Damiana (Turnera diffusa)Shredded, 50 g
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History of Damiana (Turnera Diffusa)
Damiana is a relatively small, woody shrub that produces small, yellow aromatic flowers. It blossoms in early to late summer, followed by fruits that taste similar to figs. The shrub is said to have a strong spice-like odor somewhat similar to chamomile.
It is believed that Damiana was first used by the indigenous Guaycura in the Baja region of Mexico during religious ceremonies. Damiana found its way into the rest of the Americas when Guaycura started trading with Aztecs.
Damiana’s use as a medicinal herb probably predates any written history. By the time, the Spanish crossed the Atlantic, the indigenous people had already been using Damiana for centuries in teas, flavoring liquor, and as a tonic for general health improvement. The Spanish missionaries first recorded that the Mexican Indians drank Damiana tea as an aphrodisiac.
Damiana is an ingredient in traditional Mexican Liqueur, which is sometimes used in place of triple sec in margaritas. Mexican folklore claims that it was used in the “original” margarita. Damiana was an ingredient in several 19th-century patent medicines including Pemberton’s French Wine Coca. The herb was excluded from the non-alcoholic counterpart, Coca-Cola.
Effects of Damiana
When administered in form of tea, Damiana has relaxing and aphrodisiac effects and can help;
- Increase sexual vitality
- Improve sex drive and sexual desire
- Induce euphoria
Damiana contains from 0.5% to 1% of a complex volatile oil (thymol, alpha-copaene, 8cadinene, calamene, 1,8 cineole, alpha pinene, beta pinene, calamenene) that gives the plant its characteristic odor and flavor.
Damiana Uses and Dosage
Damiana is commonly taken in form of tea or tincture.
To make Damiana tea - Add 2-4g of dried herb to a cup of boiling water and let it seep for about 15-20 minutes. A little bit of honey or lemon can be added for taste. Drink up to 3 cups of tea, ideally accompanied by meals.
To make Damiana tincture – Fill a 5th of a jar with dried herb. Pour 100-proof vodka over the leaves, aiming for a 1:4 herb to alcohol ratio. Seal the jar airtight and store it in a cool dark place. Allow the mixture to sit for 6 weeks, shaking it every few days. When ready, strain the tincture through a cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Label the jar and store it in a cool dark place. Take about 1ml a day.
To make Damiana liqueur – Soak 1 ounce (roughly 30g) of Damiana leaves in 2 cups of (500ml) vodka for 5 days. Strain the leaves through cheesecloth, squeezing out as much of the liquid as possible. Save the alcohol extract and soak the leaves in 1 and ½ cups (375ml) of spring water for 3 days. Strain through the cheesecloth again squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Heat the water extract over low heat and add 1 cup (250ml) of honey. Once the honey has completely dissolved take the mix of the heat and allow it to cool down. Add the alcohol extract to the cooled-down concoction and store it in an airtight container, allowing it to sit for 1-2 months. A dash of rose water and vanilla extract can also be added to enhance the flavor.
Take 30ml of Damiana liqueur either by itself or 1-part Damiana liqueur mixed with 4 parts dry sparkling white wine.
A good quality whisky can also be used in place of vodka.
Keep Damiana in its original packaging in a dry and cool place, out of the reach of children.
It is best to avoid using Damiana if pregnant or breastfeeding, or in children. Damiana might affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar levels and monitor it carefully if diabetic and using Damiana. Stop using Damiana at least 2 weeks before surgery as it might interfere with medication used while surgery for maintaining blood glucose levels. Please consult with your healthcare adviser before mixing Damiana with any prescription medication for Diabetes.