I had an opportunity recently to try this herb, and I’d like to share my experiences with it thus far.
A Little Bit of History and Lore
For starters, damiana (Turnera diffusa) is a member of the passion-flower (Passifloraceae) family. It has been used since ancient times for many benefits, which include relief of anxiety, stimulation of the sexual appetite, and general relaxation.
It is storied to have been first used by a culture based in the Baja region of Mexico, the Guaycara. They used it in religious ceremonies, and also found it’s ability to enhance desire quite useful. The Guaycara traded the herb with the Aztecs, and eventually, even the Mayans got in on the deal. Today, damiana is still valued in the regions where these ancient cultures existed, namely Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Brazil, Central America, the Caribbean, and Honduras.
The origin of the common name ‘damiana’ is from the Old Greek daman or damia meaning “to tame or subdue.” It is the feminine version of Damian and infers that Damiana is the wild one “who tames.”
Other names it can be found under include: Mexican damiana, old woman’s broom, herba de la pastora, turnera aphrodisiaca.
Reported Uses and Benefits
- sexual stimulant (aphrodisiac)
- anxiety relief
- constipation relief (laxative)
- improvement of digestions
- stimulates visions
- calming, soothing to children
- bladder control
- urinary tract infection relief (urinary antiseptic)
A Little Bit of Science
The scientific jury is still out on how damiana actually achieves anything. But one thing that cannot be denied is that it does work. Again, people have been using this herb for centuries, and that speaks volumes to me.
The herb is rich in many active components that account for its main medicinal uses and applications. One of the main constituents is the volatile oil that is found in the leaves of Damiana. This oil consists of at least 20 elements, including 1.8-cineole, p-cymene, alpha- and beta-pinene, thymol, alpha-copaene, and calamene. The leaves are also a source of flavinoids, tannins, damianin, beta-sitosterol, arbutin.
Zodiac Association: Aries, Libra, Sagittarius
Planetary Associations: Sun, Mars, Jupiter
Deity Association: Bastet, Bast, Set, Horus, Ra, Ogun, Oya, The Morrigan, Chi You, Ares, Athena, Durga, Kali, Ganesha, Indra, Odin, Thor, Valkyries, Freyja, Freyr, Mars, Minerva, Nike, Ogoun, Sarabanda/Zarabanda, Sekhmet, Helios, Apollo, Zeus, Astarte, Bes, Hathor, Aphrodite, Venus, Pan, Kama, Rati, Ishtar, Cupid, Baron Samedi, Oshun, Yemaya/Yemoja, Mami Wata
Basic Powers: aphrodisiac, increases psychic abilities, clairvoyance
Types of Magick: love spells, sex magick, astral travel, chakra opening/clearing, dream magick, meditation, spirit quests, spells dealing with self-confidence
My Personal Experience
I tried damiana first in a joint. I mixed a little bit of the herb with some marijuana, and I smoked it. I could tell the difference immediately. The taste and smell was not overpowering at all, but noticeable, still.
The aphrodisiac properties are true, lol. It definitely made my lady parts go all gaga. In general, I felt happy and relaxed.
Later, I tried a joint of the damiana by itself. There were no changes in mental state. So, I definitely didn’t get high from it. But, again, I just felt pleasant, and of course, my lady parts went WOOHOO! It was a bit of a rough smoke, which is why I guess people opt for trying it in tinctures, teas, or mixed with other herbs.
Interesting to note: I had some extremely weird dreams after going to sleep. Nothing life altering, mind you. Perhaps, if there was some heavy question on my conscious mind, then yes, the dreams meant something. And perhaps, they still do. But, generally, they were just very vivid and weird. Sadly, I have forgotten all of them. I just remember having tea and crumpets (or something) with Freddy Krueger.
Today, I will be brewing a tea of the damiana and trying that. I have read that beyond a dose of 200mg (about 0.2 grams), a person will experience hallucinations. Is it weird that I want to hallucinate? Lol. Don’t judge me.