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Last modified: 08/11/2014






Biological Name


Turnera diffusa

Other Names:



Parts Used



Active Compounds


Most research has been done on the essential oil of damiana, which includes numerous small, fragrant substances called terpenes. As yet, it is unclear if the essential oil is truly the main active fraction of damiana.

The leaves also contain the antimicrobial substance arbutin, alkaloids, and other potentially important compounds.



Damiana has been hailed as an aphrodisiac since ancient times, particularly by the native peoples of Mexico. Other folk uses have included asthma, bronchitis, neurosis, and various sexual disorders. It has also been promoted as a euphoria-inducing substance at various times.

Remedies For


Damiana is useful for:

Impotence/infertility (male)



The leaves of damiana were originally used as medicine by the indigenous cultures of Central America, particularly Mexico. Today the plant is found in hot, humid climates, including parts of Texas.



To make a tea, add 250 ml (1 cup) boiling water to 1 gram of dried leaves; allow to steep ten to fifteen minutes. Drink three cups per day.
To use in tincture form, take 2-3 ml three times per day.

Tablets or capsules may also be used in the amount of 400-800 mg three times per day.

Damiana is not usually used alone; it is believed to be more effective when combined with other herbs of similar or complementary activity.



Higher doses of damiana may induce a mild sense of euphoria. The leaves have a minor laxative effect, which is more pronounced at higher intakes, and may cause loosening of stools.

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