Herb: Damiana

Latin name: Turnera diffusa aphrodisiaca

Family: Turneraceae (Turnera Family)

Medicinal use of Damiana:

Damiana was a traditional aphrodisiac of the Maya people in Central America. It continues to be considered valuable as an aphrodisiac and general tonic, and its stimulant tonic action makes it a valuable remedy for those suffering from mild depression. The whole plant is a bitter, pungent, warming herb with a fig-like flavour. Its use improves the digestion, lifts the spirits, calms the nerves, regulates hormonal activity, stimulates the genito-urinary tract and rejuvenates kidney energy. It is used internally to treat nervous exhaustion, anxiety, depression, debility in convalescence, impotence, premature ejaculation, prostate complaints, urinary infections, frigidity, vaginal discharge, painful menstruation, menopausal problems, poor appetite and digestion, and atonic constipation. The plants are harvested when in flower and are dried for later use.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

July to


Habitat of the herb:

Dry sandy or rocky places.

Edible parts of Damiana:

The leaves are used as a tea substitute and also as a flavouring in liqueurs. They have a strongly aromatic slightly bitter taste.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots once they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and give some protection from winter cold for at least their first winter outdoors. Division in spring or autumn. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Overwinter the young plants in a greenhouse and plant them out in early summer.

Cultivation of Damiana:

Dry sandy or rocky places.

Known hazards of Turnera diffusa aphrodisiaca:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.