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Damiana/in Herb of the Month /by Ashley Davis
An aromatic herb (in the mint family) native to Central America. The Aztecs used the leaves as a sexual tonic and stimulant and regarded it as the second most important herb for bestowing vitality, after chocolate. Traditionally the fragrant leaves were brewed as a tea and sweetened with honey to stimulate lovemaking.
Tastes/Energetics: aromatic, warming, slightly stimulating, but also relaxing
Parts Used: leaves & flowers
Actions: aromatic, nerve tonic, aphrodisiac, antidepressant, carminative, reproductive tonic, diuretic
Uses: Traditionally used for stimulating sexual appetite, treating erectile dysfunction & enhancing orgasm in both sexes. Strengthens the central nervous system & eases the emotional stress, damiana may helpful for mild depressive or anxious states. Also helpful in treating irrational fears. Alkaloids could have a testosterone-like action. As a carminative, it eases colic, dyspesia, & upset stomach.
Indications: impotence, low libido, poor digestion, cough, melancholy and sadness, weak nerves in the reproductive organs, sexual debility due to nervous exhaustion, incontinence, chronic prostatic discharge
Preparations: as a tea, use 1 tsp damiana with ½ tsp spearmint and ½ tsp rose petals for an invigorating yet calming nerve tonic. Often used in smoking mixtures. It also makes an incredible liqueur!!!
Cautions: Damiana may interfere with the absorption of iron. Avoid large doses during pregnancy.