Combine the useful with the pleasurable. Damiana: the anti diabetic Aphrodisiac
amiana has a long history of herbal medicinal use in Mexico, dating back to Aztecs and Mayans. Damiana is an aphrodisiac that boost sexual energy and at the same time lowers blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure. This is a win win situations for diabetics who are struggling with erectile dysfunction or (ED).
People have been trying to boost their sex lives with herbs for thousands of years. And even though today we have viagra for men, herbs like damiana possesses unique qualities able to restore sexual desire and libido in both man and woman.
Healers from all over the world found herbs to enhance sexual desire and function and damiana is at the top of the list. Damiana extract binds to progesterone receptors, seven of which act as a sexual enhancers. In an Italian study, sluggish male rats became more sexually active when ingesting damiana.
As far as other medicinal qualities, leaf extracts of damiana are helpful in treating diabetes. Mexican scientists have documented blood sugar lowering properties. Most studies however were done using rodents, but all with positive results.
Other medicinal properties
Damiana extracts contains several chemical constituents, such as flavone glycosides and p-arbutin 6, phytosterol, and beta-sitosterol.
Damiana has been hailed as a helpful tonic for the digestive system with laxative qualities, as well as the ability to tone the mucous membranes of reproductive organs.
Damiana contains compounds that affect the brain and nervous system, it is a mild narcotic and may produce a euphoric effect for about an hour, specially when taken for the first time. Damiana appears to have a synergistic effect when combined with Passionflower, a powerful and relaxing herb.
Damiana is a natural anti-depressant and improves mood; useful in the treatment of nervousness, anxiety, and depression, especially when the root of the problem is of sexual nature.
Damiana has a bitter taste due to its volatile oils and alkaloids if taken in tea form. Bitter herbs stimulate the bitter- reflex, leading to the release of the hormone gastrin in the stomach. Gastrin stimulates the appetite and increases hydrochloric acid, which aids digestion of foods and is useful for gastrointestinal disorders.
Gastrin also helps to stimulate the flow of bile, which can reduce the chance of gall bladder disease and acts as a cleansing agent for the liver. It is particularly helpful improving digestion, particularly when anxiety is involved.
Damiana may reduce the chance of fermentation in the gut and improve the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine.
Damiana was listed in the National Formulary (1888-1947) as a powerful panacea able to treat many conditions including:
- insufficient flow
- delayed menstruation in adolescent girls
- sexual desire
- menstrual problems
Aphrodisiac properties of damiana
Although the aphrodisiacal effects of Damiana have been well known, the precise mechanism responsible have not been identified. several studies point out to a slowing of the digestive tract functions transporting more oxygen to the sexual organs. It contains elements that directly stimulate the nerves, genitals, blood circulation and metabolism.
This is helpful for men to attain sexual erection more easily and to maintain it for longer periods of time. Another study suggests that the use of Damiana increases the sensitivity in the erotic parts of the body, which in turn is helpful to obtaining enhanced sexual pleasure.
The herb’s active components have the ability to widen blood vessels, thus relieving symptoms of impotence and providing hard and stable penis erections for men.
For women, it is a powerful herb and increases the level of pleasure during sex, often restoring the ability to achieve orgasm. It may strengthen the ovaries and promote the growth of healthy eggs. Is effective in relieving menopausal-related problems, hot flashes, night sweats, headaches and reduced sex drive.
Damiana leaf tinctures promotes natural breast enhancement. The University of Mississippi study showed that pinocembrin and acacetin inhibit the activity of an enzyme involved in the synthesis of estrogen.
Damiana contains aromatase inhibitors that reduces the amount of estrogen available to bind to hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer cells. This activity may lower your risk of breast cancer, and may also contribute toward breast enhancement.
But perhaps the the greatest virtue of damiana as an aphrodisiac is that it affects the mood enhancing erotic states of mind creating a euphoric feeling that is sexual in nature.
Why diabetics should use damiana
Damiana can fight diabetes in two ways: it lowers blood glucose and speeds up metabolism by increasing sex drive. Sexual activity consumes lot’s of energy, and that is perfect if you are trying to loose weight. It also helps to get rid of the extra blood glucose in your blood due to sexual physical activity.
Damiana can also be used in combination with other herbs. Herbs such as bitter melon, black seed oil, and okra which are potent anti hyperglycemics and will enhance the glucose lowering ability of Damiana.
To boost damiana’s anti glycemic and aphrodisiace effects take B-complex. This vitamin is important for the activity of hundreds of enzymes and energy metabolism. Low levels of circulating folate and vitamin B6 create an increased risk of peripheral vascular disease, leading to potential reduction of sexual function.
Dosages and how to use
The dose of a liquid Tincture/Extract is 10- 20 drops 3 times/day, or 300- 500 mg capsules 2 to 3 times per day. No cautions have been noted for the use of this herb, except an occasional slight laxative effect.
In general, 2-4 grams of dried leaf, three times a day, or the same dose steeped in 150 milliliters of boiling water for 5-10 minutes, consumed two to three times a day has been traditionally used. Also, 2-4 milliliters of liquid damiana extract or 0.5-1 milliliter of tincture three times
Damiana may interfere with the absorption of iron. It is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women. Excessive amounts may cause nausea, vomiting or tinnitus. It is not recommended for people with severe liver or kidney disease. People with Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes should consult a healthcare practitioner before using, as the herb may cause low blood sugars.
- Gastroprotective activities of Turnera diffusa Willd. ex Schult. revisited: Role of arbutin
- Effects of a hydroalcoholic extract of Turnera diffusa in tests for adaptogenic activity
- Hypoglycemic herbs and their action mechanisms
- Domestication of micropropagated plants of the spice damiana( Turnera diffusa)
- Studies on Hypoglycemic Activity of Mexican Medicinal Plants
- Review of plants with hepatoprotective activity evaluated in Mexico
Image credit: Maja Dumat