There is a popular expression in Brazil: until a father is 60, the son is his; after that, the son belongs to catuaba. No, catuaba is not a fertility god, catuaba is actually a small, flowering tree that’s native to the Amazon. Hundreds of years ago, Brazil’s native Tupi tribe discovered that catuaba bark has aphrodisiac qualities. Drinking catuaba tea to spawn erotic dreams and boost libido became a part of their culture. Now, catuaba is one of the most popular Amazonian aphrodisiac plants in the world and is included in many male enhancement formulas.
How Does Catuaba Bark Enhance Sexual Health?
Within Brazilian herbal medicine, catuaba bark is categorized as a stimulant and is even related to the coca plant. But, you can relax. Catuaba doesn’t contain any of the alkaloids found in cocaine. Catuaba bark does contain, however, three specific alkaloids believed to support a healthy libido. Some catuaba even contains yohimbine, another natural aphrodisiac.
Research involving animal models has shown that catuaba bark may enhance erectile strength by widening blood vessels, allowing more blood to flow to the penis.  Catuaba may even have some neurological benefits due to its antioxidant content. It’s been observed to increase the brain’s sensitivity to dopamine, which makes sex more pleasurable.  
Supplementing with Catuaba Bark
A downswing in sexual energy can happen for a number of reasons: a lack of physical fitness, medications, and the age related symptoms of andropause. Catuaba bark has been used by many men across the world to rejuvenate their libido and desires and is not associated with adverse health effects. Oddly enough, while some herbal aphrodisiacs are gender specific, women too may experience the aphrodisiac benefits of catuaba bark.  To further populate the spectrum of efficacy, catuaba is often used in combination with other aphrodisiac plants, like muira puama.
- Antunes E, Gordo WM, de Oliveira JF, Teixeira CE, Hyslop S, De Nucci G. The relaxation of isolated rabbit corpus cavernosum by the herbal medicine Catuama and its constituents. Phytother Res. 2001 Aug;15(5):416-21.
- Kamdem JP, Waczuk EP, Kade IJ, Wagner C, Boligon AA, Athayde ML, Souza DO, Rocha JB. Catuaba (Trichilia catigua) prevents against oxidative damage induced by in vitro ischemia-reperfusion in rat hippocampal slices. Neurochem Res. 2012 Dec;37(12):2826-35. doi: 10.1007/s11064-012-0876-0. Epub 2012 Sep 22.
- Campos MM, Fernandes ES, Ferreira J, Santos AR, Calixto JB. Antidepressant-like effects of Trichilia catigua (Catuaba) extract: evidence for dopaminergic-mediated mechanisms. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2005 Oct;182(1):45-53. Epub 2005 Sep 29.
- Oliveira CH, Moraes ME, Moraes MO, Bezerra FA, Abib E, De Nucci G. Clinical toxicology study of an herbal medicinal extract of Paullinia cupana, Trichilia catigua, Ptychopetalum olacoides and Zingiber officinale (Catuama) in healthy volunteers. Phytother Res. 2005 Jan;19(1):54-7.
†Results may vary. Information and statements made are for education purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.
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