Damiana (Turnera diffusa, var. T. aphrodisiaca)
Parts commonly used: Leaf and stem.
Properties/energetics: Tonic, antidepressant, euphoric, urinary antiseptic, aperient, mild laxative, aphrodisiac/Warm; spicy.
Systems predominantly affected: Nervous, genitourinary, digestive.
Uses: The specific effects of Damiana are not that well studied, but traditional use and observation suggests that Damiana is both a useful nervous system tonic and an effective sexual tonic. As a nervine, Damiana is noticeably an uplifting antidepressant and brings about a general feeling of well-being. It is a useful remedy for individuals who let themselves become overly worried and mentally bogged down. It gives an energy boost when one is caught up in draggy depressions and is one of the better mood elevators herbalists have in their materia medica. Damiana’s second area of use is suggested by its traditional species name, T. aphrodisiaca. Damiana is one of the more touted herbal aphrodisiacs and has the reputation of being a superlative sexual tonic. It is considered especially useful when anxiety and depression is influencing sexual arousal. There is some justification for the belief that Damiana has a testosterone-mimicking or testosterone-supplementing effect on the body, but this is not proven. This is, however, the justification for its use in many anabolic-type formulas.
Combinations: Combines well with Wild Oat and Skullcap and/or Hops for nervous anxiety conditions and with Wild Oat and Kola for depressed conditions. Combines splendidly with Kava Kava to help both men and women relax with sex.
Affects on specific body types: A useful remedy for either the Seer or the Monarch experiencing mopey depressions and a need for some euphoria and for those who just don’t want to get out of bed. Particularly useful as a sexual tonic when the mind insists on overriding the inclinations of the flesh or for those experiencing dissociation with sex due to trauma. Good to stimulate libido in performance anxiety and to ease individuals having trouble relaxing with sex. For the Seer male, this can be a particularly useful herb to supply an anabolic push.
Preparations/dosage: Infusion: 1 cup three times a day. Tincture: 15 to 40 drops three times a day.
By James Green, Herbalist, copyright 2008
For more information please refer to James Green’s book, The Male Herbal, 2nd Edition