Montanoa Tomentosa

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.


Quick Bite:

Montanoa tomentosa has been used in Mexico as a remedy for sexual dysfunction.

A leaf extract was used to stimulate uterine contractions, to induce menstruation and abortion, to initiate labor and to reduce postpartum bleeding.

It is more likely that the related species Montanoa frutescens will have contraceptive properties by altering the endometrium.

There isn't any evidence that it supports testosterone secretion in humans.

Montanoa Tomentosa, a flowering plant of the Asteraceae family native to Mexico and Central America.

Its local common name is zoapatle. This small, yellow-flowered shrub has been used in herbal medicine for centuries.

Description and Characteristics of Montanoa Tomentosa

The Genus Montanoa (Montanoaceae) contains multiple compounds with antitumor and antineoplastic properties.

One such medicinal plant from this genus, known by its botanical name of Cihuapatli or Mexican Zoapatle.

In Mexican folk medicine traditions is Montanoa tomentosa or Cihuapatli or Mexican Zoapatle as known to locals, Cihuapatli/Montanoa tomentosa), used traditionally as a female reproductive tonic/uterine eurhythmic agent to promote contractions during labor as well as reduce dysmenorrhea symptoms.

Claimed Health Benefits of Montanoa Tomentosa

Montanoa Tomentosa, a shrub belonging to the Asteraceae, is originally from Mexico and Central America and is well-known for its medicinal qualities.

Its use in herbal medicine dates back to Mexican tradition. Montanoa Tomentosa  is traditionally used in herbal medicine to treat reproductive impairments, anxiety and mood disorders.

The extract was used to treat sexual dysfunctions. Women were given the extract to induce menstruation and to help them achieve labor and abortion.

The roots and leaves are used to treat dysentery.

Over the years, many studies have been done to identify the compounds that are responsible for therapeutic activity and the mechanism of their action.

Two studies performed on rats showed that Montanoa Tomentosa has aphrodisiac qualities.

The presence of components which act as oxytocics is thought to be responsible for this activity.

Montanoa also has anxiolytic effects, as shown by other studies. This action is mediated by the GABAA-receptor interaction.

It has been demonstrated that the anxiolytic effects are influenced by individual hormonal status. In conditions of low hormones, the anxiolytic effects are more pronounced.

Montanoa has many properties, but recent research focuses on its clinical importance as an antidepressant.


Montanoa tomentosa has long been used in traditional medicine as an inducing agent during labor by increasing both tone and frequency of uterine contractions during childbirth, as well as for decreasing dysmenorrhea severity.

Study 1

The aim of this present study was to obtain aqueous crude extracts of three Montanoa species: Montanoa tomentosa, Montanoa frutescens and Montanoa grandiflora by boiling equal parts of dried leaves for approximately 20 minutes in order to create a stock solution of 50 mg/mL.

The Montanoa extracts dramatically enhanced male rats' expression of genital motor patterns related to ejaculation almost immediately, with significantly reduced latencies required to activate those responses.

This indicates that Montanoa extracts may modulate spinal ejaculatory circuits in order to lower threshold ejaculatory threshold, likely by decreasing intraspinal inhibitory tone.

Montanoa species extracts showed to increase mounting behavior in anesthetized animals and initiate sexual behaviors in noncopulating male rats.

Thus suggesting that Montanoa tomentosa's crude extract preparations currently used as traditional medicine have multiple pharmacological properties related to GABAA receptor interaction that promote sexual stimulation, oxytocic action and anxiety reduction - suggesting its wide array of medicinal uses beyond just traditional treatments.

Furthermore, Montanoa extracts contain numerous biologically active compounds including pentacyclic triterpenes and tetracyclic diterpenes as well as sesquiterpene lactones and flavonoids - many with remarkable pleiotropic properties.

For instance ent-kaurenoic acid has both uterotonic and hypoglycemic activity while its derivative terpene grandiflorenic acid isolated from Heliantheae grandiflorum exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-antidiabetic effects.

Aphrodisiacs are substances which promote sexual desire and potency by increasing libido, increasing arousal or increasing sex hormone concentrations or modulating specific brain circuits such as the oxytocinergic nuclei to increase levels of oxytocin in paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON).

Study 2

According to several reports, crude extracts of Mt and its closely related species Mt frutescens and Mt grandiflora exert aphrodisiac effects both male rats as well as humans.

This report illustrates that systemic administration of Montanoa, Mt frutescens and zoapatle extracts results in significant aphrodisiac effects on spinal male rats by decreasing latencies to express the genital motor pattern of ejaculation and heightening its capacity in copulating animals, along with decreasing intraspinal inhibitory tone of their ejaculatory circuit.

This effect seems related to reduced inhibitory tone on their ejaculatory circuit. 

Systemic administration of extracts from Montanoa tomentosa, Montanoa frutescens and Montanoa grandiflora significantly reduced latency of response while increasing discharges in this group of ejaculatory motor patterns expressed.

These findings indicate that Montanoa tomentosa and its relatives may exert pro-ejaculatory effects by increasing firing frequencies of neurons involved in circuits responsible for initiating the ejaculatory response in spinal male rats.

Its aqueous crude extract has been shown to have pro-ejaculatory effects in spinal male rats; though the exact mechanisms behind its action remain unknown.

Study 3

This study sought to understand its impact on ejaculatory motor patterns and serum testosterone concentration levels of these animals as well as any indications of activation of oxytocin-like neurons indicated by Fos protein expression levels.

Twenty spinal male rats were given either an aqueous extract of Montanoa tomentosa or distilled water for 21 days, with either administration resulting in an increase in mount and intromission frequencies, reduced ejaculatory latency similar to Viagra drug treatment, as well as significant increases in serum testosterone concentrations compared with distilled water controls.

Furthermore, an oral administration of either 600 or 1,200 mg/kg body weight of this aqueous crude extract significantly increased MF, IF, reduced latency for these animals compared with controls; as well as significantly increasing serum testosterone concentrations relative to controls compared with controls (control).

This resulted increased mount and intromission frequencies while simultaneously reduced ejaculatory latency significantly when compared to control (distilled water control).

This study is the first report of a naturally occurring substance with aphrodisiac properties that is comparable to Viagra for male rats.

Montanoa's aqueous crude extract appears to mimic LH's action and stimulate interstitial cells, increasing penile tumescence, rigidity and ejaculatory behavior in male rats.

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Does Montanoa Tomentosa Increase Testosterone?

There isn't any evidence that supports the use of Montanoa as an effective way to improve testosterone levels in humans. 

There is suggestion that it may improve libido and act as an aphrodisiac, but so far all studies are on rats.


Montanoa is a plant extract that has been used for centuries and is surrounded in folklore. This has stimulated research in to its benefits, and whether or not it could be used commercially to improve a number of health parameters based on its composition.

Rodent studies have demonstrated that it does have an aphrodisiac effect, but there aren't any presenty studies that strongly sugest this is the case in humans, nor are there any positive results suggesting it can be used to increase natural testosterone levels. 

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