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Herbs > Damiana (Turnera diffusa)

Damiana belongs to the family Passifloraceae and it's native to Central and South America.

Damiana is a small shrub that produces aromatic flowers. It blossoms in early to late summer and produces fruits that taste similar to figs. The shrub is said to have a strong spice-like odour somewhat like chamomile, due to the essential oils present in the plant.

The leaves have traditionally been made into a tea and an incense by the native peoples of Central and South America for its relaxing and libido enhancing effects.

Spanish missionaries first recorded that the Mexican Indians drank Damiana tea mixed with sugar for use as an aphrodisiac, a use that has continued into modern times. More recently, some corroborating scientific evidence in support of its long history of use has emerged through animal testing studies that showed evidence of increased sexual activity in rats of both sexes.

Damiana has been shown to be particularly stimulating for sexually exhausted or impotent male rats as well as generally increased sexual activity in rats of both sexes. It has also been shown that damiana may function as an aromatase inhibitor, which has been suggested as a possible method of action for its reputed effects.

Damiana is also used extensively as a growth agent.

Study on rats
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