When smoked or taken as a strong tea,
Damiana can have the following effects:
|Treatment of headache
|Alleviate anxiety and stress||•|
|Increase resistance to stress
|Diuretic effect and aids in control of bedwetting||•|
|Improve gastrointestinal conditions (laxative effect)||•|
|Aphrodisiac (increase sexual desire, improve performance and sexual impotency)||•|
Damiana (Turnera diffusa, syn. Turnera aphrodisiaca) is a shrub native to Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. It is distantly related Passion Flower and the two are commonly mixed. It has a long history of use. In some places in Australia, Damiana is used as an alternative to tobacco. Damiana has a synergistic effect with Passionflower which when used in a combination can be relaxing and may promote sleep. In fact, Damiana on its own may be made into a tea to promote sleep. Damiana has been included as an ingredient in herbal cigarettes.
Originally utilized as a sexual stimulant during the Mayan civilization, it has potential reproductive and sexual pleasure enhancer properties. Aside from that, Damiana may also induce a euphoric dream-like experience ideally suited for treatment of stress, anxiety and depression.
The turn of the century herbalists were full of praise for Damiana:
American Materia Medica, 1919 (Ellingwood): 'A mild nerve tonic claimed to be valuable in the treatment of sexual impotence. Some of our physicians praise it highly for its influence in sexual neurasthenia, and it is said to correct frigidity in the female.'
'It had long enjoyed a local reputation as a stimulant tonic of the sexual apparatus among the natives of Mexico, before it attracted the attention of the profession. Besides its peculiar action on the sexual appetite and function, it is a general tonic, somewhat cathartic, and is slightly cholagogue.'
'The midwives and women of loose morals of Western Mexico also attribute emmenagogue properties to it.'
'Dr. Reid uses Damiana in all conditions where a general tonic is needed, especially if there be enfeeblement of the central nervous system. He esteems it most highly, prescribing it constantly for this purpose.'
'It is valuable in renal and cystic catarrh and in general irritation of the urinary passages, through its influence in soothing irritation of mucous membranes.'
'This latter property renders it valuable in the treatment of respiratory disorders, especially those accompanied with profuse secretion.'
'In the line of the action of this remedy in its influence upon the reproductive organs, Dr. Reid mentions dysmenorrhea, headache, at the menstrual epoch, bad complexion, rough or discolored patches on the skin with acne, especially of a severe type, depending upon uterine irritation. Eruption resembling eczema, from insufficient menstruation.'
'Dr. Watkins gives as its further indications, delayed or suppressed menstruation in young girls, irregularity at the beginning of menstruation, amenorrhea in very young girls. It will certainly allay sensitiveness of the sympathetic nervous system to irritations caused by disorders of the womb and ovaries. The remedy must be given in full doses, to accomplish these results. From five to ten grains of the extract is necessary three or four times a day, and persisted in. The writer has been using it as suggested, and has been very well satisfied with it.'
'In one most severe case of acne, with discoloration of the skin, due to uterine irritation, the results were satisfactory, both to the patient and physician. I am satisfied that it relieves hyperesthesia of the sympathetic nervous system and prevents many of the results of reflex irritation from uterine or ovarian disorder.'