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Turnera diffusa
Turnera diffusa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Turneraceae
Genus: Turnera
Species: T. diffusa
Binomial name
Turnera diffusa
Willd. ex J.A. Schultes

Damiana (Turnera diffusa, syn. Turnera aphrodisiaca) is a shrub native to Central and South America. It belongs to the family Turneraceae.

Blooming with small yellow flowers, the shrub has an odor somewhat like chamomile or cannabis sativa, which is due to an oil present in the plant. The leaves have traditionally been made into a tea which was used by native people of Central and South America for its reputed aphrodisiac effects.

Damiana is also a European name. In the country of Bulgaria it is simply a female version of Damian. In Greece the name Damiana refers to a person who is tame and subdued. Additionally, the name Damiana is somewhat common in Latino/Spanish locations.


Herbal Medicine

In herbal medicine, damiana is used to treat conditions ranging from coughs, to constipation, to depression. The herbal supplement is reputed to help with Energy, Emphysema, low Estrogen, Frigidity, Hot Flashes, Impotency, Infertility, Menopause, Parkinson's Disease, PMS, Inflammation of Prostate, Lou Gehrig's disease, and more dealing with reproductive organs in both males and females[1]


Also, a traditional Mexican liqueur, sometimes used in margaritas is made from this herb. Its makers claim that Damiana liqueur was used in the first margarita.[2]


  1. Ritchason, J. 1995, "The Little Herb Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition" p.70
  2. http://www.damiana.net/

External links