Last Modified on Mar 05, 2014
Historically used as an aphrodisiac among men and women in Mexico, the herb’s native habitat, damiana leaves have purposes that extend far beyond this traditional use. With a number of healthful compounds, damiana finds purpose as a diuretic, cough medicine and various other applications. While the herb is widely used as a food flavoring, damiana is also an effective health supplement.
What is Damiana?
A wild shrub that grows in Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies, damiana is typically used for its leaf and stem. These parts of the plant are used to make medicine. The plant contains a variety of active ingredients that function in various beneficial ways.
The herb is known to relieve inflammation, soothe the body and prevent buildup of toxins and infection in the body. More traditionally, damiana has been used as a sexual stimulant and aphrodisiac. While it is an effective health treatment, dosages of the herb must be monitored closely as it does contain low levels of cyanide-like compounds.
Health Benefits of Damiana Leaves
Damiana is a historical treatment that can be used to mediate a wide range of conditions. Its applications range from treating sexual issues to alleviating headache and depression and more. Used in moderation, damiana is a safe, effective treatment.
With its natural-calming effects, damiana can be used to treat a variety of anxiety disorders. Among its most common treatment applications are depression, nervous stomach, bedwetting and anxiety. The compound can also be used to boost mental health and increase physical stamina.
The herb also has antibacterial properties, making it an effective treatment for common infections. The herb can be used to treat gastrointestinal parasites and disorders as well as asthma.
Damiana is also used in a variety of other ways. It has been identified as an effective treatment for fatigue, asthma, impotence, constipation, lethargy and others.
The uses of damiana vary greatly but are mostly linked to the herb’s ability to oxygenate the body. As such, the herb leaves the body refreshed, energized and better-functioning. Damiana leaves can be used in a variety of ways ranging from supporting sexual health to treating asthma.
[YEA] 06/16/2013: Claire from Sarasota, Florida: "I recently bought all the ingredients to damiana tea formula after finding it on Earth Clinic over a year ago!! I was looking for something to mellow me out (I can't seem to relax these days). I work about 60 hours a week so that has something to do with it. This tea is AMAZING! It makes me so relaxed and sleep very well. I drink about 1/2 cup at night a few hours before going to sleep. The first night I drank a full cup very quickly (it tastes bitter) and that was too strong and hit me like a train after 40 minutes. I have gotten used to the taste and sip it now. I recommend this for people like myself, who just can't seem to relax!
I followed JL from Pasadena, California's recipe exactly:
2 handfuls of damiana, 1 handful chrysanthemum flowers, 1 teaspoon of chuchuhuasi and 1 teaspoon of hercampuri.
I steeped added the damiana to cool water and let it boil for a few minutes before turning it off. Then while it cooled I added the rest of the ingredients. I then strained it after abou15 minutes and put the remainder liquid in a glass jar that I keep in the fridge."Replies
06/17/2013: Trudyg replies: "How much water? Do you put one handful in a pint or a gallon of water? That would make a difference."
06/17/2013: Claire from Sarasota, Florida replies: "Hi TrudyG, I made my tea in a 4 quart saucepan and filled it up to the top. I realize that the key with this tea is to not drink too much of it earlier in the night so it has worn off by the morning. The best part of this tea is the well being I have after it wears off which is in the early afternoon right now! This is the best anti-anxiety and anti-stress herbal formula that I have tried to date. Tonight I will try taking 1/3 glass of tea at about 8:00pm instead of 11:00pm and see what happens."
[YEA] 02/17/2009: Duwayne from San Ignacio Cerro Gordo, Jalisco Mexico: "I'm 74 years of age and have been a Korean Ginseng fan for many years not solely for erectile dysfunction, but for energy as well.
Warning; If you have high blood pressure you should limit yourself to two capsules or teas per day.
I live in Mexico so I'm well informed to the benefits of chili peppers. Cayenne is great but don't be afraid to experiment, my favorite is raw jalapenos, a little less spicy, and if you so happen to have hemorrhoids you'll appreciate this warning. Just a small serving about half a small pepper two or three times a week.
If you don't heed this warning your morning constitution could end up in screams for ice water. Now for the best help of all for erectile disfunction, Mexican Damiana. You can find it in many health food stores and in all Mexican grocery stores. ( yes Mexicans also suffer from impotency, its got to be that dam cactus juice) Take two teaspoons of this herb per day as a tea or as I do sprinkled on cereal or what ever you want to sprinkle it on, uncooked is best.
