Sunday, 16 September 2012


Aug 18, 2011 | By Alexander Knoll

What Is Catuaba Bark?

The catuaba is a short tree that grows in the Amazon rain forests of northern Brazil. Its fruit is inedible, but its bark is traditionally used by the Topi Indians for medicinal purposes. Catuaba bark is primarily known as an aphrodisiac, but is also taken to help with memory retention, stress and insomnia.

Aphrodisiacal Use

Catuaba bark is a famed natural aphrodisiac. It is traditionally brewed in tea. The drinker must consume three to four cups on a regular basis before feeling any effects. Erotic dreams are the usual first indicator that the catuaba is working, and they are followed by enhanced desire. Laboratory studies have confirmed catuaba's folk remedy status. These studies show that it increases the brain's sensitivity to dopamine, which makes sex more pleasurable, and enhances erectile strength through vasodilation, which widens the blood vessels.

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Other Uses

Catuaba bark also offers a natural pick-me-up to relieve fatigue and keep the mind sharp. Drinking catuaba tea can also calm the nerves and reduce stress. It is said to work as a sexual stimulant for women as well as men. A Brazilian company was awarded a patent in 2002 for an HIV prevention formula based on catuaba bark. Research on this product's effectiveness in fighting HIV was ongoing as of 2011. No ill effects of catuaba bark have been reported by users.

Chemical Constituents

Catuaba bark contains cinchonain to help fight off bacteria. It also contains phytosterols, fatty acids and antioxidants. Some supplements contain yohimbine, a natural aphrodisiac. Catuaba is related to the coca plant, but does not contain the alkaloids that cocaine does. When used as a sexual stimulant, catuaba is often combined in a tincture with the bark of muira puma, another rain forest tree that grows to 15 feet in height. In the Topi language, "muira puma" means "potency wood."

Other Catuaba Facts

Catuaba is also known as catigua, angelim-rosa and pau de reposta. The two species of catuaba most commonly used are Erythroxylum catuaba and Trichilia catigua. Catuaba bark can be consumed in tinctures, in which an alcoholic liquid is distilled from the bark. It can also be swallowed in capsules or brewed in tea. Catuaba's effect on virility is immortalized in the Brazilian folk saying which goes, "Until a father is 60, the son is his. After that, the son is catuaba's."

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