Are you one of the many people who feel trying to conceive has become a chore? When conception efforts become passionless, it is time to consider getting some help!
Hormone imbalance, stress, emotions and even the anxiety of having to plan intercourse during your fertile window each cycle can all be daunting and leave you anything but wanting to have sex. An herb with the nickname “shirt remover”, indicating its primary role as an herbal aphrodisiac, may be an herb to consider to help you and your partner ignite a passionate spark once again. This herb is Damiana.
Damiana, Turnera diffusa or T. aphrodisiaca, is a small shrub with aromatic leaves and bright yellow flowers that have the scent of figs. Damiana leaves provide its medicine. The leaves are harvested when Damiana is in full bloom and then dried. Damiana is found throughout Mexico, Central and South America, and the West Indies. The leaves contain a number of medicinal elements that have been found to directly stimulate the nerves, increase blood circulation to the genitals, and possibly enhance metabolism.
Health Benefits of Damiana
Damiana is a tonic, mild antidepressant and central nervous system stimulant most commonly used as an herbal aphrodisiac for low libido, depression and anxiety especially around love making, and even menstrual cycle irregularities. Damiana has also been used in cases of loss of libido due to sexual trauma, lack of sexual desire and pleasure, and impotence. In Ayurveda, an herbal aphrodisiac is believed to be able to invigorate the sexual organs.
While Damiana is touted for its ability to boost libido and help you get in the baby-making mood, many herbalists know it first and foremost as a nervine tonic or nervous trophorestorative which means it is a nutritive herb that restores the nervous system correcting its weakness and deficiency over time (not simply through temporary stimulation of the nerves). By nourishing the nervous system, calming the nerves, and supporting an increase in blood flow throughout the body, including the reproductive organs, many people experience an increased desire for sexual intimacy.
Damiana’s History of Use
Damiana has long been used by herbalists. Over 100 years ago scientific literature first recorded damiana as having aphrodisiac effects in association with improving both male and female sexual function. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia cites indications for the use of Damiana for “anxiety neurosis with a predominant sexual factor, depression… and coital inadequacy.” German herbalists used the leaves as a tonic for the hormonal and central nervous systems to relieve “excess mental activity and nervous debility…” and even the United States National Formulary listed Damiana leaf and elixirs in it from 1888 until 1947.
Damiana can be used by both men and women for improved sexual function, but here are specific fertility issues in which both may consider using this herb…
For women, scientific reports state Damiana…
- may help reduce hot flashes (reports are anecdotal)
- when used for long periods of time, may increase the herb’s potency in the body and help to regulate sex hormones in women
Two products that contain Damiana specific for women to consider learning more about are:
- Conceptions Tea, an herbal blend designed to support, tone, and nourish the female reproductive system while supporting hormone balance.
- FertiliCare Phase 1 & 2, liquid herbal formulas designed to support general reproductive health throughout your monthly fertility cycle.
For men, Damiana may support:
- spermatorrhea which is a condition of excessive, or accidental ejaculation and even the fatigue and lack of energy a man can experience from excessive ejaculation.
“A clinical study involving 1,000 men in the United States and Europe indicates that the herb can relieve erectile failure in attempts at repeated intercourse after orgasm. A combination of Damiana and muira puama is associated with an increased frequency of intercourse, morning erections, and stability of the erection during intercourse.”
Traditional Suggested Use of Damiana:
It is believed that Damiana must be used consistently for several weeks before an effect is noticed.
Infusion: 1 cup 2-3 times a day
Liquid Extract (tincture): 2-4ml two times a day
Capsule: 2-4g (2000-4000mg) two times a day
Damiana has demonstrated mild hypoglycemic effects in animals. Persons with diabetes and hypoglycemia should speak with their healthcare provider if interested in trying Damiana.
Damiana has a traditional use as an abortive and is contraindicated during pregnancy.
Drug Interactions: There have been none reported, however, it may potentiate antidiabetic medications.
Damiana may be an herb to consider if baby making has become a regimented, scheduled chore. You deserve to still have the energy and desire to want to connect on an intimate level with your partner no matter how long you have been trying to conceive. Thankfully, herbalists long ago realized the potential of this fertility herb and we are able to share this information with you today.
1. AHPA Botanical Safety Handbook, 2nd ed.: https://bsh.ahpa.org/ArticleDescription.aspx?article_id=484
2. Arletti R1, Benelli A, Cavazzuti E, et al. Stimulating property of Turnera diffusa and Pfaffia paniculata extracts on the sexual-behavior of male rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 1999 Mar;143(1):15-9: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10227074
3. David Winston and Steven Maimes. Adaptogens; Herbs for Strength , Stamina, and Stress Relief. Healing Arts Press. Rochester, Vermont, 2007.
5. Herbosophy: http://www.herbosophy.com.au/damiana-turnera-aphrodisiaca/
6. Keith Edley. Turnera diffusa – Damiana Leaf: http://entheology.com/plants/damiana-leaf-turnera-diffusa/
7. Kiva Rose. The Medicine Woman Roots; Terms of the Trade: Trophorestorative: http://bearmedicineherbals.com/terms-of-the-trade-trophorestorative.html
8. Leslie Taylor, ND, The Healing Power of Rainfores tHerbs, 2005. http://www.rain-tree.com/damiana.htm#.VDrdzldabIU
9. William Mitchell. Plant Medicine in Practice. Churchill Livingstone, 2003.
10. Plants For A Future: http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Turnera+diffusa+aphrodisiaca
Zava, D. T., et al. “Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs and spices.” Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. 1998; 217(3): 369–78.
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