Be sure to get your two mile walk every day and hopefully you'll be back pestering your partner for a little romp. Very best to all. Duwayne"
[YEA] 07/24/2011: JL from Pasadena, Calif, USA: "A couple weeks ago my boyfriend and I went to a friend's house for dinner and was served a very potent herbal tea during dinner. It was very stimulating and relaxing at the same time. However, the brew was so bitter, I could only take a few sips of it. I could feel it hit my brain after each sip, a very interesting sensation! Intrigued, a few days later I asked my friend to send me the names of the herbs and the recipe. I got all my herbs this week and started to make the tea a few days ago.
The first thing I noticed is the powerful calming effect on the nervous system this tea has. 10 minutes after drinking the tea, I become deeply relaxed. Damiana is widely used in many cultures for anxiety and nervous disorders, so this makes sense. The next "side" effect that was very surprising, even though I have read a lot about it on the internet, was the powerful aphrodisiac effects. This occured on the 2nd day of drinking the tea. OMG - be prepared for that! Finally, the tea is proving to be an appetite suppressant even though several of the ingredients are meant to stimulate the appetite!
Recipe: here is my friend's email.. a bit vague so I improvised.
Add to 1 quart of purified water:
2 handfuls of damiana leaf (find at bouncing bear or starwest botanicals)
Damiana requires about 15 minutes of steeping at boiling temperatures.
1 handful chrysanthemum flowers
1 spoonful of chuchuhuasi and 1 spoonful of hercampuri, (both from david wolfe's sunfood nutrition site, but you could use cat's claw or pau d'arco, etc..).
After steeping the damiana on a low boil for 15 minutes, I turned off the heat and added the other 3 herbs. I then let the whole concoction steep for about 15 minutes. I added about 3 tablespoons blue agave nectar sweetener because the tea is otherwise too bitter.
I have been drinking 1 - 2 glasses a day, slowly.
Damiana's reported healing properties include: increases libido, reduces spasms, relieves depression, dries secretions, reduces blood sugar, stimulates digestion, calms nerves, increases urination, mildly laxative
Chuchuhuasi's healing properties include: reduces inflammation, kills cancer cells, relieves pain, prevents tumors, relaxes muscles, stimulates digestion, enahnces immunity, increases libido, supports adrenals
Hercampuri's healing properties include: digestive, treatment of hepatitis, treatment of varicose veins, reduction of blood cholesterol, treatment of hypertension
I hope people will try the damiana tea and send in their feedback. If you are preparing damiana with other herbs, I would like to know which ones and how you brew your tea. It is amazing!"Replies
07/24/2011: Jl from Pasadena, Calif, Usa replies: "Sorry, I just realized I forgot to include Chrysanthemum tea healing properties in my post about damiana tea. Please add this.
"Chrysanthemum tea has many purported medicinal uses, including an aid in recovery from influenza, acne and as a "cooling" herb. According to traditional Chinese medicine the tea can aid in the prevention of sore throat and promote the reduction of fever. In Korea, it is known well for its medicinal use for making people more alert and is often used to waken themselves. In western herbal medicine, Chrysanthemum tea is drank and used as a compress to treat circulatory disorders such as varicose veins and atherosclerosis.
In traditional Chinese medicine, chrysanthemum tea is also used to treat the eyes, and is said to clear the liver and the eyes. It is believed to be effective in treating eye pain associated with stress or yin/fluid deficiency. It is also used to treat blurring, spots in front of the eyes, diminished vision, and dizziness.  The liver is associated with the element Wood which rules the eyes and is associated with anger, stress, and related emotions."
08/14/2011: Jl from Pasadena, California, Usa replies: "Update: I am on my 3rd week of drinking damiana tea. I was using chrysanthemum teabags from Trader Joe's when I wrote my first post, but have since gotten a bag of organic chrysanthemum flowers to make the tea with.
Damiana is having a tremendous effect on me. Not so much my boyfriend - he doesn't notice any difference when he drinks it. I think it may be better suited for women. Basically when I drink it, damiana turns me into a hormonal teenager again with sex on my mind all the time (not kidding). Ladies, if you are looking to stimulate your love life, this is it. Just start off slowly and with small amounts. I have lost 4 pounds without trying and my skin looks great. It does still make me lethargic if I drink more than 1/4 cup during the day. Am giving it to several friends and will update their feedback at some point."
09/10/2011: Genia from Fort Lauderdale, Florida replies: "About a year ago I bought damiana capsules from the health food store and they made me feel terrible. I got hot flashes (am not menopausal) and high blood pressure. I felt so bad for a few days that I threw out the rest of the bottle. Total waste of money. I am going to buy the herbs and see what happens. I think adding crystanthemum is important to this formula. A friend of mine studying herbology told me teas have different effects than capsules. The capsules I took were straight damiana. Wish me luck."