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Herb Spotlight - Damiana

Herb Spotlight - Motherwort - Sun God Medicinals

Damiana (Turnera diffusa)

Family: Turneraceae

Part Used: Aerial Parts

Flavor/Aroma: Sweet, Bitter, Acrid

Energetics: Warming, Drying


Herbal Actions: 

Aphrodisiac, Thymoleptic, Nervine, Adaptogen, Neuro Trophorestorative, Emmenagogue, Digestive stimulant, Relaxant

Overview:

Damiana has a reputation as a libido enhancer, increasing sexual desire in both male and female bodies. It has ancient roots with a variety of medicinal uses; it was also used to flavor beverages and as an uplifting herbal smoke blend.

Botany:

Damiana grows as a small sub-tropical shrub, adorned with serrated leaves annually and small yellow flowers in the summer months.  

Cultivation and Harvesting:

Damiana is best harvested in the spring months up until the plant begins to bloom. It is native to the soutwestern United States, Mexico, parts of Central America, Brazil, and the Carribean.  

Southern Oregon Cultivation:

Damiana is not found in the wild in Southern Oregon, but can be cultivated in the right balance of conditions. It grows best in damp soil with consistent watering, especially during germination. Damiana makes a beautiful addition to any home garden.

History and Folklore:

Traditional Mexican Uses: Damiana was used by the Guaycura in the Baja region as an aphrodisiac and mood enhancer. The Mayans also valued Damiana for its ability to uplift and soothe the nervous system. 

In Greek, damia is a masculine word that means “to tame or subdue”, and “damiana” refers to the feminie version meaning “the one who tames”. 

Other Uses: Damiana has been used to treat various infections of the urinary tract and loss of urinary functions by soothing inflammation, and tonifying uterine tissue. It has also been used to relieve coughs, especially those with large amounts of discharge. It was widely used as a strong aphrodisiac and libido enhancer.²

Modern Applications:

Damiana is indicated to support depressed conditions of the mind and body², sluggishness, insomnia, and anxiety. It has also been used to remedy conditions such as herpes, premenstrual symptoms¹, acne, headaches, constipation, for a suppressed appetite, and as a general mood enhancer.

Uses and Preparations:

Dried Herb Tea Preparation: 

2-4 grams in one cup of water; up to 12 grams per day.

Using a reusable tea bag or tea ball, immerse the loose dried herbs into boiling water and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes, preferably covered, in order to release the maximum amount of herbal goodness. Some herbal tea can carry a strong flavor. We recommend organic honey as a sweetener which preserves the beneficial herbal compounds. 

Tincture: 

1-2 mL up to 3 times per day.

Some herbal tinctures can have a strong flavor on their own. Adding your tincture to a glass of 6-8oz of water is one easy way to help, should you wish to dilute the flavor.  

Dosage:

It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended dosages are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the dosage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.  

Precautions:

Not for use in pregnancy except under the supervision of a qualified practitioner due to the emmenagogue and potential abortifacient effects of this plant.

References:

  1. Szewczyk K., Zidorn C. (2014 March, 28). www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24468305 
  2. Damiana. (n.d). www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/turnera.html
  3. Damiana. (n.d). www.herbally.com/monographs/damiana   

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.