I'll be honest - this morning I felt pretty bad. As a sufferer of mild to moderate anxiety on occasion (which has somehow crept back into my life after being great for a long while), remedies and things that may provide some relief are of interest to me.
In fact, Valerian Tea was what got me started on herbal teas.
This morning I stayed in bed far longer than I should, felt even a bit worse after I got up, and then remembered I'd brought some Damiana tea back with me for the weekend 'just in case'. I drank that and after about 20 minutes, I felt about 70% better and could go outside for some lunch and do some shopping.
The reason I'm creating this article is due to the above as I delve a bit deeper into the mechanics behind Damiana Tea and how it works.
A little about Anxiety
Anxiety is a weird, and annoying thing. It's hard to pin down and comes in many forms, along with being able to affect most anyone. I could provide a lot of anxiety statistics to show how common it is, but won't get into that too much.
Despite how good your life may be, it can strike you. Many famous people with great lives suffer or have suffered from it and are trying to raise awareness. It's also difficult for someone without these issues to understand why someone else would be affected, especially if nothing immediate is particularly wrong.
And how could they understand? The person experiencing anxiety hardly understands themselves and to both experiencer and observer it really does seem quite strange that a person would feel like something is horribly wrong even if leading a stress-free life.
But still... there are so many symptoms, everyone is different, and luckily - my experiences haven't been as severe as some others. For me, it's more a feeling than thoughts - which I think is why Damiana is particularly effective for me.
Let's finally get into the 'why'...
How does Damiana Tea work?
Damiana in post modern times was actually known as a 'love potion' herb (particularly within Mexico) that helps to improve sexual performance. While a bonus, one reason for this could be due to the relaxing and clearing effects that Damiana has on the mind and emotional state of the individual. Afterall, sexual performance is said to be 99% mental.
Containing about 20 different compounds, Damiana has been shown to help with numerous conditions - but the focus today is on Anxiety.
Functioning as a nervous system relaxant, the interesting properties of this plant act as both a tonic and restoration herb for the nervous system possibly due to the Thymol contained within.
A hard read, but contained within this article are a few more words on Thymol.
Of particular interest is:
"It is one of the most common mental disorders that is characterized by a disturbance in mood or emotional tone due to excessive fear. Thymol (5–20 mg/kg) has been shown to promote anti-anxiety activity in mice on both elevated plus-maze (EPM) and light/dark exploration test (LDT) behavioral models. This effect of thymol could be due to the possible modulation of the 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and nitric oxide-cyclic guanosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (NO-cGMP) pathways (Bhandari and Kabra, 2014)."
Apart from Thymol, another compound within Damiana is Apigenin - which has shown results in the treatment for both depression and anxiety (which sometimes come hand in hand). And surprise! Chamomile also contains Apigenin.
"Apigenin (Figure 2(a)) is a common flavonoid found in a range of plants, including chamomile (Matricaria recutita). The traditional use of chamomile tea as a treatment for insomnia and anxiety led to investigations of its active constituents, including apigenin. Apigeninwas found to have anxiolytic properties, and it competitively inhibited the binding of flunitrazepam to brain membranes without influencing the binding of muscimol to GABAA receptors."
These two may be the main factors in why Damiana is effective against mild to moderate anxiety and will update this article if further information becomes available!