This article explains the science behind Catauba; a natural sexual wellness herb which has been shown to be pharmacologically active. This herbal sexual enhancer is effective in both long and short term and is most effective for both men and women. For over a century, Catuaba has been used in Brazilian folk medicine as an aphrodisiac, and it continues to gain in popularity among women today. Authentic Catuaba contains yohimbine, which has been shown to have stimulatory effect on both blood flow to sexual organs and may have a direct effect on increasing libido.

In his 1922 book, Eurico Fonseca stated that “Catuaba has been the most popular herbal medicine in Brazilian folk medicine for use as an aphrodisiac and with tonic properties.” Even though the identity of the plant material employed is often uncertain, the species recommended by the Brazilian Pharmacopeia is Anemopaegma arvense, but many other plants, regionally known as Catuaba, are sold commercially. Here at Sextracts Sexual Wellness products, extensive research in the lab and via our expert panel of 32 volunteers, we have found that the most pharmacologically active species of Catuaba bark are from the Trichilia catigua and Erythroxylum vacciniifolium species. Either are the only type of Catuaba we offer and blend into our proprietary herbal aphrodisiacs.

Catuaba is so revered within the Tupi Indian culture, that the name of this Amazonian plant is spoken of within the songs and myths of its people. Speaking of, the Amazon is home to a number of herbs that have been found to be popular as tonics as well as overall sexual wellness. From Maca Root, to Muira Puama and Suma Root, various recent studies have shown that these traditional sexual wellness herbs have natural mood-lifting properties as well as their purported sexual wellness properties. In a 2005 study in Brazil that employed Catuaba extract, researches concluded that the effect of Catuaba on mood is “highly effective for supporting overall well being while promoting mental acuity and memory.”

This is all a plus for those looking to increase their sexual wellness, as confidence and mood go hand in hand with sexual function. Knowing that one can perform how they hope, coupled with a boost in the mood can lead to very satisfying romantic encounters. This is why Sextracts Sexual Wellness products focus on overall sexual health, and not just the natural sexual helpers have have direct effects on sexual organs and sexual functioning.

According to Dr. Meira Penna, an expert on Catuaba and its extracts, states that Catuaba “functions as a stimulant of the nervous system, above all when one deals with functional impotence of the male genital organs…” He goes on to state that the only known side effects that he knows of from taking Catuaba are “…erotic dreams and an increased sexual appetite.” – Not a bad testimonial from a doctor and Catuaba expert!

In fact, in research published in 2007, researchers found that Catuaba bark contained powerful antioxidants that are said to have both antibacterial and anticancer properties. (We offer this only to report on a study, not to make any claim for Catuaba.)

Although research into the sexual efficacy of Catuaba remains somewhat sparse, it is gaining in popularity in Brazilian herbal medicine today. Although it’s main use is as an “aphrodisiac” herb, it’s also considered an adaptogen, not unlike Ashwagandha, that acts as a nervous system stimulant. And yes, that may seem like a vague term, but adaptogens can reportedly be powerful natural remedies for increasing energy and overall well-being for those who use them. It’s also why we feel that Catuaba deserves a place in our very select catalog of sexual wellness herbs.

Also, from the literature, I found that Catuaba has a number of additional uses in both traditional Brazilian medicine, and in the marketplace today. The literature states that it’s a sexual wellness herb with “proven efficacy” when it comes to impotency and sexual weakness. With such widespread use in Brazil, it’s difficult to rule out the possibility that this plant has far more than just hype going for it. When researching this plant via our informal study with our panel of 32 expert volunteers, comments from this particular sexual wellness herb was the most varied as well as the most positive overall.

From men reporting that it was easier to get and maintain an erection, to women reporting increased sensitivity, to overall mood-boosting and stimulating properties, we found this herb to be too exciting and undiscovered to leave out of our catalog of Sextracts Singles. As more research emerges that confirms what 100 years of Brazilian folk already medicine knows, we will share it with you here.

Upon further research, I also found that that natural health practitioners in in the United States employ and prescribe Catuaba in much the same way that it’s used in Brazil. It’s prescribed as a tonic for both male and female genitals, a central nervous system stimulant, for general exhaustion and fatigue, and even, in some cases, for erectile dysfunction issues in men. Michael van Straten is a noted British herbalist and naturopath who is an advocate of Catuaba. He feels that it’s beneficial to both men and women as a sexual wellness herb, but that “it is in the area of male impotence that the most striking results have been reported.” He, like Dr. Meira Penna, also reminds us that “there is no evidence of side effects, even after long-term use.”

While the FDA has concerns over the safety of Yohimbine, the same is not yet true for Catuaba bark. This could be because the Yohimbine content is lower than Yohimbe bark, but it could also be because Catuaba is a different plant, with different chemical components, that act differently on the human body. The beauty about Sextracts Sexual Wellness products is that every one of our herbs and herbal formulations come from extensive scientific research. We have only chosen a core group of sexual wellness herbs that have virtually perfect safety records and little to no side effects. That frees you to explore, to combine and to experiment with our Sextracts Singles to find the best herb or blend of herbs that works for your specific sexual wellness issue.


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