Catuaba: benefits, what it is and how to take it

This content is part of the Alternative Medicine category and may contain information that lacks scientific studies and/or medical consensus.

Do you know what Catuaba is and what it is for? Despite being well known for giving its name to an alcoholic beverage, the plant is also used to make tea with an aphrodisiac action.

But it is not only sexual impotence that can be circumvented with the use of Trichilia catigua (scientific name). The decoction made with the bark of this tree protects the heart and is considered a natural antidepressant.

According to pharmacist Maria Júlia Pereira, catuaba can be used as an antioxidant and tranquilizer. To do this, just prepare a good tea with the dry husks or powdered product. And, if you prefer, add another spice, such as ginger .

Juices and vitamins can also be a good healthy drink option to complete the day, but you need to be aware of the choice of ingredients. “No excesses, I see people mixing pepper, cabbage, carrots, etc., without worrying about their health, since the natural ones also need your care”, says the pharmacy professional.

What are the benefits of catuaba?

Among the activities of this plant are anti-rheumatic and insecticide, in addition to being used to combat memory deficits . However, all these applications are popular uses. Check below the actions already evaluated in scientific studies.

Increases libido and prevents sexual impotence

The aphrodisiac action of this plant is the result of its vasodilating property. While in men “it can increase the amount of blood reaching the corpus cavernosum, leading to erection and its prolongation”, in women there is “increased blood flow, greater lubrication and tightening of the clitoris, and greater sensitivity to stimulation”, he explains Maria Julia.

In both sexes, it is also possible to observe an acceleration of metabolism. All this without counting the increase in erection, temperature and greater lubrication in place.

protect the heart

Also according to the pharmacist, the protection of the main body organ is given for the same reason as above: the vasodilator action. By promoting greater dilation of blood vessels and, consequently, increasing blood flow, the medicinal plant contributes to the treatment of cardiovascular problems , such as high blood pressure.

helps to calm

Those who suffer from the common symptoms of anxiety can benefit from the use of the drink made from the bark of catuaba, says Maria Júlia. Also thanks to increased blood flow, consuming tea from this plant has helped to reduce feelings of restlessness and nervousness. ( 1 )

fights tiredness

At the same time that this drink promotes the body’s relaxation, it can also “increase the body’s energy levels”, highlights the professional. For this reason, it is considered anti-fatigue .

According to a study carried out in São Paulo in 2018, treatment with the plant extract showed increased locomotor activity, even after exercise. This suggests that therapy with this natural product can shorten the body’s recovery time, even right after exhaustion. ( 2 )

Helps in the treatment of depression

In addition to all the benefits already mentioned, Trichilia  also acts as a stimulant of the central nervous system. Thus, the active principles present in the composition of the vegetable can be therapeutic options for the treatment of depression. ( 3 , 4 )

How to make catuaba tea

The pharmacist warns that the infusion is not the appropriate method to make this tea, but the decoction is. “I advise boiling the water (½ liter) and when the bubbles appear, add 2 tablespoons of the skin. Let it boil covered for 3 minutes and remove from the heat. Wait for it to cool, strain and it’s ready to drink”, he advises.

Another recommendation from the specialist is to obey the recommended dose: up to twice a day.

with ginger

“I use a lot of ginger , I love the flavor, in addition to the wonderful properties: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and diuretic ”, reveals Maria Júlia. And it is exactly this spice that the pharmaceutical indicates to enhance the catuaba tea.

To make this recipe, just repeat the tips from the previous topic, adding two thin ginger zests. There is also the possibility of adding a few drops of lemon , if you want to improve the taste of the drink and maximize the benefits.

Does the alcoholic drink made with this plant have any benefits?

The Catuaba plant only gained more prominence in Brazil after the sale of an alcoholic beverage that is based on its composition. But after all, does this liquid also have beneficial properties for health?

According to Maria Júlia, the drink can even preserve some effects of the natural product, such as vasodilation. However, there is the presence of alcohol. “The latter is a depressant substance, which does the opposite of what would be expected (increased erection in men).”

In addition, the composition of the alcoholic content concerns the pharmacist. “The ingredients in greater quantity are: red wine with sugar, sugar itself, agricultural alcohol, extracts and syrups with sugar. I don’t believe that only the alcohol content is the problem, but the large amount of sweeteners and preservatives in the drink alone would be a problem for the user’s health. Add 98 cal of the 14 g of alcohol and boom! A high-calorie cocktail, in just 100 mL”, he adds.

Therefore, if you are interested in a product with these characteristics, it is important to consider its short and long term effects. As with other alcoholic beverages, it is recommended to consume them in moderation.

Catuaba aborts? See contraindications and side effects

Catuaba should be avoided by pregnant women, as it can cause contractions and abortion. ( 5 ) In addition to pregnant women, the pharmaceutical company also contraindicates it for children under 12 years of age, breastfeeding women, patients with kidney and liver problems, and people who suffer from migraine.

Users of phosphodiesterase inhibitor drugs also need to be careful, as a drug interaction may occur. Heart patients, on the other hand, need medical advice and supervision before consuming the extracts of this plant.

Excessive consumption “can cause migraines , tachycardia, dizziness, mental confusion and muscle spasms. Care must be taken with the dose, as anything in excess is bad. Catuaba will be metabolized in the liver, so, in order to avoid major problems, both kidney and liver, we must be careful not to exceed the safe limits for use”, advises the pharmacist.

Finally, the professional advises to take care with the storage of the bark, which must always be done away from moisture. In addition to stressing the importance of nutritional, medical and pharmaceutical monitoring to find out if it is feasible to use this aphrodisiac and beneficial product.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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