For thousands of years, people have been using plants and herbs to heal their bodies and purify their spirit and bring balance into their lives and their environment. While there are hundreds of thousands of herbs and plants people all over the world use in their remedies, one of the most sacred and potent for natives of Central and South America is Damiana.
For centuries, damiana has been celebrated as an adaptogenic herb with numerous benefits for the human body and spirit. It was widely used throughout Mexico and Central America as a traditional medicine for headaches, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, insomnia, low libido, depression, and anxiety. It has also been praised for its libido-enhancing and muscle-relaxing properties. Because of its feminine powers, it was particularly cherished by native women, who used it to relieve symptoms of PMS and menopausal symptoms, regulate their female hormone levels, control hot flashes, and improve menstrual regularity. Women have long understood the power and health benefits of damiana in protecting them from many diseases, including breast cancer.
The Leading Cancer Killer in Women
When you hear of breast cancer, what first comes into your mind? Fear, panic? Understandably so, because worldwide, breast cancer is the leading killer of women aged 35 to 55. Millions can develop the disease without even knowing it, and every year half a million of them die from it, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. What is probably most alarming is that all women are at risk from this cruel disease, with approximately 70% of breast cancers happening in women without the well-known factors.
Unfortunately, the numbers continue to go up because of the simple reason, and that is – most women only consult their doctor when it is too late. Breast cancer usually starts with a formation of a small tumor, and in its early stages, it usually has no symptoms. However, as it progresses, a woman can experience tenderness or pain in her breast. She may also notice swelling in the armpit, but the most prominent symptom is a lump in the breast tissue. In fact, more than 80% of breast cancers are discovered in this form by the woman herself.
Women know very well why breast self-examination (BSE) is so important, nevertheless, very few practice this important body ritual on a regular basis. We tend to give a lot of excuses like ‘I’m busy’ or ‘I forgot’ and even ‘I don’t like doing it,’ which touches upon deeper emotional problems that also need to be addressed. As one of two breast cancer prevention methods, self-examination is vital for women. Celebrating our bodies through touching ourselves and the pleasure this can give us can be a starting point of an extraordinary relationship with ourselves and our health.
Damiana, A Herb of Embodiment
There is a simple task that women can do daily, and that is to massage their breasts. As a form of self-love as well as self-examination, breast massages can help detect breast cancer. Early diagnosis of breast cancer can certainly lead to a better outcome since it provides an opportunity for cancer treatment before it spreads too far. When breast cancer is localized, most women have a 99% chance of living after their initial diagnosis. A handy tool (all puns intended!) for this technique is massaging oils. If you decide to do it twice a week, as recommended by the National Breast Cancer Organization, then you need to make sure you are using quality herbal massage oils.
Flor de Amor’s Nectar – Botanical Pleasure Potion is a 100% wildcrafted massage oil, free of solvents, heavy metals, and pesticides, which will provide you with a soothing application and awaken your senses with its floral aroma. Your body is a vessel that carries you through life, and it deserves to be treated with love, care, and affection. If self-exploration is something new to you, damiana, with its heart-opening effects, will help you get body-curious and aroused by your own beauty.
However, this is not the only reason why we recommend this herbal medicine so wholeheartedly in your self-healing rituals. If you didn’t know, most of the risk factors for breast cancer are related to a woman’s hormonal status. This is very important in terms of damiana use since it has been shown to have high anti-aromatase activity. Aromatase is an enzyme involved in the production of estrogen that acts by starting the conversion of testosterone (an androgen) into estradiol (an estrogen).
In women, aromatase is located in estrogen-producing cells in the adrenal glands, ovaries, fat tissue, and brain. Why is this important to know? Because the growth of some breast cancers is promoted by estrogens. As an aromatase blocker, damiana stops the overproduction of estrogen, especially in women over 50 years old. According to another study, damiana also has a possible cytotoxic effect on breast cancer cells. Due to its two active compounds, arbutin and apigenin, damiana has the potential of becoming a viable alternative therapy for breast cancer.
Damiana’s Loving Embrace
From a spiritual aspect, damiana is incredibly valuable due to its relaxing and soothing effects. For women who are already dealing with breast cancer, damiana can be the right tool for boosting their mood and peacefully coping with such a health challenge. With damiana’s calming and euphoric effects, brave women who are facing this disease, as well as depression and anxiety, which follows the diagnosis, can now find themselves in a more open and relaxed state of mind during their self-healing rituals.
If you are fighting off breast cancer, you might be going through feelings of anger and disdain at your body and question yourself how something so awful could be happening. Practicing self-love and self-healing with the warm touch of damiana can help you navigate this difficult experience and lift your spirits. Surround yourself with the support of loved ones and greet your mind, body, and soul with care and compassion.