Damiana: inner sunshine from our neighbors in the South

Common Name:  Damiana
Latin name:  Turnera diffusa
Family:  Turneraceae or Passifloraceae (I’ve seen both)
Parts used:  leaves
Tissue or system affinity:  Nervous system, Circulatory system
Taste:  Pungent
Energetics:  warming, slightly drying

Actions:  anti-depressant, aphrodisiac, anxiolytic, nervine and metabolic stimulant

Uses:  A native plant of southern Texas, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean, this is a great go-to herb for depression and anxiety that does not respond to the use of St. John’s Wort (or for that small % of the population that can’t use St. John’s Wort); a warming and stimulating aphrodisiac, it has been used traditionally in Central America for centuries to increase libido and lower stress levels; works well for those who feel exhausted and depleted; drink as an aromatic tea or take as a tincture or elixir

Side note:  There is a liqueur from Mexico called Guaycura Liqueur de Damiana that showcases this medicinal herb.  The glass bottle is shaped in the likeness of a pregnant woman (although this herb is contraindicated for pregnancy) and is said to be modeled after a Goddess of Fertility.

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