Damiana (Turnera diffusa) is a shrub which herbalists recognize as a powerful aphrodisiac. The plant is not too tall, often reaching no more than 6.5 ft (2 m) high. Damiana is distinguished by its greenish, serrated, elliptical leaves, pointed toward the end, with trichomes on the underside.
The yellow flowers of Turnera diffusa are exceptionally enticing, as well as the aroma that wafts from the plant during the summer months. The fruits of damiana are small pods. After they ripen, they acquire a taste comparable to that of figs.
Damiana thrives in regions with warm and humid climate. It is native to South America, the Caribbean, Texas, Mexico. It's known by many other names, among which are Mejorana, Cumana, Hierba and Granizo.
History of Damiana
Turnera diffusa is considered to be named after the alchemist Turner (1515 - 1568), who focused on studying the plant and analyzing its effects and benefits to the human body.
Damiana was among the most commonly used herbs in the Mayan civilization. They used the drug to stimulate their bodies, in order for them to endure the lengthy ritual dances. But this was not the plant's only purpose.
It was highly common in Mayan medicine. It was used to strengthen the spirit and as a potent aphrodisiac for men, as well as women. Damiana not only evoked the desire for intimate closeness, it also enhanced the pleasure of sexual contact.
Composition of Damiana
The effects for which the Mayans so valued this herb was due to its components. Damiana contains tannins, flavonoids, damianin, natural rubber, glycosides and others. However, keep in mind that the plant has a complex chemical makeup and not all of its components have yet been well studied.
Benefits of Damiana
As stated, damiana is a well-known natural aphrodisiac for its proven effects in improving sexual activity and endurance. The leaves of the herb are the parts mainly used, either dried or eaten fresh. It is used to raise libido in both sexes.
It helps in supplying oxygen to the intimate areas, having a positive effect on them. The plant is recommended for erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation in men and frigidity in women. The herb is considered to have a good effect for women who will soon be going into menopause, as well as for women who are already in it.
At the same time, it provides energy and contributes to physical and mental endurance. It fortifies the brain, body and makes skin more beautiful. Damiana is used for anxiety, insecurity, timidity.
It's beneficial for depression, fatigue, lack of tone. There's also data that the drug helps with constipation, menstrual problems. It's used to treat infections of the excretory system, making it a potent ally in the battle against cystitis.
Folk Medicine with Damiana
Damiana can be taken in the form of tea or be made into a liqueur or powder. The latter is added to foods or capsules and tablets. It can also be put into beverages such as water, fruit juice or ayran.
As well, it's added to wine and other types of alcohol. Dried damiana leaves can be rolled into a cigarette and smoked the same way; the effects won't be long in coming.
Still, the preparation of a remedy from the herb remains the most popular and preferred method. You can make damiana tea by adding 2 tsp (10 g) of dried Turnera diffusa leaves into 4 1/5 cups (1 L) of water. Boil this mixture 10 min., then cool it. Strain it and divide it into 3 doses. Take 1 dose an hour before or after meals.
The so-called aromatic damiana tea which boosts libido, is also popular. For it you will need 1 part dried Turnera diffusa leaves, 2 parts mint and 1 part orange flowers. Stir the mixture and put 1 tsp of it in 2 cups (500 ml) water, once it comes to a boil remove from the stove.
Cover the container for 10 min., then strain. Divide the resulting mix in 2 and have both partners take it. It's best to drink the mixture half an hour before sex.
The herb can also be used to make a liqueur, another proven type of aphrodisiac. To make it, soak 2 tbsp (30 g) of the plant in 2 cups (500 ml) of brandy. Leave this mixture to sit as is for 5 days, then take out the leaves (save the brandy) and soak them for another 5 days in 1/2 cup (125 ml) of mineral water.
Strain the resulting liquid and heat it on the stove. Before it comes to a boil, remove it and add 1/2 cup of honey to it. Then mix the water extract with the brandy and leave it for about 1 month. Pour thus made liqueur into a clean glass bottle and store it in a cool area. Drink 1 brandy glass of it and expect results after 30-40 min.
Dangers of Damiana
The recommended dose of damiana is 5-20 g of leaves, divided into 3. If taken this way, the plant is considered safe.
But in larger doses, undesirable effects such as convulsions, a drop in blood sugar level and stomach problems may occur.
Pregnant women, breastfeeding women and people who have recently survived poisoning are also not advised to use the herb. A patient may also exhibit individual intolerance toward the drug.