3.5.1 Catuaba

Catuaba #

Binomial / Botanical Name Erythroxylum Catuaba
Street Names Caramuru; Catagu;
Major Active Compound Catuabine A/B/C/D
Indigenous Source Brazil
Form Shredded Bark
RoA Oral
Personal Rating On Shulgin Scale +**


In its native South America, catuaba has traditionally been used as an aphrodisiac and a stimulant. However, with respect to the latter, there are occasional reports which appear to contradict this, suggesting that it also possesses calmative and anxiolytic properties. Regarding the former, references to this as a love plant and a sex drink are not uncommon.

In terms of its value as a nootropic I have frequently encountered claims that it is used to address poor memory and forgetfulness, and even that it has been used as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

I should add that many reports cite daily use as the route to accentuate these effects, an approach which is beyond my own modus operandi (largely for safety reasons).

For my original test I brewed 12g as a tea. The results were inconclusive, registering the mildest of body/head changes. For the more rigorous re-test, I have abstained from any other psychoactive for over a week to enable a more focused study.

The recommended dose is usually 1-2 tablespoons, with suggestions that higher doses can leave a headache. After due consideration, I scoop two generous spoonfuls from the transparent plastic bag, which equates to 8.2g, and steep this in a pot of hot but not boiling water for ten minutes.

T+0:00 I pour the first cup and begin to slowly sip the tea. It is a pleasing red/brown colour and tastes a little woody and slightly bitter, but is quite palatable. [3:50pm].

T+0:10 I am on to my second cup. Perhaps a slight head change and body warmth is emerging.

T+0:30 The tea has now been consumed. I feel warm, with a mild head buzz within an overall calmness. There is certainly something of a simmering background stimulation in play.

T+0:35 There is more of a feeling of being in a zone than perhaps with caffeine, with a slight physical response in terms of a moderately raised temperature.

T+0:45 The buzz and general comfort are still there, and I am not feeling any of the fatigue I have endured over the last few days. In terms of a nootropic effect, I am able to concentrate and focus, although no more so than when using a mild functional stimulant. The claims regarding enhanced memory, of course, are impossible to verify without formal testing.

Regarding its use as an aphrodisiac, there does seem to be something there. Compared to amphetamine, for example, this hardly registers. Unlike amphetamine, however, it does not seem to induce stim-dick, which probably supports the suggestion that it can be used to alleviate this symptom if combined with it (which is not something I recommend).

T+1:10 The mild stimulation and heady feel continues on the same level as earlier. I should also add that I am no longer hungry, so there may be some appetite suppression in play.

T+2:00 The effects are now slowly winding down.

Overall this provided a reasonably pleasant low level stimulation, with minor aphrodisiacal properties, and some appetite suppression, whilst wrapped in a background of gentle sedation. The only rough edge was a very minor pre-headache type feeling which I experienced during the evening (probably due to dose), and which persisted into a heavy headedness during sleep disturbances.

In terms of its use as a nootropic, I found that concentration was clear, but there was nothing exceptional to note. On a single experience I cannot comment sensibly with respect to memory and dementia.