Muira Puama: Benefits And Side Effects

The lesser-known muira puama is a medicinal plant that is found in the Amazon rainforest. In recent years it has gained traction for relieving sexual dysfunction, enhancing cognitive function and lowering stress, anxiety and fatigue. Additionally, the root and bark of the plant have been found to be high in fatty acids, essential oils, fatty acid esters, triterpenes, and plant sterols. Hence, it’s no surprise that muira puama works to keep the body healthy in more ways than one.

 

Benefits Of Muira Puama

The plant not only boosts cognitive function but also supports brain development and healing. In addition to that, it reduces stress, cholesterol, and body fat percentage.

Delays The Progression of Alzheimer’s

Believed to be a tonic for the brain, muira puama have been touted to not only increase brain function but also impede the progression of Alzheimer’s. Research has shown that muira puama extract prevents cognitive impairment, decreases brain amyloid plaque deposits and hippocampal loss, which is responsible for brain memory. One of the causes of hippocampal loss is amyloid plaques. To specify, amyloid plaques are essentially clumps of beta-amyloid that are notorious for the destruction of nerve cell connection, these are typically found in people who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, muira puama inhibits enzymes that lead to the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain. This is similar to how Alzheimer’s treatments work.

Boosts Memory And Brain Health

If you have problems with memory or need something to support your memory, consuming muira puama will go a long way in improving your memory recall. In cell-based studies, muira puama supports the growth of neurons, which play a large role in memory and the overall learning process. In a cell-based study, it was found that some components found in the plant promoted the growth of neurons. This essentially boosts cognitive function and the overall mental faculties as well. In fact, several preliminary studies have shown that muira puama demonstrates a lot of promise related to age-related brain decline. What’s more, scientists have found that the compounds in muira puama protect the brain from damage caused by oxidative stress.

Relieves Stress And Aids In Alleviating Depression

According to a study, muira puama was found to counteract some of the effects of chronic stress. This in turn, not only provides relieve and help you maintain a healthy state of mind, but it also works to keep your cortisol levels in check—since cortisol levels tend to increase when you experience stress. On a related note, lower stress and lower cortisol levels in the body helps to keep the skin free from acne, which is especially helpful if you are prone to acne breakouts caused by stress. Additionally, the antioxidant and neuroprotective properties in the muira puama aid in combating stress as well. What’s more, the study has shown that the plant might also have adaptogen-like properties. Chronic stress is strongly associated with depression, fortunately, the extract from muira puama remedies stress-induced depression. In fact, it’s so good at treating depression caused by stress that it has been said to work as effectively as a prescribed antidepressant. As we have discussed before stress increases cortisol, but apart from that, it can also boost blood glucose, which can increase the risk of diabetes.

Reduces Fatigue And Cholesterol

Muira puama shows ample promise to lower fat deposits, increase lean body mass, and reduce the total cholesterol in the body. By lowering fat deposits and bad cholesterol in the body, the medicinal plant prevents a number of chronic conditions including heart attacks, heart disease and stroke. In addition to reducing bad cholesterol, muira puama is also said to increase good cholesterol in the body and decrease the fat percentage significantly.

 

Possible Side Effects And Consumption

The plant has minimal side effects, at the most, it has been said to cause upset stomach and headaches. It goes without saying that the effects may differ from person to person. In fact, it’s best to practice caution if you are consuming muira puama to address a health condition or ailment. There’s also a concern that the plant could potentially lead to short-lived hypotension as it may direct blood flow away from the heart. It’s best to consult a doctor or a medical professional before you decide to take muira puama. Since the long-term effects of the plant are still uncertain. There is insufficient information on the drug interactions as well, so it’s important that you consult your doctor before mixing your medications. It is also crucial that you steer clear of this plant if you are pregnant or lactating.

You can consume muira puama in a couple of ways, either as a supplement or as a tea. You should be consuming adequate amounts according to your weight, if you are unsure, check with your doctor or dietician before proceeding. Whether you consume it in its pill form or tea form, if you notice an allergic reaction to the plant, you should immediately stop taking it and consult a doctor.