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Turnera diffusa
Turnera diffusa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Turneraceae
Genus: Turnera
Species: T. diffusa
Binomial name
Turnera diffusa
Willd. ex J.A. Schultes

Damiana (Turnera diffusa, syn. Turnera aphrodisiaca) is a shrub native to Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. It belongs to the family Turneraceae.

Damiana is a relatively small shrub that produces small, aromatic flowers. It blossoms in early to late summer and is followed by fruits that taste similar to figs. The shrub is said to have an odor somewhat like chamomile, due to an oil present in the plant. The leaves have traditionally been made into a tea which was used by native people of Central and South America for its aphrodisiac effects. Spanish missonaries first recorded that the Mexican Indians drank Damiana tea mixed with sugar for its ability to enhance lovemaking.


[edit] Uses

[edit] Herbal Medicine

Damiana today is conventionally made into a tea. In herbal medicine, damiana is used to treat conditions ranging from coughs to constipation to depression. The herbal supplement is reputed to help with Fibromyalgia, energy, emphysema, low estrogen, frigidity, hot flashes, impotency, infertility, menopause, Parkinson's disease, PMS, inflammation of prostate, Lou Gehrig's disease, and more dealing with reproductive organs in both males and females.[1]

[edit] Recreational

Damiana is an ingredient in a traditional Mexican liqueur, which is sometimes used in lieu of Triple Sec in margaritas. Mexican folklore claims that it was used in the "original" margarita. The damiana margarita is popular in the Los Cabos region of Mexico.[2][3]

Damiana can also be smoked, whereby the effects are somewhat similar to Cannabis sativa although milder and more relaxing. In some places in Australia, Damiana is used as an alternative to tobacco when smoked with Marijuana. Damiana has a synergistic effect with Passionflower which when smoked in a combination has been said to be extremely relaxing and promotes lucid dreaming.[4] Damiana has been included as an ingredient in herbal cigarettes.

[edit] In popular culture

In the CSI: NY episode, "Like Water for Murder" Damiana was featured mixed with chocolate.[5]

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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