Common Name: Damiana Aphrodisiaca/ Mexican Damiana/ Mexican holly/ Feuille de damiana / herba de la pastora.
Botanical Name: Turnera Diffusa
Specie: T. diffusa
Background and Native Countries
Damiana is a shrub that produces fragrant and vibrant yellow flowers. It is also known as turnera diffusa and belongs to the Turneraceae family. The shrub is native to Southern Texas in the United States, Central America, Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean. It contains a strong odor due to the presence of essential oils. The dried Damiana leaves look similar to other herbs such as Oregano or Rosemary but have a more pungent aromatic scent. Historically, people used the leaves and also stems of the plant for many medicinal purposes. Other names for damiana include Mexican damiana, old woman's broom, hierba del venado, pastorata, bourrique, and the oreganello.
Taste and Aroma
Its shrub blooms and produces fruits that taste similar to figs. The dried leaves of Damiana have a slightly bitter flavor.
Moreover, it has a strong taste, so it is also used to manufacture Margarita and other alcohols.
The plant contains essential oils; therefore, Damiana has a pungent spice-like scent similar to chamomile.
Damiana or oreganillo is a wild shrub. It is not commonly used for culinary purposes. However, due to its strong taste, it is used in liqueurs and cordials for flavoring.
- Its leaves are used to make herbal tea to relax the mind and body. Damiana herbal tea also boosts energy to help you gear up for the rest of the day.
- Damiana leaf is also used to prepare alcohol or liqueurs because of its stimulating effect on the mind.
- Some people also use it in baked dishes. It is smoked and infused in baked recipes to enhance flavor.
- You can also add Damiana leaves in soups and smoothies. Finely chop or blend the dried leaves to add them to soups and smoothies.
- You can also add it to food as a herb in the form of infused oil. To benefit from the medical qualities of this herb, incorporating Damiana leaves in the form of an infused oil is beneficial for health.
This medical plant has various health benefits because of the active components present in them. For Example, Damiana can cure depression, nervousness, insomnia, and enhance mood by helping the user relax. Due to its relaxing properties, also, the herb can aid in fighting against chronic fatigue.
Researches have shown that Damiana may also contribute to managing weight loss and also prevent diabetes. It possesses anti-oxidants and other favorable properties that prevent the user from chronic diseases.
Strong chemicals that are present in the herb greatly influence the brain activity and nervous system. Therefore, it is used to cure anxiety. However, if consumed in large amounts, it may cause hallucinations.
Medical and Herbal Uses
Damiana is a magical herb because of its several medical and herbal uses. The herb has anti-biotic resistant compounds that prevent inflammatory diseases and infections.
It has proven to work great against coughs, earaches, ear infections, and inflammation of kidneys. Also, Damiana has properties that help it fight bacterial infections in the body.
The herb is also used against severe Menstrual symptoms such as mood swings and cramps. Damiana also provides relief against headaches, muscle pain, and stomach ache.
The relaxing compounds also make this herb a great natural medicine for constipation, abdominal pain, and bloating.
Damiana dried leaves should be kept in airtight boxes to maintain their freshness. Make sure to keep the dried leaves away from moisture as it may affect their freshness and taste.