TURNERA DIFFUSA - DAMIANA.|
Damiana, Mexican damiana, Mexican holly, Mizibcoc, old woman's broom, hierba del venado, oreganello.
Turneraceae (Turnera family) .
Damiana, original from Central America, is a small perennial shrub; growing up to 3 – 6 feet (1 - 2 meters) tall.
The leaves are serrate and aromatic; smooth on the top side, glabrous with a few hairs on ribs underneath. The stems are erect with the small yellow flowers rising from the leaf axils which produce small sweet smelling fruits. The seed capsule is one-celled splitting into three pieces, exposing 3 to 6 kidney-shaped seeds.
Leaves from this plant are used as a tea substitute and as a flavoring in liqueurs.
Damiana is on the FDA list for GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) and is also often used as a food flavoring.
It is claimed that smoking this herb induce a marijuana-like legal "high" and euphoria. When smoked, the effects last up to 90 minutes; taken as a tea, the effects are milder, but last longer.
Leaves contain up to 1% volatile oil consisting of 1,8-cineole, p-cymene, alpha- and beta-pinene, thymol, alpha-copaene, and calamene. Dry matter of the leaf includes a bitter substance (damianin), tannins, flavonoids, beta-sitosterol, and glycosides (gonzalitosin, arbutin, and tetraphyllin B).
Suriname's traditional medicine
Damiana is used for sexual debility (increases libido). Other applications are: as an antidepressant, nerve tonic, diuretic, prostate complaints, frigidity and cough-suppressant.
In Mexico, Damiana is also used for gastrointestinal disorders (probably due to antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria).
Visit also our TINCTURE and Medicinal Tea pages.
USDA zone 9 -11.
In spring and summer, up to zone 6 as an annual.
Full sun; moist, rich humus soil. Tolerant of many soil types; no salt tolerance.
The plant is drought tolerant and attracts bees and butterflies.
Can also be grown indoors as a container plant in the cooler zones.
The plant is sensitive to frost; foliage hardy to 30 ° F for a short time.
Except to their tenderness to frost, they grow without major impediment.
Landscape uses: as a shrub, if pruned.
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