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Damiana


open quote natural remedies logo Damiana contains chemical substances that help with reducing anxiety, stress and creating a euphoric "high" state. As well, animal and human studies show that it can help with erectile dysfunction and acts as an aphrodisiac. close quote natural remedies


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Damiana's reputation is on its ability to act as an aphrodisiac both in men and women. Combination herbal supplements marketed as an aphrodisiac often contains other natural supplements such as yohimbe (yohimbine), catuaba, horny goat weed (epimedium), maca, ginkgo, L-arginine, ginseng, muira puama, tribulus terrestris, DHEA and vitamins and minerals.

Research studies on the herb have been conducted in rats with positive results. There are no human studies on the herb by itself, however studies on one supplement ArginMax (containing ginseng, ginkgo, damiana, L-arginine, multivitamins and minerals) showed positive results.

Marketed as an aphrodisiac and for treating erectile dysfunction, many products contain multiple ingredients such as yohimbe (yohimbine), catuaba, horny goat weed (epimedium), maca, ginkgo, L-arginine, ginseng, muira puama, tribulus terrestris, DHEA and vitamins and minerals.

Historically, people have smoked damiana to get a "high" similar to smoking marijuana and this practice is continued up to today.

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Table of Contents

 

Evidence of Benefits (Leaf rating system)

This is a quick summary. For full details see the article entitled Benefits of Damiana.
 
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Erectile Dysfunction (ED) / Impotence  
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Aphrodisiac / Increase Libido in Female  
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Weight Loss
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Anxiety / Stress  
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Substitute for Marijuana (Smoking Damiana) 
Leaf Natural Remedies Herbal Review Benefits Side Effects Antibacterial Effect 
Helpful Adaptogen  

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Facts on Damiana

What is this herb?

It is an aromatic shrub that can be found growing in Mexico, Texas and Central America.

Phytochemically, the plant contains more than 35 compounds including alkaloids, cyanogenic glycosides, steroids, saponins, flavonoids, tannins, carbohydrates, and proteins. Some of the chemicals it contain are known to be psychoactive (affects the mind) and can create a sense of well-being and a euphoric state.

What are some other names for this?

Damiana Aphrodisiaca, Mexican Damiana, Turnera diffusa, Old Woman's Broom, Herba de la Pastora, Turnerae diffusae folium

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Suggested Benefits and Traditional Uses

Orally
  • bedwetting
  • constipation
  • depression
  • dysentery (gastrointestinal condition)
  • headache
  • increased physical performance
  • memory enhancement
  • sexual dysfunction
  • urinary tract infection

Topically (on the skin)

Inhalational (smoking)

  • euphoria (to induce a hallucinogenic / "high" effect)
  • marijuana substitute
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Side Effects, Toxicity and Warnings

Research studies done on humans using products containing the herb (plus other natural remedies) revealed minor side effects such as insomnia and headaches. Higher doses may cause mild diarrhea.

In one study a single dose of 200 grams caused seizures.

Studies done on human subjects in multi-ingredient supplements showed no significant side effects.

Safety - In the US, FDA has given the herb a Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status. No safety concerns were reported on research studies done on humans using this herb.

Pregnancy & Lactation - There's no study to show whether this supplement is harmful or safe to use during pregnancy.

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Common Drug & Health Condition Interactions

Diabetes / Anti-diabetic Medications - theoretical

There are mixed results in how the herb might affect blood sugar levels in animals. One studies showed that it decreased blood sugar levels and another showed no effect or an increase in blood sugar levels.

As there are no studies done on humans with diabetes, monitor blood sugar levels closely when starting or stopping this herb.

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Dosage & How to Take It

The herb comes as a tincture, capsules (tablets), powder or tea.

Suggested dosage by experts includes 2.5 mL (1/2 teaspoon) taken up to three times daily. As a powdered herb tea leaves use 18 grams in 500 mL of water taken up to three times daily.

As a capsule, take 400 to 800 mg capsules up to three times daily.


Related Articles and Resources

Natural remedies to treat and cure erectile dysfunction

Discover ways to boost sex drive using herbal remedies




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Updated: May 20, 2010

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