Damiana herb benefit and side effects, aphrodisiac supplement
- Natural Passion Mexican Style?
How effective is this plant as a sexual enhancer? Can it be combined with other
plants used for sexual improvement? Are there other natural herbs that are more
effective for men and women in terms of sexuality improvement? by
Feb 28 2014
Damiana is a small shrub with an aromatic leaf found on dry, sunny, rocky hillsides in south Texas, Southern California, Mexico, and Central America. The leaf has been used as an aphrodisiac and to boost sexual potency by the native peoples of Mexico, including the Mayan Indians. The two species used in herbal healing, both of which are referred to as damiana, are Turnera aphrodisiaca and Turnera diffusa. Passion Rx is a potent herbal sexual enhancement product that contains damiana extract along with more than a doze effective herbs from all over the world.
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The libido-boosting power of damiana herb hasn't been tested in humans, although a damiana liquor - also spelled liqueur - made from the leaf has long been used as an aphrodisiac in Mexico. In animal studies, extracts of damiana herb had the benefit of speeding the mating behavior of "sexually sluggish" or impotent male rats. It had no effect on sexually potent rats. It is possible that this herb has additional benefits in humans that may be uncovered with further research.
Turnera diffusa Wild recovers sexual
behavior in sexually exhausted males.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2009.
To determine whether Turnera diffusa recovers sexual behavior in sexually exhausted male rats and to identify the main components in an aqueous extract. Sexually exhausted males were treated with Turnera diffusa, 20 to 80 mg/kg, yohimbine, 2 mg per kg, or vehicle. Yohimbine and Turnera diffusa (80 mg per kg) significantly increased the percentage of males achieving one ejaculatory series and resuming a second one. In addition, Turnera diffusa significantly reduced the post-ejaculatory interval. These effects were not associated to an increase in locomotor activity or anxiety-like behaviors. Analysis showed the presence of caffeine, arbutine, and flavonoids as the main compounds in the active extract. The results support the use of this herb as an aphrodisiac in traditional medicine and suggest possible therapeutic properties of damiana on sexual dysfunction. The flavonoids present in active extract may participate in its pro-sexual effect, which is analogous to those produced by yohimbine, suggesting a shared mechanism of action.
Stimulating property of Turnera diffusa leaf and Pfaffia
paniculata extracts on the sexual-behavior of male rats.
University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Sexually potent and sexually sluggish/impotent male rats were treated orally with different amounts of damiana and Pfaffia paniculata fluid extracts. While having no effect on the copulatory behavior of sexually potent rats, both plant extracts -- singly or in combination -- improved the copulatory performance of sexually sluggish/impotent rats. The highest dose of either extract, as well as the combination of each extract, increased the percentage of rats achieving ejaculation and significantly reduced mount, intromission and ejaculation latencies, post-ejaculatory interval and intercopulatory interval. Neither extract affected locomotor activity. These results seem to support their folk reputation as sexual stimulants.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2013 . Pro-sexual effects of Turnera diffusa in male rats involves the nitric oxide pathway. Damiana and sildenafil (both at 10 mg/kg) facilitated expression of male sexual behavior by shortening mainly ejaculation latency. Treatments also facilitated the number of discharges in the ejaculatory motor pattern as well as the number of ejaculatory motor patterns and its associated penile erections. L-NAME prevented the pro-sexual effects of treatments on both experimental models. Besides, the extract of Turnera diffusa (10 mg/kg) produced an anxiolytic-like effect in male rats without affecting ambulation. Findings from the present work support the notion that pro-sexual effect of the aqueous extract of Turnera diffusa in rats involves the participation of NO pathway, mainly at central level. The anxiolytic-like effect of damiana is an advantage to its use for improving sexual performance.
Damiana leaf for anxiety
Anti-anxiety activity studies of various extracts of Turnera aphrodisiaca.
J Herb Pharmacother 2005. University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.
Damian has been used traditionally for treatment of anxiety neurosis and as an aphrodisiac. Yet, the plant has never been subjected to systematic biological investigation. In the present investigation, petroleum ether, chloroform, methanol, and water extracts of damiana aerial parts were evaluated for anti-anxiety activity in mice. Among all the extracts, only methanol exhibited significant anti-anxiety activity.
The chemical composition of damiana leaf is complex and all of the components have not been completely identified. However, the known make-up is 0.5-1% volatile oil, flavonoids, gonzalitosin, arbutin, tannin and damianin (a brown bitter substance). How damiana herb works as an aphrodisiac is currently not fully understood. Many flavonoids are known to dilate blood vessels.
