Damiana

What other names is Damiana known by?

Damiana Aphrodisiaca, Damiana Herb, Damiana Leaf, Damiane, Feuille de Damiana, Feuille de Damiane, Herba de la Pastora, Houx Mexicain, Mexican Damiana, Mizibcoc, Old Woman's Broom, Oreganillo, Rosemary, Thé Bourrique, Turnera aphrodisiaca, Turnera diffusa, Turnera diffusa var. aphrodisiaca, Turnerae Diffusae Folium, Turnerae diffusae herba, Turnera microphyllia.

What is Damiana?

Damiana is a wild shrub that grows in Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies. The leaf and stem are used to make medicine. Historically, it was used mostly to increase sexual desire (as an aphrodisiac).

Damiana is used to treat headache, bedwetting, depression, nervous stomach, and constipation; for prevention and treatment of sexual problems; boosting and maintaining mental and physical stamina; and as an aphrodisiac.

Some people inhale damiana for a slight "high."

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Sexual problems. Early research suggests that taking a specific combination product containing damiana, L-arginine, American ginseng, Panax ginseng, ginkgo, vitamins, and minerals (ArginMax) might improve sexual satisfaction, increase orgasm frequency, and reduce vaginal dryness in women with sexual problems who are interested in improving their sex lives.
  • Weight loss. Early research suggests that taking a specific combination product containing damiana, guarana, and yerba mate might reduce body weight in people who are overweight.
  • Headaches.
  • Bedwetting.
  • Depression.
  • Nervous upset stomach.
  • Constipation.
  • Boosting mental and physical stamina.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of damiana for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

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How does Damiana work?

Damiana contains chemicals that may affect the brain and nervous system.

Are there safety concerns?

Damiana is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in amounts commonly found in foods. Damiana is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts, but there have been serious side effects. Convulsions and other symptoms similar to rabies or strychnine poisoning have been reported after taking 200 grams of damiana extract.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding:There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking damiana if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Damiana might affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use damiana.

Surgery: Since damiana seems to affect blood glucose levels, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood glucose control during and after surgery. Stop using damiana at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Are there any interactions with medications?



Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)
Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.
Talk with your health provider.

Damiana might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking damiana along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (Diabeta, Glynase PresTabs, Micronase), insulin, metformin (Glucophage), pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), and others.

Dosing considerations for Damiana.

The appropriate dose of damiana depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for damiana. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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Last Editorial Review: 3/29/2011

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