Catuaba (Erythroxylum) (Kǎ tú bā 卡圖巴)

Catuaba (Erythroxylum) (Kǎ tú bā 卡圖巴Bitter (kú苦) and pungent (xīnlà 辛辣) flavor, Yang-hot (rè 熱) thermal nature and is affiliated with the kidneys, heart, and pericardium Meridians.

Active Compounds: Erythroxylaceae (coca family), native to Brazil, Catuaba is a medium-sized, vigorous growing, leafy tree with a thick knotty trunk. The root system is principaly above ground, and each root measures from 2 to 2.5 meters. It produces pretty yellow and orange flowers and small, oval, dark yellow inedible fruit. It can be found in the Amazon, Pará, Pernambuco, Bahia, Maranhão, and Alagoas. Catuaba contains alkaloids, catuabine A, catuabine B, catuabine C, phytosterols, and tannins.

Clinical Usage and Indications: 

  • Aphrodisiac. Catuaba is a generic term for bark from different trees such as Trichilia catigua, Erythroxylum Catuaba, Erythroxylum raccinfolium, Anemopaegna arvense, Phyllanthus Nobilis, Etc. These Brazilian trees are used interchangeably by indigenous people, like the Tupi-Guarani tribe. Preparing it as a tea, they claim it produces an immediate lifting of mood and libido. Catuaba is used in Brazilian folk medicine as an aphrodisiac or an adaptogen (which protects the body from environmental factors).  
  • Moves Qi and Blood. Catuaba may also improve the nervous system,  heart, and Blood, promoting the free flow of veins function and memory. It may also increase energy and reduce anxiety or tiredness. 
  • May treat sexual dysfunction. However, at this time, evidence that supports the use of Catuaba for any condition is lacking.

Directions:  To promote sex drive, take 1-3 cups of tea made from the bark of the Catuaba tree, which have been taken by mouth daily for a few days or weeks. Doses of 2-3 milliliters of an alcohol tincture of Catuaba are taken by mouth with breakfast and lunch. Take capsules containing 450-1,000 milligrams of Catuaba or doses containing 1-2 grams of Catuaba daily.
Precaution: Avoid using during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Catuaba may interact with antibacterial herbs, anticancer herbs, antidepressant herbs, anti-inflammatory herbs, antioxidants, antiviral herbs, cardiovascular herbs (herbs and supplements that affect the  heart), and herbs and supplements used to treat erectile dysfunction.

From the book “Tao of Tummy” ©

About Dao of Tummy

Elisabete Alves de Souza, DOM, has over two decades of clinical experience. She is part of a Daoist lineage that focuses on achieving more significant states of health. Dr. de Souza has drawn from many studies in Brazil, California, New York, Chicago, and more to create her innovative nutrition treatments. She treats different conditions and symptoms in a nonaggressive way, transforming and fortifying your health with her unique knowledge and technique.
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