Damiana has a long history of use as an aphrodisiac, with the first users widely thought to have been the Aztecs and Mayans in Central America. It has actually been used for a variety of sexual-related conditions, from menopause to male infertility.
Interestingly, Damiana has a mildly euphoric effect on the brain that has led to its inclusion in a Mexican liqueur. However, Damiana is not as varied a herb as others such as Aloe or Ginger, and is mainly used for medical conditions.
Found mainly in the deserts of Texas and Mexico, Damiana is a small shrub with bright yellow flowers that has an aroma similar to that of Chamomile.
Damiana’s primary use is in stimulating the genito-urinary tract. Its major medical uses therefore are mainly concerned with the sexual organs. It has historically been a popular natural aphrodisiac and that usage continues today.
Damiana particularly boosts the libido of those women whose levels of progesterone are too low. It is also used to promote male fertility and delay the onset of menopause in women.
In Germany Damiana is a popular herbal remedy for stress or nervous disorders. Another frequent use is as a natural laxative. The effects of Damiana can take quite some time to work though.
Damiana is often taken as a slightly mood-altering substance in Mexico. When brewed in a tea, it has a mild euphoric effect that has led the authorities in many US states to try to implement a ban. Currently though, it is legal across both Mexico and the USA. Of course, its overuse as a recreational substance is limited by the fact that Damiana is a mild laxative.
Often this drink is supplemented with an alcoholic ingredient, the most common example being Vodka. Another addition that will be familiar to cat-lovers is catnip, for its similarly euphoric effect on the brain.
Damiana is available as an oil, but most users take the dried leaves and make them into a tea. These leaves are available in good herbology shops or online. Add around 1 gram of leaves per cup of tea, then drink up to 3 cups per day.
Overuse of Damiana can potentially lead to some dependence or long term liver damage, so be careful not to take it for too long.