Damiana (Turnera diffusa)


Damiana Overview:

Damiana is an arromatic herb from Mexico, and Central America. It's been used as a flavouring agent in liqueurs for hundreds of years, and is thought to be the original flavour for the margharita.

Damiana is a potent anxiolytic, often used for conditions involving pain, fatigue, anxiety, and stress. It's also been used successfully for a very long time for conditions involving sexual debility.

+ Indications

  • Adjunctive with antibiotics
  • Anxiety
  • Bacterial infection
  • Cancer
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Fungal infection
  • Impotency
  • Insomnia (Sleep onset and maintenance)
  • Low libido
  • Male infertility
  • Nervous dyspepsia
  • Pain
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

+ Contraindications

  • Hypoglycemic medications (agonistic interaction)
  • Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding

+ Mechanisms

  • Antiaromatase
  • Efflux pump inhibitor
  • GABAergic

Herbal Actions:

  • Aphrodisiac
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antifungal
  • Antineoplastic
  • Anti-Prostatic
  • Anti-Aromatase
  • Anxiolytic
  • Euphoric
  • Nervine Tonic
  • Laxative (mild)
  • Sedative (mild)

Main Uses:

Damiana is mainly used for conditions involving anxiety, as well as sexual debility. Newer uses involve its ability to improve the effectiveness of antibiotics.


Daily Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

2.5-6 mL

Weekly Dosage

Liquid Extract

Ratio: 1:2

20-40 mL


Part Used

Leaves, flowers

Family Name



Mexico, Central & South America, West Indies.

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Constituents of Interest

  • Eugenol
  • Acacetin
  • Pinocembrin

Common Names

  • Damiana
  • Oreganillo
  • Damiane
  • The Burrique
  • Mexican Holly

Botanical Info:

Some resources suggest that Damiana is a member of the Turneraceae family of plants, with others list it's in the Passifloraceae family.

The Turneraceae family consists of about 10 genera, and 120 species. The majority of these plants are sub tripical or tropical shrubs, with a few trees as well. The passifloraceae family contains some 750 species and 27 genera.


Level Of Research:


Clinical Applications Of Damiana:

Damiana is useful as an anxiolytic for conditions involving stress, performance anxiety, overstimulation, SNS/PNS imbalance, pain, etc. It works mainly through GABA. It's also useful for conditions involving sexual debility.

Other uses of damiana are for its ability to improve the efficacy of antibiotics, especially in the precence of hard to kill organisms like MRSA.



Damiana should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding.


Recommended Products Containing Damiana:

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Damiana Extract

By Anatomy Herbs

Alcohol Free

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Recent Blog Posts:


For a list of references, visit the full damiana monograph.