Plant Description Medical Properties Dosage
Caution & Interaction Efficacy Studies & Other Clinical Data Helpful Links
Latin (botanical) name: Turnera diffusa
Common names:Herba de la Pastora, Mexican Damiana, Old Woman's Broom, Rosemary
Plant Description:Damiana comes from a small shrub which has pale green leaves and yellow flowers that grow in the leaf axils. The small leaves are alternate or in bunches with serrate margins, and the underside is covered with pale hairs. They have a strong aroma somewhat like chamomile, and taste somewhat bitter and resinous. The fruits are small tripartite, slightly curved capsules. Preferring hot, humid climates, Damiana is native to Texas, Mexico and Central America.
Medicinal Properties &Uses: The chemical composition of Damiana is complex and not all components have been identified. However, the known make-up is 0.5-1% volatile oil, gonzalitosin (cyanogic glycoside), arbutin, tannin and damianin. The leaf also contains beta-sitosterol, which may account for the stimulant effect on the sexual organs. Damiana is used as a mild purgative or diuretic, which acts directly on the reproductive organs. It is used to treat such disorders as depression, lethargy, nervous dyspepsia, constipation, and coital inadequacy, and it is a valuable strengthening remedy for the nervous system. It is specifically indicated in anxiety neuroses with a predominant sexual factor. Damiana has been called the "lover's herb" due to its ancient reputation as an aphrodisiac, and is used as such in Germany and England. Because it carries oxygen and increases circulation to the genital area, it supports both male and female sexuality, even though, because the alkaloids are thought to have a testosteronal effect, it has been considered 'the male herb'. Damiana has been used, especially in Mexico, for orchitis (testicular inflammation), and to successfully treat exhaustion, bladder inflammation, impotence, and to contain genital herpes. Physicians in Mexico also use it to treat nephritis. It has been known to effectively treat bedwetting as well.
Dosage: 30-60 drops in water or juice, 2-3 times daily, or as needed. Shake well before using.
Cautions & Interactions: Keep out of the reach of children.
Efficacy Studies & Other Clinical Data: