Damiana (Ternura aphrodisiaca)
the legendary Central American aphrodisiac, has been a topic of discussion since the ancient days of the Aztec.
Once widely revered for its potent effect on libido, it was also used as a digestive tonic, mood enhancer, and to promote sleep and relaxation. It was also commonly taken as delicious herbal infusion.
Although the exact origin of Damiana use is cloudy, we understand that the ancient peoples of Central America cherished this intriguing plant.
Some scholars believe that the indigenous natives of the Baja region of Mexico are the earliest known humans to consume it.
As this indigenous group from the Baja region began to trade with the Aztecs, its popularity spread across Mexico. Interestingly, the Maya similarly valued it for its curative properties and excellent flavor.
Today, Damiana remains a popular choice for mood support, relaxation, and sexual vitality.
An excellent herbal tea, you can also find damiana in herbal supplements and tinctures. It is comonly found in products intended to promote sexual function, energy, and for mood support.
Additionally, Damiana is often featured as a mind-enhancing ingredient in herbal smoke blends and specialty liqors.
Although the legend of Damiana is alive, and its storied history goes back hundreds if not thousands of years, science has not completely validated its reported benefits. However, this is not surprising.
For one, it’s just not economically viable to conduct elaborate experiments on herbal remedies.
Two: It’s legendary reputation and popularity alone make Damiana an intriguing option
As a result, its active compounds remain a bit of a mystery. Some speculate that it may help reduce anxiety and boost mood due to its exceptional content of a chemical called Apigenin. Apigenin is a phytonutrient found in other calming plants such as Chamomile and Lemon Balm.
It’s confusing because any human study conducted on Damiana involves the use of several other herbs (and myriad other phytochemicals) making it difficult to evaluate.
Although reliable human studies are hard to come by, animal studies involving rats show promising results regarding sexual function. Damiana exhibited aphrodisiac properties in fatigued and sexually sluggish rats.
The historical usage of Damiana is impressive. The ancient indigenous cultures revered the herb carrying across Central America on their trading routes.
Today it remains a cornerstone of herbal formulas for sexual vitality and libido, although science-based evidence to validate its aphrodisiac effects is a little cloudy. Unfortunately, studies involving Damiana also include other biological compounds.
However, it’s at least noteworthy that people have consistently and safely used it for relaxation, mood support, and as a sexual stimulant for thousands of years.
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