb is acetylcholinesterase enzyme, which breaks down the acetylcholine into choline inside the brain. Acetylcholine neurotransmitter degradation is involved in the dementia development and other cognitive disorders, even including Alzheimer’s disease. Although, this herb helps in preventing cognitive decline, but be aware of the acetylcholinesterase inhibitors which are known for producing gastrointestinal problems. It is also recommended that individuals suffering with peptic ulcers must avoid its use.

Stimulatory effects:

A study has found out that the compounds in the Muira puama root demonstrated anxiogenic effects, which means they help stimulate CNS (central nervous system). Because of this reason, this herb is associated with increasing mental performance and physical endurance. However, higher doses or prolonged use of muira puama might promote anxiety, insomnia and increased blood pressure. The authors and researchers of this study have compared Muira puama with the drug pentylenetetrazol (improves learning and memory in mice bred to model the Down syndrome symptoms in humans) for their stimulatory effects, although this drug has shown to cause seizures in some individuals. Further research has to be done to known the possible side effects of this herb.

Possible drug interactions:

A study done by another team of research members have indicated that this muira puama herb might impact the levels of serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine in the brain, which produces antidepressant-like side effects. Thus, one must not take preparations which are made from this muira puama herb if patients are taking these anti-depressant medications.

Blood pressure:

The herb Muira puama helps increase the flow of blood to the pelvic region and it is also classified as a stimulant. These two characteristics might lead to an increase in the blood pressure levels in sensitive people. Generally, this increase is temporary, but individuals who have existing complications of blood pressure levels must consult their doctor before using Muira puama herb.


Muira puma is stimulative in nature due to which insomnia is the most commonly seen side effect. Individuals who are prone to this condition must limit taking Muira puama herb and do plenty of exercise all throughout the day, such that when its time to go to bed, restlessness doesn’t ensue. Also, while taking this herb, one must also limit caffeine intake.


Muira puama herb acts on the penile function 2 fold: it helps by increasing circulation to this region and also makes the penis harder. One of the possible side effects of Muira puama is a perpetual erection, which lasts for longer hours without ceasing. Individuals developing this condition must immediately consult their doctor as it requires surgical treatment and avoiding Muira puama use.

Health Benefits of Muira Puama:

Apart from side effects, Muira Puama also has some health benefits. Health benefits of muira puama are discussed in the below lines:


Muira puama herb helps in relieving depression. This herbal remedy has a very long history of its use for treating various maladies by Amazonian people. According to a study made by the Brazilian researchers in 2008, when they compared Muira puama herbal remedy to imipramine, an antidepressant drug they found out that they both were equally effective in treating the signs or symptoms of depression. Little adverse reactions were also found by the researchers after using this Muira puama herb.


Reports have also found that this Muira puama herb may help in improving memory among older individuals. In a study conducted by the Brazilian researchers in 2004, aging rats when treated with this Muira puama herb performed well along with adult mice. Muira puama might also be very effective due to its inhibiting acetylcholinesterase effect. Acetylcholinesterase is an enzyme which breaks down the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is necessary for cognition and memory. By protecting acetylcholienesterase, this herb may have therapeutic properties for cognition-impaired and memory affected individuals. Individuals taking acetylcholinesterase inhibitor (donepezil), must consult a physician just before taking this natural remedy.

Sexual performance:

Muira puama has been reputed to help improve sexual performance. It has also been useful as an aphrodisiac particularly in countries like South America and some others. Clinical studies on this herbal remedy have confirmed that this plant helps improve sexual function and even its ability to get an arousal and erection. Individuals can take Muira puama herb to help maintain an erection or to increase sexual desire.


The extract of Muira puama also possesses mild analgesic property and also helps relieve pain in the animal models. The herbal remedy extract acts on the opioid system, a part of NS (nervous system) which is responsible for producing the pain. The research has found that these positive effects have been found in animals only. It is important to remember that more research is needed for resolving whether this extract produces similar effects in humans.

Other Uses:

Some of the other health conditions can also be treated with Muira puama, including alleviating menstrual cramps, stomach distress, PMS or premenstrual syndrome, arthritic joint pain, paralysis from polio and symptoms of menopause. This herbal remedy also acts as a tonic to increase appetite and for general health. It is also applied on the skin for treating muscle paralysis, beriberi, joint pain and erectile dysfunction.

Muira Puama Tea Benefits:

Muira puama herb is considered safe and it has following benefits –

      • The herb helps in relief from rheumatism.
      • Tea stimulates nervous system.
      • It cures depression.
      • Muira puama tea helps fight sexual impotence as it increases the blood flow to genitals.
      • Tea is also beneficial in male pattern baldness.
      • The herb is also believed to lessen menstrual discomfort.
      • It can also increase energy levels.
      • The herb is used to enhance overall nerve function and to get relief from nerve pain.
      • The tribes of Amazon used to make a paste of bark and root oil and applied it topically to prevent paralysis and beriberi.



Pregnant women must avoid the use of Muira puama. This is because the safety of use of Muira puama is not enough known.


Breast-feeding or nursing women should also avoid using Muira puama herb to avoid its possible side effects on infants.

The above article discusses about the health benefits, side effects of Muira puama and also about the health benefits of muira puama tea. Though, there are various benefits of Muira puama herb, but individuals using this herb must keep a note on the possible side effects. If you experience or notice any of the above or other adverse reactions then immediately consult your doctor.

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