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Botanical Name

Turnera diffusa, syn. Turnera aphrodisiaca

Common Name

Damiana, Mexican damiana, old woman’s broom, herba de la pastora, mizibcoc



Parts Used

Leaves and stems

Native To

Southwestern United States, Central America, South America, and Mexico

Harvesting Guidelines

Damiana leaves and stems are harvested when the plant is in bloom.


Damiana is a plant known for its potential benefits as a sexual tonic and aphrodisiac. While there is limited clinical research on its effects, traditional knowledge and use suggest its potential benefits. The Maya people of Central America and native people of Mexico traditionally used damiana as an aphrodisiac, while native people of Central and South America used it as a relaxing nervine.

Damiana is a natural herb that has been used for centuries as a nervine and tonic for the nervous and hormonal systems. It is particularly helpful for those experiencing anxiety or depression related to sexual factors. Damiana has a stimulating effect on the nerves and acts as an anti-depressant, which can help lift the spirit, boost self-esteem, and promote a sense of well-being. According to herbalist James Green, damiana is one of the best mood elevators in the herbalist's toolkit and can provide an energy boost during periods of low mood or depression.(1)

While there have not been any human clinical trials on the use of damiana as an anti-anxiety herb, a scientific study on mice found that damiana extract had significant anxiolytic effects. The study showed that a lower dose of 50 mg/kg was most effective, as higher doses became sedating. The effects were comparable to the drug diazepam, commonly used to treat anxiety disorders.(2)

Damiana is a plant known for its aphrodisiac properties, which are believed to be linked to its ability to reduce anxiety and tension in the nervous system. By promoting relaxation and focus, damiana can help enhance one's sensual and passionate energy. Herbalist Susun Weed describes, “It heightens sensation in the nerves, increases endurance, and promotes erotic dreams. Smoking the dried leaves improves her interest and his staying power.(3)

Damiana is a versatile herb that has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. It is believed to have fertility-enhancing properties and can regulate menstrual cycles, making it a popular choice for women's health. Additionally, damiana has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe irritation in the urinary and respiratory tracts. It is also known to relieve excess mucous buildup and inflammation caused by irritable coughs. Overall, damiana is a valuable herb with a range of health benefits.(4)


Adult Dose (5)

Tea: 1 tsp damiana in 1 cup boiling water, steep 10-15 min, take 3x per day.* Tincture: 1 tsp per day.


Avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Some sources indicate damiana may affect blood sugar levels.




(1)Green, James (2008). Damiana. Retrieved on October 8, 2014 from

(2)Kumar, S and Sharma, A (2005). Anti-anxiety Activity Studies on Homoeopathic Formulations of Turnera aphrodisiaca Ward. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005 Mar;2(1):117-119.

(3)Weed, Susun (2011). Down There: Sexual and Reproductive Health. Woodstock, NY: Ash Tree Publishing.

(4)Ellingwood, (1919). The American Materia Medica. Retrieved on October 8, 2014 from

(5)Hoffman, David (n.d.). Damiana: Herbal Medicine Materia Medica. Retrieved on October 8, 2014 from


Scientific Research:

Information offered on Achula and on this page is for educational purposes only. Achula makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Women who are pregnant or nursing, and persons with known medical conditions, should consult their licensed healthcare provider before taking any herbal product. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. Achula neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.


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