Another study reports the leaf to contain alkaloids, cyanogenic glycosides, steroids, saponins, flavonoids, tannins, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Estimation of Apigenin, an Anxiolytic
Constituent, in Turnera aphrodisiaca.
Indian J Pharm Sci. 2008. College of Pharmacy, Barnala, India. The apigenin content in methanol extract of T. aphrodisiaca aerial parts was found to be about fourteen times less than acid hydrolyzed methanol extract of the plant indicating the presence of most of apigenin in glycosidic form. Amongst different plant parts, flowers possessed maximum content of apigenin followed by leaves.
Analysis of essential oils from wild and micropropagated plants of
Essential oils produced by this plant are used in traditional medicine, and for the preparation of liquors and tea. The composition of essential oils from wild damiana was performed. The most abundant constituents of the oils were caryophyllene oxide, caryophyllene, delta-cadinene, elemene and 1,8-cineol.
Mechanism of action in the body
Anti-aromatase activity of the constituents from damiana
J Ethnopharmacol. 2008. Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, MS, United States.
Turnera diffusa Willd has traditionally been used as an herbal aphrodisiac. The study was aimed to investigate the anti-aromatse activity and the estrogenic activity of the constituents isolated from Turnera diffusa. The methanolic extract and 24 compounds isolated from the leaves of Turnera diffusa were evaluated for aromatase activity by using a tritiated-water release assay and for estrogenic activity by using yeast estrogen screen assay. The methanolic extract demonstrated a dose-dependent inhibitory activity of the aromatase enzyme. Among the 24 tested compounds, pinocembrin and acacetin showed the most potent inhibition. Estrogenic activity was also observed in the extract and three compounds including apigenin 7-glucoside, Z-echinacin and pinocembrin. The extract of damiana and two isolated compounds pinocembrin and acacetin could significantly suppress aromatase activity. Moreover, apigenin 7-glucoside, Z-echinacin and pinocembrin showed estrogenic activity.
Damiana side effects and safety, risk
Damiana herb appears to be safe when taken occasionally as a sex booster. This herb has a long history of traditional medicinal and food use with no harmful consequences reported. However, no rigorous scientific studies have examined the effects of long-term use of this herb. For the time being, it would be safe to assume that when used in reasonable doses, it has not significant side effects.
Availability over the counter
Damiana is sold as bulk herb powder, capsules, tea, and liqueur. It is often combined in aphrodisiac herbal products. Damiana tea is difficult to find, but you could search for it in a health food store.
Additional damiana research
Investigation on the hypoglycaemic effects of extracts of four Mexican medicinal plants in normal and alloxan-diabetic mice.
Phytother Res. 2002.
The hypoglycemic activities of four water ethanol extracts prepared from Bidens pilosa, Salvia officinalis, Psacalium peltatum and Turnera diffusa were investigated in healthy and alloxan-diabetic mice. The extracts of Salvia officinalis significantly reduced the blood glucose of fasting normal mice after intraperitoneal administration. The extracts of P. peltatum and B. pilosa also significantly diminished glycemia in healthy mice. The administration of these three extracts to animals with severe hyperglycemia did not cause a significant decrease. The extracts of damiana did not show any hypoglycemic activity.
Historically, damiana has been used to relieve anxiety, nervousness, and mild depression, especially if these symptoms have a sexual component. The herb is used as a general tonic to improve wellness and has also been used traditionally to improve digestion and to treat constipation, as a diuretic, as a treatment for cough, and in larger doses it is thought to have a mild laxative effect.
How long does it take for it to work as an aphrodisiac or sexual enhancer?
Unlike yohimbe which works within a few hours, damiana takes several days to work, even then the effects are mild.
I have several herbs in mind to purchase, including damiana leaf, muira puama, horny goat weed, and catuaba. Can you tell me which one is the least effective?
I have not seen any studies comparing these herbs, but in my experience I would say that damiana leaf is the weakest.
I see damiana extract being promoted for women mostly. Why is that?
I don't know. If this natural herb works as an aphrodisiac, it should work in men and women.
Are you familiar with damiana tea or seed? Can you please tell me whether pregnant and/or
breast feeding mums can take damiana tea?
I know the tea is sold in health food stores but I have not tried it. I am not familiar with the seed. I have not seen research with pregnancy or breastfeeding, however reasonable uses of the tea, such as a few times a month would not be predicted to cause any problems. Your obgyn doc needs to approve.
I was just on your website and wanted to
let you know that this plant was used to induce abortion, and might not be suitable
for pregnant women.
Can you please provide us with a reference regarding the use of damiana herb to induce abortion and the dosage used?
I was told this product would help with testicular atrophy
is this correct?
We are not aware of such research in humans.
sometimes misspelled as damina