The damiana plant has a long history in the Americas since it was used by the ancient Mayans and Aztecs as a treatment for giddiness, a tonic which improved overall health, a relaxant, and as an aphrodisiac which could stimulate sexual desire. In fact, Juan Maria de Salvatierra, a Spanish missionary
reported that Mexicans made a drink using its leaves which they believed contained love-enhancing properties that could help them improve the intimate aspects of their life.
Characteristics of the Damiana plant
Turnera Diffusa, also known as damiana, is an aromatic small shrub that is native to Africa, Mexico, and the southwest of the United States. This plant which belongs to the Turneraceae plant family has small yellow flowers, smooth pale green leaves, and small fruits with a sweet smell and fig-like flavor. Damiana has many other names. These include old woman’s broom, Mexican damiana, pastorata, hierba del venado, oreganello, and the bourrique. It is used in herbal healing since the leaves, which are harvested during the flowering season are considered medicinal.
Modern Medicinal Value of Damiana
In many ways, the indigenous peoples in the Americas were ahead of their time. They invented corn, developed rubber, and pioneered pain relief. They knew how to deal with many of their ailments naturally and were so knowledgeable about medicinal plants. Damiana was one of them. In fact, damiana is not only an aphrodisiac; it has impressive healing benefits as well which include the following.
- It is good for mental well-being
Damiana is known to be extremely relaxing. This plant which is considered as a natural antidepressant can help lift the mood, serve as an aid for mild depression and anxiety, calm the nerves, improve the quality of sleep, and produce almost immediately a feeling of happiness.
- It can improve brain function, supports good digestion, kidney health, cardiovascular health, and helps keep the body in top condition
Apigenin is a flavonoid with surmounting evidence for sparking adult neurogenesis or the creation of new neurons, which are the fundamental units of the brain and nervous system. Thus, it helps improve brain function and may inhibit anxiety.
Aside from this, the said compound supports the following:
-Healthy gut microbiota
-healthy cellular responses
-healthy weight and metabolism
-mitochondrial function and cellular energy
- It may help relieve menstrual problems and hot flashes during menopause
This plant is a perfect healing herb for women because of its antispasmodic properties which are helpful for easing cramps. Its stress-reducing nature can help manage mood swings naturally and help relieve the anxiety that many women may experience as one of the symptoms of PMS.
- It may help improve sexual function
Damiana has a long history in the Americas as an aphrodisiac. There may be truth in it because of the some scientific investigations which were conducted about it. These include A2009 study which suggested that it has pro-sexual effect because it was able to help sexually-exhausted male rats rebound for a second ejaculation. Some evidences also suggested that it may improve women’s sexual enjoyment as well since there were studies which reported an increase in sexual desire, reduction of vaginal dryness, and enhanced sexual sensation in many of their women participants.
Damiana tea is a therapeutic refreshing drink that is good for both the body and mind. It brings not only good health but also a feeling of satisfaction to those who drink it.