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SCIENTIFIC NAMES: Castanea sativa, fam Sagaceae

DESCRIPTION: Deciduous tree which reaches heights of up to 30 m. The shiny leaves, of about 20 cm in length, are the most characteristic part of the tree. They are lanceolate, with serrated margins and have 15 to 20 pairs of straight, parallel veins. The edible (very popular) fruit develops inside a hard, spiny husk.

USED PARTS: leaves (best is to pick them up during summer) fruits, bark, seeds, buds. The fruits are an important component in many aphrodisiac recipes.

MAIN CONSTITUENTS: The chestnut contains water, proteins, lipids, phosphor, calcium, iron, C vitamin, B1, B2, PP, tannins. It has a high caloric value: 200 calories in 100 gr.

For the aphrodisiac effect: Take sublingually powder made of the leaves, in quantities of 1-1.5 grams, every six hours, four times a day, for five months. Keep the powder under your tongue for 15-20 minutes, then swallow it with some water, and maybe honey. For immediate aphrodisiac effects, take 3-4 grams at one time, four hours before lovemaking.

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Macerate prepared from 3 gr. of buds and 5 gr. of blueberries in 200 ml of mineral or spring water, for 8 hours. Drink three-five cups a day. Macerate made of 30 gr. leaves in 1 l of mineral or spring water.

Eat the chestnuts as such, part of your diet. An ideal desert for lovers is Mont Blanc: chestnut piuree, with cream on top served in glasses.

IMPORTANT NOTES: Chestnuts are not recommended for persons suffering of diabetes, obesity, dyspepsia. The excess of chestnuts may result in constipation.

SCIENTIFIC NAMES: Erythroxylum catuaba, fam. Erythroxylaceae

DESCRIPTION: Catuaba is a medium-sized vigorous growing tree in the northern part of Brazil, the Amazon, Para , Pernambuco, Bahia, Maranhao, and Alagoas. It produces pretty yellow and orange flowers, and small, oval, dark yellow inedible fruit.

Catuaba is known by several botanical names in Brazil, including Juniperus brasiliensis, Anemopaegma mirandum D.C., Erythroxylon catuaba martius, and Trichillia catigua. Catuaba belongs to family Erythroxylaceae whose principal genus, Erythroxylon, contains several species and varieties of which are the source of cocaine. Catuaba, however, contains none of the active cocaine alkaloids.

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HISTORY: Catuaba has a long history in herbal medicine as an aphrodisiac. The Tupi Indians in Brazil first discovered the qualities of the plant and over the last centuries, have composed many songs praising it’s wonders.

Indigenous people and local people have used Catuaba for generations and it is the most famous of all Brazilian aphrodisiac plants. In the state of Minas there is a saying which goes, “Until a father reaches 60, the son is his, after that the son is Catuaba’s.”

According to Dr. Meira Penna, Catuaba “functions as a stimulant of the nervous system, above all when one deals with functional impotence of the male genital organs… it is an innocent aphrodisiac, used without any ill effects at all.”

MEDICINAL USES: In Brazilian herbal medicine today, Catuaba is considered a central nervous system stimulant with aphrodisiac properties and a bark decoction is used for sexual impotency, agitation, nervousness, neurasthenia, poor memory or forgetfulness, and sexual weakness.

It is regarded as an aphrodisiac with “proven efficacy” and in addition to treating impotency, it is employed for many types of nervous conditions including insomnia, hypochondria, and pain related to the central nervous system.

In European herbal medicine, Catuaba is considered an aphrodisiac, and a brain and nerve stimulant with a bark tea used for sexual weakness, impotency, nervous debility and exhaustion.

Herbalists and health practitioners in the USA use Catuaba in much the same way; as a tonic for the genitals as well as a central nervous system stimulant, for sexual impotence, general exhaustion and fatigue, for insomnia related to hypertension, agitation, and poor memory.

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According to Michael van Straten, noted British herbalist and naturopath, Catuaba is beneficialial to men and women as an aphrodisiac, but “it is in the area of male impotence that the most striking results have been reported” and “there is no evidence of side effects, even after long-term use.”

MAIN CONSTITUENTS: Catuaba includes a bitter substance, alkaloids, tannins, aromatic oils and fatty resins, phytosterols, cyclolignans and a chemical Brazilian scientists named, Ioimbina. Clinical studies on Catuaba have found very interesting results involving its antibacterial and antiviral properties, in addition to significantly inhibiting HIV.

The study found that Catuaba’s anti-HIV activity was shown to be induced, at least in part, via the inhibition of HIV absorption to the cells and suggested that Catuaba extract has potential against opportunistic infection in HIV patients.

For the aphrodisiac effect: The powdered bark dosed 0,5 – 2 gr. daily, mixed with natural juices.