In alternative medicine systems, herbal remedies have several preparations done in standardized ways. This usually varies based on the plant being used and the condition being treated. Damiana is prepared in several ways and one is in leaf powder form. Damiana herb powder is a preparation taken from the dried leaves of Turnera diffusa , a shrub that grows predominantly in Central and South America. It is also known as Damiana aphrodisiaca, Old Woman’s Broom and Herba dela Pastora. It is a sexual stimulant, increasing blood flow and stimulation, and metabolism. It also contains a specific chemical component that directly soothes the nerves and stimulates the genitals.
The Damiana leaf powder is high in naturally-occurring plant chemicals that make up for its medicinal properties. Its chemical composition is complex, containing 1% volatile oil comprising at least 20 constituents. The leaves contains flavonoids, tannins, beta-sitosterol, Damianin, glycosides, arbutin, gonzalitosin and tetraphyllin B. Damiana leaves are carefully milled into fine powder, commonly stuffed in capsules or used in infusions, tinctures and extracts.
Damiana herb powder promotes a relaxing effect, providing a mild euphoric feeling and serving as a light aphrodisiac. Deemed an overall tonic, it also promotes a feeling of well-being. Damiana stimulates circulation and boosts energy levels to ease up fatigue and cause weight loss. Initially, the effect only last for one hour but with continued use, it becomes much longer.
The herb powder is best prepared as an herbal tea (infusion). To make Damiana tea, use one teaspoonful of Damiana herb powder for every cup of water. Pour boiling water over the cup with herb and let it steep for 10 – 15 minutes. You can sift the tea or just let the powder settle at the bottom of the cup. Drink warm. For treatment purposes, it is best taken 1 cup, 2 – 3 times per day. The powder can also be compounded into an elixir, as a capsule or extract. Because of its natural bitter taste, the powder can be added to juices for a more palatable drink.
The powder can also be used in making Damiana liquor. Mix 1 oz. or 30 grams of Damiana powder in ½ liter of liquor and allow it to soak for 5 days. Strain the alcohol and keep the alcohol soaked leaves. Again, soak the drenched leaves in 125 ml of mineral water for another 5 days. Strain the mixture and heat the water extract until it reaches just below the boiling point. Pour ½ cup of honey. Combine the water extract and alcohol extract in a bottle and let it age for a month. The mix will gradually settle down and the clear liquid will appear. Pour the liquid gently in another clean bottle. For best results, drink 1 – 2 glasses in the evening.
Always take Damiana with caution. Herbal tea may lower blood sugar, although tinctures do not. Because the plant has an abortive effect, pregnant women should refrain from taking it. Damiana herb powder can be purchased in health product shops or via online. When buying through the Internet, just make sure that the product you get is made from 100% pure Damiana leaves with no additives, fillers or binders.