What is Damiana?

A scientific name for damiana is “Turnera diffusa.” Damiana is a shrub that is native to areas of Texas, United States, South America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. Damiana belongs to the family of Passifloraceae.

Damiana is a woody and small shrub, which produces aromatic and yellow flowers. Damiana blossoms in a period of early-late summer. Damiana shrub has a specific spice-like odor, which resembles chamomile. This odor is due to different essential oils present in this shrub.

History of Turnera diffusa:

The use of damiana as a herbal remedy has evidence in the past. As the Spanish crossed the Atlantic area, the effectiveness of damiana as bladder tonic and aphrodisiac increased in different cultures. Since then, damiana is in use for several health benefits.

Ancient Mayan tribes used this shrub for hallucination and aphrodisian purposes. In the year 1870, the US promoted the use of damiana as a patent medicine to enhance sexual functioning in both women and men.

Now, for commercial use, Mexico and Bolivia cultivate the Turnera diffusa. Dry soil and sunlight are the best favorable conditions for the harvesting of T. diffusa.

Uses of Turnera diffusa:

According to researches, out of 135 species of T. diffusa, half a dozen are in use for traditional medicines. Turnera diffusa Willd ex Schult is the highly noticeable aphrodisiac plant.

This plant specie includes interventions for:

  • Women’s health problems
  • Skin disorders
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Pulmonary disorders
  • Pain
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Fever
  • Fungal diseases
  • Cough
  • Bronchitis
  • Anemia

Additional uses of damiana include as:

  • Laxative
  • Expectorants
  • Abortives

Experimentally proven bioactivities of damiana are:

  • Aphrodisiac
  • Hepatoprotective
  • Gastroprotective
  • Cytotoxic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Antiobesity
  • Adaptogenic
  • Antioxidant
  • Antidiabetic
  • Antimycobacterial
  • Antibacterial
  • Antiaromatase
  • And antianxiety activities.

Researchers did investigations on the antiobesity properties of damiana on human subjects with herbal preparations and Turnera diffusa leaves.

Moreover, other properties of damiana include the improvement of sexual functions among individuals, especially females.

Weight loss:

According to early researches, a specific combination of damiana leaves Yerba mate and guarana can effectively reduce the excessive body weight in an obese population. This combination of herbs can suppress appetite. The results of the research showed that this combination delayed gastric emptying, which helped to produce a significant loss in body weight.

These shrubs encourage the release of stools, which promotes the internal cleansing of the body. Effectiveness of damiana for thermogenic and mood response acts as an alternative to oral appetite suppressant supplements.

Antiappetite properties of damiana can be helpful for the improvement of mood among individuals who tend to eat for emotional satisfaction. This mood enhancement can give them a “full-feeling,” which is the most significant point for weight loss.

Diuretic

Cleansing properties of damiana make it a perfect remedy for treating urinary tract infections, urethritis, and cystitis. Diuretics are the medications helpful for increased extraction of urine for the body, which cleanses the body.

Sexual functioning:

According to the results of earlier studies, a specific combination of damiana, minerals, vitamins, ginkgo, ginseng, Panax, American ginseng, and L-arginine can improve the sexual functioning among men and women. The result of this herbal treatment can show improvement in sexual satisfaction and reduction of sexual dysfunctions.

While considering some herbal medications, you must use caution as there are no federal regulations for the herbal remedies. You must check with your physician about the indication and dosage of a specific medicine.

Antitussive:

Antitussive is an agent for relieving cough. Damiana is a cough relieving agent. Eucalyptol is an ingredient of damiana, which has its uses in history and until now.

Analgesic:

The use of damiana as an analgesic for menstrual cramps, headaches, and other pains is also helpful.

Anti-anxiety:

Damiana works by releasing certain chemicals, which can affect the nervous system and brain. Several psychological problems as headaches, depression, and anxiety are easily treatable with damiana.

Other health benefits:

  • Bedwetting
  • Boosting of physical and mental stamina
  • Nervous and stomach upset
  • Depression

Other health benefits for damiana include treatment for:

Traditionally, people use damiana for the treatment of urinary and bladder issues. Some individuals feel satisfaction with the effects of damiana on their bladders.

While consuming the herbal medicines with water, you can not decide whether the effect is coming from the herb or through the hydration with water. The same is the case with the use of damiana fluid for bladder pain relief.

If you suspect any urinary infection, then you should immediately go to your doctor and get a complete medical checkup before it gets worse.

Anti-aromatase agent:

  • the treatment of different cancers as breast cancer among postmenopausal women
  • infertility among individuals

According to studies, damiana has estrogenic and anti-aromatase properties, which are beneficial for:

These agents are also helpful in reducing the conversion of estrogen while using external testosterones.

Drug interaction:

If you consume the damiana in combination with hypoglycemics or anti-diabetic medicines, then you should take caution. Hypoglycemics have indications to reduce blood sugar levels, and the use of damiana can also lower the sugar levels in the body. So, a combination of these two sugar-lowering agents can decrease the sugar to a dangerously low level. Therefore, you must monitor your blood sugar while consuming damiana products.

Medications for diabetes include:

  • Rosiglitazone
  • Pioglitazone
  • Metformin
  • Insulin
  • Glyburide
  • Glimepiride

There is no interaction of damiana with the use of other herbs.

According to pharmacology principles, damiana can cause drowsiness in combination with anti-anxiety drugs. The same is the case with other drug groups related to SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), TCAs (tricyclics), and antidepressant medications.

If you are using the herbs in combination with progesterone, estrogen, and other hormone regulation medicines, then you must consult your doctor for the consultation.

In case of any allergy, you must discontinue the treatment. If you consume the damiana according to recommendations, then it is safe.

Damiana supplements can contain cyanide-like compounds, which can be very dangerous if you consume it in excessive doses.

Avoid its use for estrogenic activity in hormone-sensitive cancers.

Dosage:

Dosage of damiana can range.

For dried leaf:

  • 450mg dose, with 1-3 capsules before breakfast
  • In the case of stomach upset, you should take a low-fat meal after the consumption of the medicine

For dried leaf tea:

  • 2-5 grams or ½ to 1 teaspoon in 120 ml of water (hot water).
  • Steep the mixture for 10 minutes and try to drink it 2-4 times every day.

For liquid extracts:

  • 60 drops in 2ml of any favorite beverage. You should consume this mixture 2-4 times every day.

Doctors always recommend taking damiana on alternative weeks as two weeks on and then one week off.

There isn’t any specific or standard dosage of damiana. It depends upon the individual requirements, so you should consult your physician for the appropriate dosage.

Where to get it?

Damiana is available in the market as a health food and supplements. There are a variety of methods to consume damiana like tinctures, tablets, extracts, capsules, and tea blends.

Damiana is the most effective when you use it with other herbs and plants for normal systemic functioning, mood, weight loss, and sexual potency.

Conclusion:

Damiana is a natural herb, which is useful for several health purposes as sexual potency, weight loss, pain relief, and relaxation. Damiana is available in various forms as a leaf, dry leaves, tea, and capsules. You can buy it online or in the market.