Damiana - Turnera diffusa
Damiana is the above-ground part of the plant (Turnera diffusa) that grows from Argentina to Southern California. Damiana can be smoked or drunk as tea. Smoking Damiana causes a slight euphoria and a mild marijuana-like effect. This 'high' lasts approximately 60 minutes. The herb is an invigorating aphrodisiac which produces a mellow, relaxing high that lasts about two hours. The relaxing herb is responsible for a mild libido boosting effect in users.
The effects of Damiana
Damiana is a muscle relaxant as well as a sexual stimulant that improves blood circulation in the genital area. It contains compounds that directly stimulate the senses. When used regularly for a longer period of time Damiana strengthens the erection in men and helps to restore the hormonal balance in women.
In Latin the plant is called Turnera Diffusa. The first part of the name derives from William Turner (1508-1568), the father of the English botany. Diffusa means 'spreading' which refers to the strong expanding habit of the plant. In Latin, Damiana means 'Tamer' or 'Deen tame', which is a reference to the soothing effect of the herb. The herb has been used in herbal medicine for many centuries by indigenous populations as an aphrodisiac.
The herb has been used for centuries as a calming agents by the Mayans, but it is also said to be effective for the treatment of anxiety, insomnia, reduced libido and erection problems. But those weren’t the only bodily complaints the herb was used for. To a lesser extent it was used by the Mayans for bladder problems, digestive difficulties, constipation, asthma and respiratory diseases.
It wasn’t for the 19th century that Americans discovered the sex drive stimulating properties of Damiana leaves. Even though there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence that damiana boosts the libido, the research that has been done confirms these effects. The libido increasing effects are noticed in both men and women. In men, the plant appears to be helpful in raising testosterone levels, and in women, this plant can regulate critical reproductive hormones such as progesterone.
To make a damiana infusion, let 10 to 15 grams or three tablespoons of the herb steep for 15 minutes in a litre of water, or let it boil softly for 5 minutes. Damiana powder can be mixed with water or fruit juice. One tablespoon is enough for a strong effect.
Do not use Damiana if you have liver or urinary tract disease.