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Damiana is an aromatic shrub with small yellow flowers that grows on dry, sunny, rocky hillsides in south Texas, Southern California, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. It is in the Turneraceae plant family which includes many tropical and sub-tropical shrubs with a few trees and the genus for half the plants in the family is Turnera. The two species used in herbal healing, both of which are referred to as damiana, are Turnera aphrodisiaca and Turnera diffusa. The leaves and sometimes the stems of the plant have medicinal uses. Other names for damiana include Old Woman’s Broom, Mexican Camiana, Pastorata, Hierba del Venado, Oreganello and the Bourrique.
The origin of the common name damiana is from the Greek daman or damia meaning “to tame or subdue”. It is the feminine version of Damian and infers that damiana is the wild one “who tames”. It is believed that the indigenous Guaycura in the Baja region of Mexico were the first to use damiana. According to legend, the herb became wore widely distributed when the Guaycura began trading with the Aztecs. Damiana was also highly valued in ancient times by the Mayans, who used the plant in a similar manner to the Aztecs and the Guaycura.
Damiana is known for its healthful properties and amorous spirit. The leaves can be used in tea blends, herbal smoking mixtures, infused into a sweet liquor, or macerated as damiana extract. Although its noted effect on sexual desire has been its primary traditional use across cultures, it has also been valued as a relaxant, digestive stimulant, mood enhancer, or just an enjoyable beverage that was often given to children. It is widely drunk as a tea in Latin America and Mexico with early documented use by the Mayan people where it is seen as a pleasant, stimulating beverage without the side effects of tea or coffee.
The taste and energetics of Damiana are bitter, sweet, warming and drying. Damiana has an affinity towards the nervous system, kidneys, lungs, digestive system, circulatory system and reproductive organs. For an uplifting tea blend on a dark rainy day combine Damiana with Hawthorn, Rosehips, Chamomile and Passion Flower. For an aphrodisiac tea combine Damiana with Rose Petals, Oat Straw, Cardamom, Cinnamon and Orange Peel.
How to use:
1 teaspoon of Damiana Leaf to one cup of boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes, strain and drink up to three cups a day.
Cautions & contraindications:
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.