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Damiana

Also indexed as:Turnera diffusa
Damiana: Main Image © Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Turnera diffusa

How It Works

Most research has been done on the volatile oil of damiana, which includes numerous small, fragrant substances called terpenes.5 As yet, it is unclear if the volatile oil is truly the main active constituent of damiana. Damiana extracts have been shown, in a test tube, to weakly bind to progesterone receptors.6 Thus, damiana may be a potentially useful herb for some female health problems. However, no human studies have investigated this possibility and it is not a primary traditional use.

How to Use It

To make a tea, add 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water to 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) of dried leaves and allow to steep for ten to fifteen minutes. People can drink three cups (750 ml) per day. To use in tincture form, take 1/2–3/4 teaspoon (2–3 ml) three times daily. Tablets or capsules (400–800 mg three times per day) may also be used. Damiana is commonly used in herbal combinations. However, the authors of the German Commission E monographs do not feel that traditional use of this herb is justified by modern research.7

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.


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