Damiana

Background

Damiana, also known with its botanical name as Tunera Diffusa, is a small shrub with aromatic leaves that grows in Mexico, Central and South America, and the West Indies and it has traditionally been used as a physical tonic and aphrodisiac, prescribing it for both men and women. It is, actually, a supplement consisting of the dried leaves of the Turnera Diffusa plant. This herb acts as a sex stimulant which not only boosts libido, but also enhances sexual pleasure. Though there is still lackluster of evidence on Damiana, some studies in animals show the aphrodisiac properties in it when they are either sexually sluggish or fatigued, which is an effective that can possibly be mimicked by any adaptogen class supplement.[1]

Benefits

Damiana is well-known for its aphrodisiac compounds. Formerly the drink made from damiana leaves was used by the Mexican Indians for its love-enhancing properties. Later the Americans used it to improve the sexual ability of the enfeebled and the aged and to provide increased activity to all the pelvic secretions. A study suggests the possible therapeutic properties of Turnera diffusa on sexual dysfunction. It identified the effect of damiana extract on sexually exhausted rats. The flavonoids present in the plant are found to have pro-sexual effects and significantly reduce post-ejaculatory intervals.[2]
Though damiana is often used for sexual improvement, it is not, actually, limited to its effects on sexual health. There are many other effects that come with damiana.
The common health benefits of damiana include:

  • Helps increase sexual stimulation [3]
  • Improves sexual performance [13]
  • Helps with erectile dysfunction [4]
  • Reduces the post-ejaculatory interval [9]
  • Reduces anxiety and depression [5]
  • Reduces oxidative stress [6]
  • Promotes health and well-being in women with menopause [7]
  • Helps with CNS disorders [8]
  • Reduces the effects of exhaustion [10]
  • Increases and maintains mental and physical stamina
  • Regulates menstruation [14]
  • Users report that it enhances mood, boosts energy, relieves people of sexual problems, boosts and maintains mental and physical stamina

Actually, the leaves of damiana or Turnera Diffusa plant have been used traditionally as a stimulant, aphrodisiac, tonic, diuretic, nerve tonic, laxative, and in kidney, menstrual and pregnancy disorders. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia lists specific indications for Damiana as anxiety neurosis associated with impotence, and includes other indications such as depression, nervous dyspepsia, atonic constipation and coital inadequacy.[11]

How it works

Damiana contains chemicals which may affect the brain and nervous system.[12]
Turnera diffusa has been used as an aphrodisiac in traditional medicine and studies suggest some possible therapeutic properties of Turnera diffusa on sexual dysfunction. The flavonoids present in active extract may participate in its pro-sexual effect, which is analogous to those produced by yohimbine, suggesting a shared mechanism of action.[15]
Truly, damiana is a sexual stimulant and it inspires blood circulation and improves the metabolism. The compounds it contains stimulate the nerves and genitals, directly. Damiana comes with a calming effect, and is an effective aphrodisiac. Its effect lasts for one to two hours. When damiana is used regularly for a long time, it’s seen that it enhances effectiveness and helps to renovate the hormonal balance in women.

Considerations

Damiana is possibly safe when taken in medicinal amounts, but there may have some serious side effects that include a seizure (convulsions)- when taken 200 grams, trouble breathing, fever, nausea, vomiting, changes in your mental status (agitation, fear, worry, confusion, hallucinations), painful muscle spasms or uncontrolled muscle movement.
Pregnant and breast-feeding women should not take damiana as it’s known as abortive. Children are also not recommended to take it. It might have a mild hypoglycemic effect so those on diabetes medication or those who suffer from hypoglycemia must use this plant with caution. Body’s iron levels should be monitored as it may interfere with the body’s absorption of iron.

Recommendations

At present, there is not enough evidence to recommend an appropriate effective dosage of Damiana. Usually, the dried leaves have been brewed as a tea. Before starting to consume damiana, consult your doctor or consider consulting a practitioner who is trained in the use of herbal/health supplements.
Always follow the directed description of administration on the package or as directed by your doctor, pharmacist, or other healthcare provider. It is not recommended to consume more than what is on the label.

Sources