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.).
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.