Description: Native not only to the Gulf of Mexico region, but also the Caribbean & Namibia in southern Africa. This aromatic shrub grows up to six feet tall with smooth, pale green leaves & small bright yellow flowers. It can be cultivated but prefers heat and humidity. Leaves are harvested when in flower during summer.
The ancient Mexicans used it as a tonic to increase the appetite and as a digestive aid, but today it is used mainly to treat sexual dysfunctions.
Ironically, it is also a popular cure for a hangover, while, at the same time, used to flavour a liquor made in Guadalajara called Damiana.
Main constituents: Arbutin, Volatile Oil, Resins, Gums, & Tannins
Properties: Antidepressant, Mild laxative & diuretic, aphrodisiac, stimulant, tonic.
Uses: Internally: Useful for premature ejaculation & impotence. Beneficial for both sexes to restore nervous system & reproductive organs. Helps with painful or delayed periods. Urinary antiseptic.
Safety Considerations: Higher doses of damiana may induce a mild sense of euphoria. The leaves have a minor laxative effect, which is more pronounced at higher intakes, and may cause loosening of stools.
Folk Names: Yerba del Pastor
Powers: Lust, Love, Visions
Uses: Lust infusions, Vision Quests. A commercially-prepared liqueur is available in a bottle shaped somewhat like the Venus of Willendorf.