Updated: Oct 23, 2021
Damiana is a woody shrub that is native to Central America with a flavor compound that is similar to chamomile. It can tolerate drought and even does well when grown in containers. It's in the passifloraceae family, so it is closely related to passion flower. The aerial parts of the plant, which sometimes include the flowers and fruit (seed pods) are used to make teas and tinctures. In Mexican traditions, the stems are used and steeped to make teas.
The leaves of damiana can also be smoked as a narcotic that can give you slight high. When fresh, even getting just a whiff of the leaves can give you a short euphoric experience. Some say it's almost as good as cannabis. The leaves contain a flavonoid compound that helps increase a surge in circulation to sex organs for both men and women. Therefore, it is widely known as an aphrodisiac. But for women specifically, it has been known to help with frigidity.
Most people only think to consume damiana whetherit be in tincture form or an infusion, but one of it's benefits include pain relief when applied topically as a poultice. It's not a popular method of use like plantain leaf, but it's something to consider.
Other ailments include: anxiety, depression, bedwetting and bladder inflammation, colds and respiratory issues, fever and coughs, to expel phlegm, headaches, anemia and pain relief.
Damiana is fairly easy to grow and very low maintenance. Sow the seeds and lightly cover them with soil. Keep the soil moist and warm for good germination. It enjoys full sun and loves a good, deep watering at least once a week if you're growing it in containers. It easily re-seeds itself due to the seed pods bursting open, so be prepared to see little damiana sprouts nearby or in the bottom of your container or raised bed.
The seeds are brown and encased in a thin white coating.
Damiana is an herb I love to incorporate in my spiritual work, including meditation for that deep altered state of consciousness. It allows me to calm my mind, focus and be in the moment. It's also a great herb for astral travel which I do often. And although I don't dab in love magic because I believe in free will and natural love, it has been known to be useful for attracting love.
Warning: Damiana can lower blood sugar. Do NOT take damiana if you are currently taking any medications for diabetes.