The majority of our planet is covered in water; however, where the water stops, plants of all shapes and sizes coat Earth like a blanket, each remarkable in its way. Most of Earth’s plants have something to ‘give’ us if we are wise enough to uncover it. Even today, human dependence on plants is undeniable, but this dependence has never been more prominent as in our predecessors’ times. Undoubtedly, humankind would not exist without the abundant and healing gifts from plants.
One such herb is Damiana. Damiana is a flowering plant native to Mexico, Central America, South America, and Southwest Texas in the U.S. Originally used by ancient Aztec and Mayan people; Damiana has been shown to have many positive effects on the human body and mind. Let’s look at Damiana, its history, and some of the benefits Damiana can provide.
What is Damiana?
Damiana, also known as Turnera diffusa var. aphrodisiaca, is a small flowering shrub native to Southern California, South Texas, West Indies, Mexico, and South America. Its name originates from the Greek ‘daman’ or ‘damia,’ meaning ‘to tame or subdue.’ The name is the feminine version of ‘Damian’ and implies that Damiana is the plant that tames wild spirits. According to legend, the first people to ever use the plant were the indigenous Guaycura from the Baja region of Mexico. Stories tell us that Damiana became more widely distributed when the Guaycura started trading with the Aztecs. The Mayans also highly valued Damiana.
Traditionally, the plant’s leaves and stems are used in teas, tonics, and flavoring liquors, to improve general health. Damiana can also be smoked, and it has a long history of use as an aphrodisiac. Smoking Damiana has been described as both stimulating and relaxing, especially when it’s blended with other herbs.
For Aztecs, Mayans, and Guaycura people, Damiana was not only an aphrodisiac but also a cure for depression, anxiety, menstrual issues, digestive problems, weight loss, and even bed-wetting. Although not all Damiana’s components are identified, at least 35 compounds have been discovered. Some of them are:
- Cyanogenic glycosides;
- Terpenoids (synergistic compounds);
- Antioxidant flavonoids and phenolics;
- Alkaloids (anti-anxiety);
- Saponins (anti-cancer);
- Plant steroids (anti-inflammatory);
- Tannins (nutrient and anti-nutrient);
Damiana’s active compounds are located in the leaves, stems, and flowers. The herb also produces various amounts of essential oils and antioxidants depending on their grown conditions.
What’s Damiana Used For?
This beautiful herb is used to treat multiple issues in the human body and mind. It is excellent for treating anxiety, depression, and nervousness since it reduces stress levels in the body without having addictive effects. Damiana has also been shown to reduce PMS symptoms (premenstrual syndrome), such as cramping and mood swings, a thing all women can appreciate!
Due to its calming effects, Damiana can be used as a sleep aid. Most people find that taking Damiana tea before bed can reduce feelings of restlessness and insomnia. It works great in combination with valerian root (another plant with calming effects on both body and mind). The supportive blend of Damiana, Mullein, Passionflower, Skullcap, Lavender, and Lemon promotes relaxation by lifting low spirits and calming restless minds. The mix also helps with digestion and restless sleep, making it the best ally against stress and anxiety.
As Damiana is a mild stimulant, it can be used to boost the immune system. It has also been shown to improve sexual function and fertility in both men and women. Due to its estrogenic effects, Damiana leaves are even used for herbal breast enhancement supplements.
Damiana is one of nature’s best gifts for women, especially those who experience painful PMS symptoms like cramps, irritability, and mood swings. It can melt down frigidity, increase intimacy, and heighten the enjoyment of sexual intercourse. It is ‘famous’ for increasing desire and sensation in both sexes! This flowering herb can also be used to improve the clarity of dreams and can cause erotic dreams. Damiana can even help those looking to reduce or completely cut their nicotine addiction and excessive cannabis use.
The Effects of Damiana on Body and Mind
Damiana is a tasty herb; however, it is not habit-forming. It has been used in Central and South America and Mexico for its relaxation and euphoric properties for centuries. It is said that Mayans even used it to cure asthma, as its smooth texture gently clears the lungs. The most pronounced effects of consuming Damiana are:
Improved Sexual Function
The most popular thing about the Damiana plant is its aphrodisiac effect. People add it to numerous herbal combinations to improve their sex life and achieve a blissful, libido-enhancing euphoria. Damiana doesn’t affect motor skills or cause sedation; on the contrary, its calming effect can enhance sexual performance. For women, especially those going through menopause and hormonal imbalance, Damiana is a great and natural way to boost their sexual desire.
It works by increasing circulation and sensitivity to sex organs. Some herbalists believe that Damiana can even relieve vaginal dryness without causing unwanted estrogenic effects. A smooth and tasty herbal blend for intimate moments consists of Damiana, Hibiscus, Rose, Mullein, and Blackberry.
Damiana herb encourages soft stools, which can help promote internal cleansing. However, when used with other plants, it can produce thermogenic activity. One study suggests that the herbal mixture of Damiana, yerba mate, and guarana (YGD) delays gastric emptying by 15 to 85% and induces a substantial weight loss over 45 days. Furthermore, the appetite suppressant effects, combined with the mood-enhancing effects of Damiana, can lead to the improvement of health conditions that lead to overeating, especially for people who have problems with emotional eating.
Anxiety and Depression Stopper
Functioning as a nervous system relaxant, the properties of Damiana act as both a tonic and restoration plant for the nervous system due to the thymol and apigenin contained within. Several studies have shown that Damiana has an apparent anti-anxiety effect compared to Valium. It doesn’t negatively affect motor skills, nor does it harm organs. Since depression often comes hand in hand with anxiety, Damiana can help with this issue as well.
A good blend for easing the nervous system is made with Damiana, Mullein, Egyptian Blue Lotus, Mugwort, and Wild Lettuce. Both sedative and stimulating, this herbal combination promotes a conscious connection to the subconscious mind, enhancing creativity and intuition.
The diuretic properties of potassium, magnesium, and arbutin in Damiana leaf make this medicinal plant an excellent remedy against urinary problems such as cystitis, renal infections, and kidney stones. A blend of Damiana, Mullein, Skullcap, Chamomile, and Spearmint are perfect for supporting urinary tract health.
Cure for the Lungs
Damiana oil is rich in anti-bacterial agents such as arbutin, cineol, thymol, ascorbic acid, and beta-pinene. These make an excellent treatment for respiratory diseases like bronchitis, flu, and coughing. It is also helpful with nicotine addiction. One of the best herbal blends for quitting smoking tobacco includes Damiana, Mullein, Coltsfoot, Marshmallow leaf, Calendula flowers, and Yerba Santa. The blend has beneficial effects on the respiratory system and helps with emotional blockages of the heart and lungs.
Headaches and Pain Reliever
For centuries, Damiana has been used to relieve headaches and as a natural pain reliever. According to one pain-tolerance study performed on mice, it was equal to morphine.
Constipation and Upset Stomach
Due to its compound arbutin, Damiana has an anti-ulcer activity. According to one study, this compound protects the stomach lining from ulcer-causing chemicals.
Whether you are dealing with body or mind issues, the healing properties of Damiana can help you boost your immune system, mood, libido, and overall wellness. Discover your favorite way of consuming this sacred plant and get back to the most important person in your life – you.