Catuaba Bark: Its Origins and Uses

Found in the Amazon Forest are countless herbs and plants that are used medicinally. Today, we will be talking about one specific plant (actually a tree) that is called Catuaba. This fast-growing, small but terrible tree is known mostly because it is a potent aphrodisiac. This tree makes yellow flowers and grows inedible fruits. It might be surprising, but the part that people use on this tree is the bark.

Yes, today, we will be talking about Catuaba Bark!

What’s Catuaba Bark, Exactly?

Catuaba, as we have mentioned, is a small tree. It grows fast and produces inedible fruits. It can be recognized by its yellow flowers. Catuaba is also known by the scientific name Anemopaegma Mirandum, and it comes from a tree that is scientifically called Erythroxylum Vaciniifolium, which also belongs to a bigger tree family. The Catuaba’s bark, which is what is considered useful on this tree, is sometimes referred to as trichilia catigua.

In history, Catuaba Bark has been mainly found used for its aphrodisiac properties. Catuaba bark was discovered to be an aphrodisiac several centuries in the past by Tupi Indians from Brazil. They were so impressed by the sexual improvements they noticed with this natural aphrodisiac that they even made several songs singing its praises.

From then on, generations upon generations of natives from Brazil have used Catuaba Bark for its numerous benefits. Until today, Catuaba Bark is considered one of the most popular and famous natural aphrodisiacs originating from the Amazon.

What is The Science Behind Catuaba Bark?

In other words, what exactly makes this such an effective aphrodisiac? Well, Catuaba Bark is composed of several different things. It contains alkaloids, tannins, aromatic oils, flavonoids, resins, phytosterols, minerals, sesquiterpenes, and more. There was a clinical study that was published in the year 2007 that found epicatechin in Catuaba Bark. Epicatechin is a potent antioxidant that also has anticancer and antibacterial properties.

What Benefits Can I Get from Catuaba Bark?

Of course, we can’t simply tell you about Catuaba Bark without also talking about the numerous other benefits you can receive from it. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Like we have mentioned, Catuaba Bark is used extensively in the region of the Amazon Rivers as an aphrodisiac. Western scientists do still doubt the aphrodisiac function of this natural ingredient, but it continues to grow in popularity in the Brazil marketplace. In fact, in Brazil, Catuaba is still used mainly for this reason.

In recent years, Catauba Bark has begun appearing in aphrodisiac and male enhancement supplements as one of the key ingredients. These supplements are also being sold in the United States. It is unfortunate, however, that studies have found the quality of these supplements being rather inconsistent. Therefore, if you plan to purchase a supplement containing Catauba Bark as an ingredient, make sure you are purchasing it only from a trustworthy source (such as the manufacturer’s website). Furthermore, don’t just trust any supplement – do your research into them and make sure the user feedback is positive.

Nervous System Benefits
On top of being used for purposes of improving sexual mood as well as performance, the people of Brazil have also used CB as a treatment method for nervous system conditions. However, we have found only anecdotal evidence to support this effect, and as such we recommend using caution. We do note that herbalists and naturalists recommend CB as a way of treating sciatica and neuralgia.

Depression & Stress
Several herbal remedies claim to be effective when used to treat stress, anxiety, and depression. Some may prove effective, while others prove only to be a placebo. CB is often touted as a great way to reduce or fight emotional disorders that may be associated with stress.
We do want to say, however, that we cannot guarantee how effective it is in this regard. Again, mostly only anecdotal evidence exists to back up this claim (although there have been studies that have mentioned its possible effectiveness in this purpose). Still, many people recommend it for use against nervousness, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It is recommended as an alternative when the most common pharmaceutical methods no longer work to fight depression – or if these pharmaceutical methods bring too many negative side effects.
While you can try Catuaba Bark for this purpose, we urge you to seek help if your depression and anxiety lead you to thoughts of suicide. Please seek urgent help, especially if your depression does not lift (or if it worsens).

Improvement in Memory & Focus
Catuaba has been sometimes used to balance and enhance the functions of the human body overall. Many people who enjoy CB and its benefits claim that they have noticed a significant improvement in their focus and memory.

Fighting Inflammation
There has been an old study done on Catuaba that shows how it inhibits the activity of PLA2. If you don’t know what PLA2 is, it is involved in your body’s inflammatory response (for example, PLA2 is found in rather high levels in people who are afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease). Therefore, if you find yourself in need of reducing inflammation, you may find some success with CB.

