Damiana Leaf – Cut & Sifted – Turnera diffusa (Da Mia Na)
A shrub native to southern Texas in the United States, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. It belongs to the family Passifloraceae. Damiana is a relatively small, woody shrub that produces small, aromatic flowers and its leaves are used in tea or tincture form, and can also be added to smudging blends. It has a pleasantly sweet herbal aroma. It blossoms in early to late summer and is followed by fruits that taste similar to figs. The shrub is said to have a strong spice-like odor somewhat like chamomile, due to the essential oils present in the plant.
Damiana is an ingredient in a traditional Mexican liqueur, which is sometimes used in lieu of triple sec in margaritas. It has been in use since the times of the ancient Aztec and is still quite popular today. Mexican folklore claims that it was used in the “original” margarita. The damiana margarita is popular in the Los Cabos region of Mexico. Damiana was included in several 19th-century patent medicines, such as Pemberton’s French Wine Coca. The leaves were omitted from that product’s non-alcoholic counterpart, Coca-Cola.
Damiana has been traditionally used as an aphrodisiac. It is also used as a treatment for a wide range of ailments. In traditional Mexican medicine, Damiana is often used for minor respiratory issues, while in traditional South American medicine, it is used for its analgesic properties. In traditional Mayan medicine, it was used to address sexual problems.
Damiana contains damianin; tetraphyllin B; gonzalitosin I; arbutin; tricosan-2-one; acacetin; p-cymene; β-sitosterol; 1,8-cineole; apigenin; α-pinene; β-carotene; β-pinene; tannins;thymol; and hexacosanol. In total, 22 flavonoids, maltol glucoside, phenolics, seven cyanogenic glycosides, monoterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, triterpenoids, the polyterpene ficaprenol-11, fatty acids, and caffeine have been found in the genus Turnera. As of 2006, damiana’s constituents have not been identified for their effects attributed to the whole herb.
Country of origin: Mexico