Damiana (Turnera aphrodisiaca)
Usage / Preparation
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Damiana, Damiane, Oreganillo, Thè Bourrique, Mexican Damiana, Mexican Holly, Damiana de Guerrero.
The shrub is said to have an odor somewhat like Chamomile or Cannabis sativa, due to an oil present in the plant.(3)
The main constituents of Damiana include: Albuminoids, alpha-copaene, alpha-pinene, arbutin, barterin, beta-pinene, beta-sitosterol, calamenene, caoutchouc, chlorophyll, 1,8-cineole, cymene, cymol, damianin, essential oil, gamma-cadinene, gonzalitosin-i, hexacosanol-1, luteolin, quinovopyranosides, tannins, tetraphyllin b, thymol, triacontane, and trimethoxyflavones.(2)
The leaves have traditionally been made into a tea which was used by native people of Central and South America for its aphrodisiac effects. A Spanish missionary first reported that the Mexican Indians made a drink from the Damiana leaves, added sugar, and drank it for its purported power to enhance lovemaking. (2)
Damiana is a small shrub that grows 1-2 m high and bears aromatic, serrate leaves that are 10-25 cm long. Small yellow flowers bloom in early to late summer which are followed by small fruits with a sweet smell and fig-like flavor. The medicinal part of the plant is its leaves, which are harvested during the flowering season. Damiana is found throughout Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies, as well as in parts of South America. Turnera diffusa and T. aphrodisiaca are generally regarded as the same plant in herbal commerce. A closely-related species, T. ulmifolia, is similar in appearance, but it has different traditional medicinal uses. (2)
Any information provided about products on this website, including any links to external websites, is purely intended for historical, scientific and educational purposes and should never be interpreted as a recommendation for a specific use of the products.
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Damiana leaves are harvested from the plant Turnera aphrodisiaca, a small shrub native to Mexico. Besides being used in the production of a popular Mexican liqueur called Damiana, this fragrant herb has enjoyed a long and unwarranted history of use as an aphrodisiac, supposedly able to stimulate the libido of men and women alike.
It is also regarded as an important folk medicine in Mexico. Damiana is known to help strengthen the body, contribute to physical wellbeing and support energetic alertness.(1)