Synonyms

Dulacia inopiflora (Miers) O. Kuntze, D.

ovata (Miers) K., Liriosma inopiflora Miers, L.

micrantha Spruce ex Engl.

This small tree, which grows to a height of only

about 15 meters, comes from tropical South

America (the Amazon basin). The wood of the

trunk and roots is marketed internationally under

the name lignum muira puama and is esteemed

chiefly as an aphrodisiac (potency wood!) and

nerve tonic (600 to 1,200 mg) (Gottlieb 1974, 54*;

Stark 1984, 87*). Small pieces of the wood are

added to a number of psychoactive smoking blends.

It is sometimes claimed that the wood produces

not just erotic but also psychoactive effects. The

constituents are completely unknown (Schweins

and Sonnenborn 1993, 706). The dried roots of a

related tree, Ptychopetalum olacoides Benth., are

also sold under the same name (lignum muira

puama and also radix muira puama). These roots

contain a mixture of esters composed of the

behenic acid ester of lupeol (0.4 to 0.50/0), phytosterols,

and an essential oil consisting of camphene,

camphor, ~-caryophyllene, a-humulene, and aand

~-pinene.This root is said to have aphrodisiac

effects. Experimental and pharmacological studies,

however, are lacking (Brand 1994,308 f.).
Literature (selection)

Brand, Norbert. 1994. Ptychopetalum. In Ragers

Randbuch der pharmazeutischen Praxis, 5th ed.,

6:307-10. Berlin: Springer.

Schweins, Sabine, and Ulrich Sonnenborn. 1993.

Liriosma. In Ragers Randbuch der

pharmazeutischen Praxis, 5th ed., 5:706-7. Berlin:

Springer.

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