Damiana is a wild deciduous shrub, about 6 feet tall, with serrated leaves and vibrant yellow flowers. It fervently occurs in North-Eastern Brazil, Texas, Mexico, Mesoamerica, and the Caribbean. It is traditionally used as an aphrodisiac, tonic, and antidiabetic.
The alcoholic extracts of Damiana and tequila are allegedly used as love potions. It has been tested to increase sexual functions in both genders. It contains flavanone pinocembrin which serves as an aromatase inhibitor to increase the levels of testosterone and improve the libido. On the other hand, a nor-sesquiterpene, namely teuhetenone A, was found to be an active principle for lowering blood sugar levels. Damiana also contains arbutin and apigenin which have been found to possess cytotoxic effects against breast cancer. It also imparts antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, antibacterial, antimycobacterial, antispasmodic, antiobesity, adaptogenic, hepatoprotective, and gastroprotective properties.
Damiana is a key ingredient in various Mexican liqueurs, especially margaritas. It was also initially an ingredient of importance in ‘Pemberton’s French Wine Coca’ but after 1886 it was omitted.
Today, herbalists recommend Damiana to improve digestion, modulate hormonal activity, and revive the kidneys. It helps treat genito-urinary tract irregularities, depression, anxiety, nervous exhaustion, sexual debility, prostate issues, premature ejaculation, excessive vaginal discharge, menopausal symptoms, dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual bleeding), and so much more.