Herb Reference Guide

Damiana

History

This shrub native to Southwest Texas in the U.S. and Central America, South America, and Mexico has a long history of use as an aphrodisiac. The leaves have traditionally been made into a tea and incense, which was used by native people of Central and South America for its relaxing effects. Spanish missionaries first recorded that the Mexican Indians drank Damiana tea mixed with sugar for use as an aphrodisiac. It is also an ingredient in a traditional Mexican Liqueur, which is sometimes used as a substitute for Triple Sec in Margaritas.

Function

It acts as a tonic on the central nervous system and hormonal system. The lack of scientific evidence for the plants use to enhance sexual performance is eclipsed by its use in the traditional cultures where it has a very strong reputation of efficacy in this arena. While it is typically thought of for use in men, it is not contraindicated for the same use in women. It has also been used traditionally to help support a healthy mood.

Uses of Damiana

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Parts Used

  • Leaf

Important precautions

Not for use during pregnancy. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult your doctor prior to use.

Additional Resources

Estrada-Reyesb, K.R., Ortiz-Lópeza, P., Gutiérrez-Ortíza, J., & Martínez-Mota, L. (June 2009), “Turnera diffusa Wild (Turneraceae) recovers sexual behavior in sexually exhausted males”, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 123: 423–429

Zhao, J., Dasmahapatra, A.K., Khan, S.I., & Khan, I.A. (December 2008), “Anti-aromatase activity of the constituents from damiana (Turnera diffusa)”, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 120: 387–393