Butea superba, an herb native to Thailand, corrects erectile dysfunction, boosts sexual endurance and serves as an aphrodisiac. According to results from several clinical trials, more than 80 percent of the men who take this herb successfully achieve erections even after months of impotence. Herbalists claim the plant, much like the blue prescription pill known as Viagra®, relaxes muscles in the penis so that more blood can flow to the organ and cause an erection. Some users claim that erections are larger and longer-lasting when using this herb because chemicals in butea superba stifle premature ejaculation. A few commercial medications based on herbal sexual stimulants list this herb as a main ingredient; the plant notably contains acetylcholine, which is believed to aid in erectile formation.
Called “red kwao kreua” by Thai denizens, butea superba gets some of its power from two specific isoflavones: genistein and daidzein. Although these chemicals are ironically phytoestogens, which mimic the female sex hormone estrogen, this substance acts and is marketed as a masculinizing supplement. Its ability to improve libido in women is not well known. The phytoestrogens in the herb attach to estrogen receptors in the body, generally preventing estrogen from using the receptors. For women, this activity can translate into a mitigation of menstrual cramps and menopause symptoms.
Beyond sexual and hormonal benefits, butea superba can purportedly strengthen bones and protect both genders against osteoporosis. The non-toxic herb, which contains numerous anticarcinogenic flavonoids, also allegedly helps prevent cancer by halting tyrosine kinase activity; tyrosine kinase is an enzyme that encourages cells and tumors to grow. Fitness enthusiasts are attracted to this Thai plant because it reduces fatigue and gives more physical stamina without the heart palpitations and anxiety caused by other energy boosters.
The standard dosage for those using butea superba in pills or capsules is 500 mg a day; however, many users double this amount after the initial week without negative side effects. Alternative medicine physicians urge users to increase dosage cautiously until the right amount restores sexual energy and function. Generally, it takes five days to experience significant improvement, but some individuals only express satisfaction after 30 or 90 days of use. Butea superba is also available in various topical creams and gels that can be smoothed on the body. Powdered mixes of the herb are also sold; these generally contain other herbs that are known for sexual enhancement, such as tongkat ali and maca.