Muira Puama is from the Olacaceae family and is a small bush that grows up to 5 metres in height and produces flowers with a pungent, jasmine-like fragrance.
It is found in the Brazilian Amazon and has been used in South American traditional medicine for a wide variety of conditions, including decreased libido and erectile dysfunction.
It is the bark and roots of the plant that are used medicinally or as health food supplements.
The active constituents of are free long-chain fatty acids, sterols, coumarin, alkaloids and essential oils.
Muira Puama is an old folk aphrodisiac and cure for sexual impotence; in one study in 1990, it was shown to improve libido in 62% of patients with a lack of sexual desire.
More recently, Muira Puama has been used as a herb in Europe and is listed in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, a source on herbal medicine from the British Herbal Medicine Association.
The specific action of the Muira Puama is not fully understood, but it seems to assist with both the psychological as well as the physical aspect of sexual function.