Caesalpinia benthamiana

Last Updated: September 28, 2022

Caesalpinia benthamiana is an African herb used for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. While research into this herb is beyond preliminary, it appears to be quite a potent aphrodisiac and may increase levels of nitric oxide production.


Caesalpinia benthamiana is most often used for

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Sources and Composition



Caesalpinia benthamiana (of the Fabaceae family and Caesalpiniaceae subfamily; synonymous with Mezoneuron benthamianum) is an African medicine for erectile dysfunction and libido enhancement[1] and has been used in the topical treatment of wounds.[2] The parts of this plant that have been used traditionally include the leaves and the root bark.[3]

Has traditional usage as a treatment for male sexual impotence and, when mixed into an oil base, has been used topically to treat wounds and infections



  • Benthaminin A-B (bark)[2]
  • Deoxycaesaldekarin C (aka. methyl vouacapenate) in the bark[2]
  • Gallic acid[1]
  • trans-resveratrol[1]
  • β-sitosterol and stigmastenone[2]


Similar to the rest of its genera (caesalpinia), this plant appears to contain cassane type diterpenoid structures and has a stilbene (resveratrol) and tannin content. That being said, its composition is pretty much unknown at this time

A water extract has been noted to contain 15.5% polyphenols and 9.9% tannin structures.[1]


Cardiovascular Health


Blood Flow

In isolated aortic vessels, the water extract appears to cause relaxation of phenylephdrine contracted vessels with and IC50 of 2.7+/-0.3mg/L,[1] which appears to be related to a concentration dependent increase in eNOS expression in these cells with 0.1-10mg/L of the water extract (79-137.5% increase).[1]


Inflammation and Immunology


Bacterial Interactions

It appears some of the diterpenoids may have antibacterial properties, with the most potent tested one (Benthaminin A) being effective against Staphylococcus aureas and Micrococcus flavus (MIC of 47µM) although it was less effective against Bacillus subtilis (MIC 95µM) Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MIC 398µM) and resistant strains of s. aureus (MIC 98µM or higher).[2]


Interactions with Oxidation



The water extract of caesalpinia benthamiana appears to directly sequester superoxide (O2-) with an IC50 of 78.1+/-1.2µg/mL (in an acellular system) and, in neutrophils where NADPH oxidase can increase superoxide production, caesalpinia benthamiana can sequester O2- with an IC50 of 47.1+/-1.5µg/mL.[1]


Hydrogen Peroxide

The water extract of caesalpinia benthamiana appears to directly sequester hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) with an IC50 of 4.7+/-1.0µg/mL (in an acellular system) and, in a cellular system, can sequester H2O2 with an IC50 of 6.0+/-1.0µg/mL.[1]


Hypochlorous Acid

The water extract of caesalpinia benthamiana appears to directly sequester hypochlorous acid (HOCl) with an IC50 of 1.5+/-0.1µg/mL (in an acellular system) and, in a cellular system, appears to be weaker with an IC50 of 5.2+/-0.3µg/mL.[1]

The direct antiradical properties against hydrochlorous acid appear to be quite respectable in vitro


Sexuality and Pregnancy



When male rats are given 50mg/kg of a water extract of caesalpinia benthamiana (2.4% yield) and then placed with nonreceptive females, mounting latency is reduced and frequency increased when measured 15-30 minutes after supplementation (latency reduced to 8% of control, and frequency increased by 276%), 75-90 minutes (down to 1% of control, frequency up 1,916%), and 180-205 minute (again 1% latency of control and frequency up 1,185%).[1]

When given to male rats placed alongside receptive females, there are increases in intromission frequencey and decreases in latency seen as the 15-30 minutes (latency down to 9% of control; frequency up 85.2%), 75-90 minutes (latency down to 5%; frequency up 95.9%), and 180-205 minutes (latency down to 2% of control; frequency up 228%) after single dosing.[1]

The magnitude of libido enhancement seen in these rats greatly exceeds most other aphrodisiac compounds in the database, and pending a replication of data this could be a very promising application of the plant. The reductions in latency (how long it takes a rat to mount or insert his penis into the female) are remarkable in that study


Safety and Toxicology



Supplementation of the water extract up to 2,000mg/kg was not acutely toxic in rats.[1]

1.^Zamblé A, Martin-Nizard F, Sahpaz S, Hennebelle T, Staels B, Bordet R, Duriez P, Brunet C, Bailleul FVasoactivity, antioxidant and aphrodisiac properties of Caesalpinia benthamiana rootsJ Ethnopharmacol.(2008 Feb 28)
2.^Dickson RA, Houghton PJ, Hylands PJAntibacterial and antioxidant cassane diterpenoids from Caesalpinia benthamianaPhytochemistry.(2007 May)