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Catuaba Side Effects

By Adam Fonseca ; Updated August 14, 2017

Catuaba is an herbal supplement that derives from a small tree native to the Brazilian landscape. This plant has long been used as a mild aphrodisiac for centuries due to its natural effects on the central nervous system and parts of the brain that control sexual arousal. Despite these possible benefits, catuaba also features side effects that users must remain cautious of during consumption. Catuaba is available in both pill and powder form and can be found in most vitamin and drug stores around the world.

Headaches and Dizziness

Since catuaba is an herbal supplement that directly affects the central nervous system, it is common for users to experience headaches or dizziness after starting treatment. According to the Federal Drug Administration (FDA), catuaba is listed as a poisonous herb or medicine due in part to the negative effects on the central nervous system when taken on a regular basis. As with most supplements that directly affect the brain and spinal cord, users of catuaba may also experience episodes of dizziness, confusion and difficulty focusing.

Adverse Sexual Effects

According to Rain-Tree, an herbal medicine resource guide, catuaba is an herbal supplement that contains such minerals and chemicals as tannins, alkaloids, various oils and other compounds used in the treatment of sexual dysfunction associated with impotence, particularly in males. However, as with any medication promising to help boost sexual performance or libido, users should be strongly cautioned that an adverse reaction may occur in a some patients. Many times, these negative reactions to a sexual libido medication can have the opposite effect hoped for on both sexual performance and sexual health. Rain-Tree recommends users should not exceed 2 to 3 milliliters of catuaba compound a day to help prevent the risk of adverse effects.

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Other Effects

While information on the benefits of catuaba have surfaced throughout the world of alternative medicine, new supplement users should be aware that research into all possible side-effects and other adverse reactions as a result of consuming the herb is still very young and continuing to be developed as of 2010. The FDA reports that other side effects seen in patients after taking catuaba are the direct result of experimental research, such as stomach irritation and muscle spasms associated with the nervous system. As with any introduction of a new dietary supplement, the FDA suggests that users seek the advice of a medical professional before beginning treatment.

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