Preventing Oxidative Stress as Well as Injury to The Brain
A recent study was done where Catuaba was used or tested on lab rats that were deprived of glucose and oxygen. The results of the study found that CB can be rather effective as an agent for preventing possible brain damage.

The tree from which CB comes from, Erythroxylum Catuaba, contains alkaloids that have a rather powerful protective effect. This result or claim was found after a study was done on mice back in the 1990s. According to this particular study, CB extract helped to reduce the spreading of HIV in the cells. As a result, this prevented infection. This study led scientists to believe that CB may have some properties that may prove to be beneficial to people who have HIV.

We find that it’s important to note that although studies have stated that CB may help with HIV, we still recommend the practice of safe sex. We do not advise using CB as a full spectrum prevention method against HIV. There is not enough evidence to prove that it is 100% effective in this regard. Therefore, if you find yourself at risk of contracting HIV, we instead recommend taking PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis (the medicine used for this purpose is called Truvada). Do inquire about the proper use of PrEP. Furthermore, if you believe that you are at risk of contracting HIV after a recent sexual encounter, you may also seek PEP or post-exposure prophylaxis (act fast, however, because the window for starting EFFECTIVE PEP ends 3 days after exposure).

What Does Catuaba Extract Look and Smell Like?

A curious question that many will ask is what does Catuaba extract look like and smell like. If the extract is solely from Catuaba, it will appear deep orange. If milk is added, the extract will have some pink tones. This drink has a rather specific sent or aroma of black pepper and juniper. This is because there are some aromatic resins found in the peel.

How Do I Make and Take Catuaba Extract?

If you are looking to use CB yourself, yes indeed it is possible. Here is how you make an effective CB extract at home: simply boil water enough for one cup of tea. You can then pour one or two teaspoons of the raw CB material into the water. Allow it to cook and boil for about 5 minutes. After that period, you can shut off the heat and allow the pot too cool for about 15 minutes. Once cooled, strain this liquid.

If you find that you cannot tolerate the taste of CB extract on its own, you can add other ingredients such as honey, apples, cream, milk, and more. You can even add it to your tea if you so wish. Doing this often offers a relaxing and calming effect, effectively relieving stress and allowing you to sort out your feelings and your thoughts.

If you cannot find the raw CB in your area, it is fortunately now available in the United States and Europe as a supplement. It is still rather rare, but you can find and order CB extract supplements on the internet. More and more supplement manufacturers are biting and joining in on the trend of CB extract supplements. However, we still recommend that you do your due diligence before purchasing any supplement because not all of them are trustworthy or worth it.

If you do decide to order these supplements, we suggest that you make sure to do so only from reputable sources that have plenty of positive feedback and a loyal user base. We even suggest purchasing from online retailers such as Amazon, because here you will see authentic experiences and feedback that people have left of their own accord.

In terms of dosage for homemade extracts, by the way, we cannot recommend a specific amount to work with. There isn’t enough scientific research and evidence to establish a standard dose, and as a result, you may have to do some trial and error to find the right amount for you. What you can do is find other people who have used this supplement and this extract and see what worked for them. From this, you can find a good starting point from where you can adjust.

If you are taking a CB supplement, we recommend following the dosage that is written on the package. Do not increase this dose unless you are given medical recommendation or approval. Although it is a safe natural supplement, too much of a good thing is still a bad thing.

Are There Any Catuaba Bark Side Effects?

To date, there have not been any side effects reported from the use of CB. Users of CB extract do not report feeling any negative side effects even after prolonged use. As a result, you should be able to use this product without any worries. Do make sure, however, that you follow the latest news about this natural extract to find out about the latest discoveries about it.

Do note however that just as the majority of the supplements out on the market today, Catuaba is not recommended for women who are either pregnant or breastfeeding. Even though there isn’t any evidence to show that it might cause some health problems in the mother as well as in the child, it’s always good to be careful in this case. Again, we remind you to only take supplements, vitamins, and minerals as well as medication that has been provided to you and prescribed to you by your doctor when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Catuaba Bark is an extract that offers many potential benefits from its use. However, there is still not enough scientific research and evidence to prove the effectiveness as well as the actual effects of this substance. As a result, we cannot fully recommend taking this supplement or this extract without caution, because there may still be some unknown variables or effects that can occur from its use. If you plan to use CB, we suggest taking caution or even perhaps consulting your physician first. Nevertheless, Catuaba seems to be quite promising, and we look forward to the information that future studies may bring!