Damiana is a little known plant that is used in many countries to provide a natural alternative to prescription drugs for medical conditions including sexual dysfunction, minor mental health conditions, digestive and respiratory ailments. Damiana, Turnera diffusa contains many beneficial properties and grows indigenously in Mexico.
Although pregnant women and women who are nursing should avoid using this herb until the affects on the fetus and infants have been determined, new scientific research is showing benefits for:
- Promise in treating mild depression.
- Respiratory conditions including asthma, bronchitis, respiratory flu like symptoms and pneumonia have been treated using Damiana to help reduce coughing and some people report that this herb lessens the discomfort of these conditions.
- Digestive conditions including the cramps that often accompany common stomach viruses and menstruation are lessened when Damiana is used.
The Mayans and Aztec tribes of South America have been using Damiana as an aphrodisiac for centuries and studies are indicating that the affect this herb has on hormones levels has led to its use as a natural alternative for erectile dysfunction. Damiana appears to be effective in treating sexual dysfunction in both men and women when taken internally and this herb has been added to many Mexican liquors to encourage heightened sexual awareness, although the quantities of Damiana in liquor is negligible.
There are certain precautions you need to be aware of before starting a regimen using Damiana herb.
- May cause an imbalance of blood sugar levels and should not be used bydiabetics.
- Contains many chemical components that may cause harm when used in large quantities.
- People taking large doses of Damiana may experience loose bowels and or diarrhea due to the plants natural laxative properties.
- Some studies indicate that women with a family history of breast cancer should also avoid using this herb.
Damiana and Prescription Drugs
As with any over the counter medication, if you are using prescription medications consult your physician before you take Damiana.
- Diabetes Treatments – Caution is advised if you are using prescription medications including insulin and herbs such as ginseng, ginger, fenugreek, and kudzu as these herbs also affect blood sugar levels and may cause unexpected changes to blood sugar levels.
- Depression – If you are taking any herbal or prescription drugs to treat mental conditions including severe depression and schizophrenia, you should avoid using damiana.
Damiana has been used in tonics, stimulating teas and as a flavoring for beverages and liquors, and although it has a bitter taste the affect it has on the body may outweigh the taste.
- Energy Boost – Tonics are used to stimulate appetite, encourage feelings of well being and help energy levels and using Damiana as an ingredient in a metabolic enhancing tea may provide additional benefits.
- Circulation – Damiana has been reported to improve circulation which is vital to many bodily functions including kidney and bladder health, and has been used to help treat urinary tract infections and as a mild diuretic.
Used as a part of a tonic taken regularly Rosemary Gladstar considers it to be an essential part of longevity tonics that helps to tone the nervous system, improve dreaming and to help restore sexual vitality.
Available in tinctures, capsules and dried form, Damiana herb may provide a natural alternative to prescription drugs for common complaints including impotence, menopausal symptoms and mild depression.