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December 2007

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Herb: Damiana

Damiana
Botanical: Turnera aphrodisiaca (WILLD.)
Family: N.O. Turneraceae

---Part Used---Leaves.
---Habitat-- -Mexico, South Arnerica, Texas, West Indies.

---Description- --A small shrub; leaves smooth and pale green on upper side, underneath glabrous, with a few hairs on the ribs, ovolanceolate, shortly petiolate with two small glands at base; flowers yellow, rising singly from axils of the leaves, capsule one-celled splitting into three pieces; smell aromatic, taste characteristic, bitterish, aromatic and resinous.

---Constituents- --A greenish volatile oil, smelling like chamomile, amorhpous bitter principle Damianin, resins and tannin.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Mild purgative, diuretic, tonic, acting directly on the reproductive organs, stimulant, hypochondriastic, aphrodisiae.

---Preparations- --Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Solid extract, 5 to 10 grains. Often combined with Nux Vomica, Phosphorus, etc.

---Other Species---
Turnera opifera leaves are used as an infusion and given as an astringent and tonic by the natives of Brazil, also T. ulmifolia for its tonic and expectorant properties.

Aplopappus discoideus was formerly sold as Damiana, but can easily be detected, as the leaves are distinctly lanceolate, with only two or three teeth on either side.

From www.botanical.com

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What is Damiana?

Scientific and Medicinal Information
Damiana is a low-growing plant that loves dry soil and plenty of rocks. It's native to Mexico, Central and South America. The flowers are yellow and small, and damiana bears a small sweet-smelling fruit as well. It's used as an herbal remedy to enhance sexual performance, as well as a very long list of other physical ailments.

Also Known As
Latin: Turnera diffusa or Turnera aphrodisiaca
Common names: damiana

Magickal Properties
Damiana was used as an aphrodesiac tea by the Aztecs and the Mayans, and is still used today predominantly in love and sexuality spells. It's also used for fertility, but that is strictly a magickal association (NOT a medical one ).

The leaves are used in magick, and can be worked in charm bags, incense or even in tea. If you make damiana tea, be prepared to add honey or sugar. I've heard it's quite bitter. One warning though, you should not consume damiana tea if you are pregnant or diabetic. Damiana is also sometimes used as an incense to promote psychic dreams.

More Correspondences
Planet: Mercury, Venus
Element: Fire
Associated Deities: Venus

Disclaimer: No information within this newsletter should be considered
medical advice. Please do further research or check with a physician
before using any of these herbs in a medical fashion.

From: About.com
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