Nature is a mighty healing force that holds power to nurture our physical health, nourish our spiritual side, and envigorate our sex life. We can use a myriad of plants and herbs for physical and emotional healing, but when it comes to our sexual health, nothing is so potent as Damiana. If you have been looking for a natural way of healing and stimulating your libido, this sacred plant might be just the thing to incorporate into your self-care practice. And given that these past two years were quite challenging, full of toxicity and built-up fear and negativity, you may be interested in exploring what nature can offer for your release of blocked energies.
Damiana, Nature’s Powerful Aphrodisiac
Damiana is widely known as an ancient aphrodisiac, believed to boost libido, increase desire, and open the heart. This beautiful, yellow-flowered shrub grows from the Baja peninsula in Mexico, across Latin America, the Caribbean, and all the way to southern Texas and California. The use of Turnera aphrodisiaca, which is a scientific name for damiana, actually dates back to Mayan and Aztec civilizations, who incorporated this herbal medicine into their rituals. They used it as a heart opener, mood lifter, nerve calmer, and of course, libido booster for both men and women.
The Mayans would call it a ‘pleasure enhancer,’ spreading the word of its aphrodisiacal powers. The Mexican Indians would mix it with sugar to boost circulation, improve their sexual performance and lovemaking. However, it was (and still is) also used for its other healing powers, curing everything from headache, bed-wetting, and constipation to upset stomach and diabetes. But, it was particularly cherished by women for its spiritual, feminine powers of unblocking and balancing out the energies in the body and mind.
Sexual Desire, its Blockages, and Damiana as a Tool for Self-Healing
A small number of things can so profoundly shape our sense of self as being able to consciously, actively, and unapologetically experience desire. Unfortunately, for many people, experiencing lust and desire carries with it the problems of living in a culture packed with disempowering messages that are difficult to identify.
Historically, women’s desire has been seen as shameful, sinful, and dangerous. Although more valued and encouraged, men’s desire has also suffered various blows of beliefs and opinions. With time, these expectations regarding sex drive have created long-standing psychological blocks that have persisted to this day. Recognizing these blocks can help people (re)awaken their sexuality and experience pleasure and joy in their bodies. So what are the most common blocks to sexual desire? Desirability defined by others and not knowing the intricacies of your own (sexual) body.
Firstly, it’s perfectly natural to care what you look like, especially when it comes to people you are attracted to. However, a fixation on looking sexy and desirable to others actually can block your desire. When you are focused too much on your desirability, it tends to lock you in your head, making you feel disembodied. Thoughts can help you navigate life, but they can also become a problem that can block your sexuality.
Damiana helps break down the mental chatter, opinions, and judgments stuck in your head. It allows you to relax and feel your entire self, your moods, sensations, and energy rushing through your body. It helps you tune into your embodied intuition, revealing what you want HERE and NOW. And this place, the ‘here and now,’ is your embodied experience and the birthplace of your desire.
Moving from the worry of what others think to your own experience of your body as it’s unraveling through your senses (what you feel, see, taste, smell, hear) is a way into your sexuality. With time, practice, and a herbal helper such as damiana, allowing yourself to be as you are without changing yourself to fit expectations of desirability can break this common sexual block.
The second block is even more problematic than the first one. With very little sex education in schools and homes, people grow up not really knowing the intricacies of their bodies and how they work. What sensations mean, how the sensory and physical responses connect to sexual arousal, lust, and love, and even the most simple thing as knowing what feels good or doesn’t often elude us. But, if we don’t know these things about ourselves and our bodies, how can we expect our partner to know them?
This leads to expecting that others will know how to please us, which is understandably false. Limiting your pleasure to experiencing it only with others can disempower you, making you dependent on another for your own sexual experience. Yes, you should learn how to pleasure your partner, but setting your arousal solely into their hands can block your desire. Why? Because it can only lead to unrealistic hopes of erotic rescue by another when you should be the orchestrator of your own arousal and pleasure. As a herb of embodiment, Damiana can help you experience you – in all of your beauty and (im)perfection.
Why Should You Try Damiana as an Aphrodisiac?
Having a self-healing routine means to intentionally and continually pay attention to what your body and mind is signaling to you. It involves tuning in to your thoughts and feelings, and challenging them if you feel out of alignment in your life. It is also good to figure out where your blockages are coming from.
Ultimately, self-care should never feel like a chore but a way to a better, more open and aware version of yourself. You SHOULD be enjoying this process and you CAN. The more you invest in it, the more you will feel comfortable in your skin (figuratively and literally!). Considering damiana’s mood-elevating effects – calming nerves, relieving depression and anxiety – this versatile plant can be a perfect tool for your sexual healing.
Damiana works by increasing our nerve sensitivity, strengthening the nervous and hormonal system (think serotonin and dopamine). Why is this so important? Because our nervous system plays a vital role in our mood, which has a massive effect on our arousal!
As an aphrodisiac, damiana supports desire and pleasure directly, targeting erogenous areas of your body that play a vital part in your sexual well-being. It increases circulation and blood flow, reducing the negative effects of stress and helping you relax and enjoy the moment.
Once open and relaxed, you can focus on (re)discovering what brings you pleasure. Touch and caress yourself, experience the sensations of the smells and sounds in your environment, and what your own touch can arouse in you. Eroticism is often considered to be a sexual act done between two or more people, but really, it starts with YOU. And it requires patience, self-kindness and practice. Once you realize this and start focusing on your sexual self, your healing and the pleasure that comes with it can finally begin.