Damiana: Health Benefits, How to Take & Side Effects

Updated in March 2024

Damiana is a medicinal plant that can be used as a sexual stimulant, and it can also help to improve digestion and treat period-related problems.

This plant has aphrodisiac, antibacterial, astringent, emollient, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, tonic, purgative, antidepressant and stimulant properties.

Damiana's scientific name is Turnera ulmifolia L. and it can be purchased in pharmacies and natural health stores. It is important to use it as directed by a doctor or medicinal plant specialist, as more studies are still needed to determine the appropriate therapeutic dose without any side effects.

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Health benefits

Damiana has several health benefits and can be used to treat:

  • Bronchitis, as it has an expectorant action that can help to relieve coughing
  • Digestive problems, as it is capable of improving digestion and prevent constipation
  • Rheumatism, as it has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Menstrual cramps, irregular periods and vaginal dryness, as it has effects similar to those of female hormones
  • Bladder infections and UTIs, due to its antimicrobial property
  • Decreased libido, as it is considered to be an aphrodisiac that can help to treat male impotence
  • Anxiety and depression

Furthermore, damiana has an anti-hyperglycemic effect that can prevent high blood sugar levels. It can be used to complement diabetes treatment, however, you should speak to your doctor as more studies are needed to determine this effect.

In general, more studies on damiana are needed to support the effects of this medications and the ideal daily dose. 

How to take

Normally, damiana is consumed in tea form, prepared with the leaves of this plant. However, it is also available as a capsule supplement capsule and a tincture.

1. Damiana tea

To make the tea, simply place 2 damiana leaves in 200 ml of boiling water and infuse for about 10 minutes. Then strain and drink. It is recommended to consume a maximum of 2 glasses per day.

2. Capsules

Damiana capsule doses may vary depending on the concentration of each supplement. The recommended amount can vary between 400 to 800 mg, three times a day, taken with a glass of water.

3. Tincture

The recommended dose of damiana tincture is 2 to 3 mL, that is, 40 to 60 drops, three times a day, diluted in a glass of water. This dose may vary depending on the tincture, and it is recommended to read the product label.

Side effects

The side effects of Damiana are related to excessive consumption of this plant, which can cause liver and kidney problems. High amounts can also have a laxative and diuretic effect, and also cause insomnia, headache, nausea and vomiting.

Contraindications for use

Because more studies are still needed to determine the effects of this plant on the body, as well as the toxic dose, it is advised that pregnant or breastfeeding women do not take damiana.