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Catuaba (Erythroxylum
Catuaba Herb
catuaba, =E. vacciniifolium) is a plant native to northern Brazil in the family Erythroxylaceae. It is used in traditional Brazilian herbal medicine as an aphrodisiac and stimulant, and is gaining popularity outside that country as an herbal remedy. Catuaba belongs to the same genus as coca, the source of the drug cocaine, but does not contain any of this alkaloid.

The name catuaba may also refer to Trichilia catigua and other species, which are used in similar ways in Brazilian medicine, but are not related to E. catuaba.

Catuaba is a small tree that grows 2-4 m (6-12 ft) tall. It produces yellow to orange flowers and small inedible yellow fruits.

An infusion of the bark is used in traditional Brazilian medicine as an aphrodisiac and central nervous system stimulant. These claims have not been confirmed in scientific studies, but a journalist for the
Catuaba Herb
Discovery Channel claims that "reports in scientific journals and at conferences have supported use for sexual enhancement. In catuaba, a group of three alkaloids dubbed catuabine A, B and C are believed to enhance sexual function by stimulating the nervous system"(Kilham 2006).

A study by Manabe et al. (1992) showed that catuaba extracts were useful in preventing potentially lethal bacterial infections and HIV infection in mice.

Catuaba bark and preparations are sold as aphrodisiacs and remedies for erectile dysfunction in health food stores and through online retailers.

Other useful herb information: Flaxseed | Cilantro | Olive Leaf | Catuaba | Mugwort | Juniper Berries | Witch Hazel

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