COMMON NAME: Damiana
LATIN NAME: Turnera Diffusa
HABITAT: Turnera Diffusa covers almost the entire territory of the Gulf of Mexico, the plant grows everywhere in Central and South America, and also on the territory of the Caribbean Islands. Damiana is mainly cultivated and industrialized in the northern regions of Mexico and most territory of California.
BOTANICAL INFORMATION: Turnera Diffusa is an evergreen perennial shrub reaching a height of 50-100 cm. Turnera species belongs to Tumeraceae family.
Turnera Diffusa is a perennial shrubby plant, reaching a height of 50 to 100 cm. The stems are thin, upright, and red-brown in color. The elongated leaves are alternately arranged on the stems. Leaf plates have teeth along the edge. At the base, there are two small tubercles - nectar glands. Flowering begins in early spring. The flowers of Turnera Diffusa is yellow, five-toothed. The fruit of the plant is a small-sized box in which small seeds with a pitted surface ripen. The flowers of Damiana are fragrant, as well as the fruits. Turnera Diffusa propagates by seeds. It is widely cultivated as a houseplant.
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION: The chemical composition of the plant is quite rich. There were found: essential oil, which contains cineole, paramycin, alpha and beta pinene, thymol, cimol and sesquiterpenes (alpha-copaen, calamen and cadinene). The leaves contain chlorophyll, tannin, alkaloids, resin, protein, solid resin, starch, flavonoids, arbutin, fatty oils, sugar, acids in small amounts, phosphorus, cyanogenic glycosides, beta-sitosterol, gonzalitosin, damianin (bitterness). In addition, caffeine was found in the stems.
ACTIONS: The plant possesses a wide range of positive actions on the body, including aphrodisiac, antidepressant, adaptogenic, alterant, alterative, analgesic, anodyne, antianxiety, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antineuralgic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, aromatic, astringent, cardio tonic, cholagogue, demulcent, digestive, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, laxative, nervine, purgative, sedative, stimulant and tonic.
- Turnera Diffusa is extremely useful during menopause, because it reduces the frequency and intensity of hot flashes. As for men, it improves and stimulates the production of sperm, removes all the symptoms of prostate adenoma.
- The results showed that the plant possesses an antiulcer effect. Damiana protects the mucous membrane, as it decreases ulcer size and mucus content, as well as decreases or relieves edema and inflammation.
- Turnera Diffusa is very effectively protects kidneys. The researches show that this plant leads to a significant decrease in the level of malondialdehyde and nitric oxide in the mitochondria of the kidneys.
- Damiana has an antioxidant effect. The results showed that methanol extract has the greatest effect on breast cancer cell lines. Two active components were identified - arbutin and apigenin - which, according to scientists, determine the cytotoxic effect of Damiana.
- This herb is widely known as aphrodisiac. It is believed that Damiana increases libido, enhances the pleasure of intimacy. It is due to the presence of flavonoids in the structure of the grass, so the product is used to treat sexual dysfunction, it stimulates blood flow and enhances erection. The grass allows women to be cured of frigidity.
- This plant is well familiar in the fight against stress, depression and other disorders of the nervous system, including neurosis, hypochondria, obsessive-compulsive disorder and paranoid conditions.
- Arbutin in its composition has antimicrobial properties and is recommended as a diuretic anti-inflammatory agent for the urinary tract diseases.
- Due to anti-inflammatory, expectorant and other useful properties, Turnera Diffusa is used for bronchitis, bronchial asthma and colds.
- Damiana is used in gynecological practice. Infusions and decoctions of the plant are used for regulating periods, as well as for the treatment of certain sexually transmitted diseases
People suffering from diabetes should be very careful when taking Damiana, because it can enhance the effect of sugar-lowering preparations.
Pregnant and breast-feeding women should avoid using this herb.
Individual intolerance to any herb components is another contraindication.
- A missionary Juan Maria de Salvierra managed to describe the plant for the first time in 1699.
- The beneficial properties of Turnera Diffusa were known even during the Zapotec and Mayan civilizations. At that ancient time, it was an integral component of the diet and was especially often used when performing long ritual dances, the duration of which could be 2-3 days.
- Damiana was also used to strengthen the human spirit so that it remained in a state of divine. After the arrival of Americans and Europeans on these lands, this plant began to be considered a powerful aphrodisiac.
- The leaves of the plant serve as an excellent seasoning, especially popular in Mexico, where they are widely used for flavoring tea and liquor.
- The Austrian botanist Schult made the first botanical description in 1820.
- In Europe, grass appeared only in 1880.
- The name of the grass was given after the Christian, the holy martyr Damian. He is considered the patron saint of doctors and a pharmacist.
- The plant was used for Voodoo rites.
- The rhizome of herb was actively used in the music industry. It helped to improve the sound of the flute.
- A French wine coca drink was made from Damiana. John Steez Pemberton invented it. This man was also the one who created Coca-Cola.
*This article is for informational purposes only. We suggest consulting a physician before using these or any other herbal supplements.