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Things you should know about Damiana

Things you should know about Damiana

Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines, including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.

Table of Content

  • Introduction to Damiana
  • Nutritional Profile of Damiana
  • Health Benefits of Damiana
  • Forms of Damiana
  • Dosage and Administration
  • Potential Side Effects and Precautions
  • Choosing Quality Damiana Products
  • Conclusion  

Damiana, scientifically known as Turnera diffusa, is a small shrub native to Mexico, Central America, and the southern United States. It has a long history of traditional use as a medicinal plant among indigenous cultures, particularly among the Mayans and Aztecs. The leaves of the damiana plant have been used for centuries to make herbal remedies and teas due to their reputed aphrodisiac and mood-enhancing properties. Additionally, damiana is often included in herbal blends aimed at promoting relaxation and overall well-being.

Nutritional Profile of Damiana

While damiana is primarily used for its medicinal properties rather than its nutritional content, it does contain a variety of compounds that contribute to its health benefits. These include:


  • Vitamin A: Damiana contains beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy vision, immune function, and skin health. Adequate intake of vitamin A is essential for normal growth and development, as well as for supporting reproductive health.
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  • Vitamin C: Damiana is a good source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient with antioxidant properties. Vitamin C plays a key role in immune function, collagen synthesis, wound healing, and the absorption of iron from plant-based foods. It also helps protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
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  • B-Complex Vitamins: Damiana contains various B vitamins, including thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and folate (vitamin B9). These vitamins are involved in numerous metabolic processes, including energy production, neurotransmitter synthesis, and DNA repair.


  • Calcium: Damiana provides a significant amount of calcium, an essential mineral that is crucial for bone health, muscle function, nerve transmission, and blood clotting. Adequate intake of calcium is important throughout life to prevent osteoporosis and maintain overall skeletal health.
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  • Iron: Damiana contains iron, a mineral that is essential for the production of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells. Iron plays a key role in oxygen transport, energy metabolism, and immune function. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, and impaired cognitive function.

  • Magnesium: Damiana is a good source of magnesium, an essential mineral involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. Magnesium plays a critical role in muscle and nerve function, energy metabolism, blood pressure regulation, and bone health. Adequate magnesium intake is important for preventing muscle cramps, maintaining heart health, and supporting overall well-being.
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  • Flavonoids: Damiana contains flavonoids, a group of plant compounds with antioxidant properties. Flavonoids help protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, reduce inflammation, and support cardiovascular health. Some flavonoids found in damiana, such as quercetin and apigenin, have been studied for their potential health benefits, including anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Terpenoids: Damiana contains terpenoids, aromatic compounds that contribute to its characteristic flavor and aroma. Terpenoids have diverse biological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Some terpenoids found in damiana, such as pinene and caryophyllene, have been studied for their potential therapeutic effects on conditions such as anxiety, pain, and inflammation.
  • Phenolic Compounds: Damiana contains phenolic compounds, including phenolic acids and tannins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Phenolic compounds help protect cells from oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, and support cardiovascular health. Some phenolic compounds found in damiana, such as caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid, have been studied for their potential health benefits, including anti-diabetic and neuroprotective effects.

Health Benefits of Damiana

  • Aphrodisiac Properties: Damiana has a long-standing reputation as an aphrodisiac, with traditional use dating back centuries among indigenous cultures. It is believed to enhance sexual function and libido in both men and women. Some animal studies suggest that damiana may increase blood flow to the genital area, which could contribute to its aphrodisiac effects. Additionally, it may help alleviate symptoms of sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction and low libido, although more research in humans is needed to confirm these effects.
  • Mood Enhancement and Stress Reduction: Damiana is often touted for its mood-enhancing properties, with proponents suggesting that it can help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Some studies have found that damiana extract may exert anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) and antidepressant effects in animal models. These effects are thought to be mediated by compounds in damiana that interact with neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which play key roles in regulating mood and emotions.
  • Stimulant and Energy Booster: In traditional herbal medicine, damiana is sometimes used as a mild stimulant to increase energy levels and combat fatigue. It is believed to have a revitalizing effect on the body, helping to improve overall vitality and stamina. Some people use damiana as a natural alternative to caffeine, particularly in herbal teas and supplements aimed at promoting alertness and mental clarity without the jittery side effects associated with caffeine consumption.
  • Digestive Support: Damiana has a long history of use as a digestive aid, with traditional applications ranging from relieving indigestion to alleviating constipation. It is believed to exert mild laxative effects, helping to stimulate bowel movements and promote regularity. Damiana may also have carminative properties, meaning it can help reduce gas and bloating by aiding in the digestion of food. Additionally, some research suggests that damiana extract may have gastroprotective effects, helping to protect the stomach lining from damage caused by factors such as stress and inflammation.
  • Urinary Tract Health: Some studies suggest that damiana may have diuretic properties, meaning it can increase urine production and promote the elimination of waste products from the body. This may help support urinary tract health by flushing out toxins and preventing the formation of kidney stones. Additionally, damiana's diuretic effects may help alleviate symptoms of urinary tract infections (UTIs) by promoting the excretion of bacteria and reducing inflammation in the urinary tract.
  • Antioxidant Activity: Damiana contains a variety of antioxidant compounds, including flavonoids, terpenoids, and phenolic acids, which help neutralize harmful free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage. Antioxidants play a key role in maintaining overall health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disorders. By scavenging free radicals, damiana may help reduce inflammation, support immune function, and protect against age-related decline in cognitive function.

Forms of Damiana

Damiana is available in various forms to suit different preferences and needs. These include:

  • Dried Leaves: Often used to brew herbal teas or infusions.
  • Capsules or Tablets: Convenient for those who prefer a standardized dosage.
  • Liquid Extracts: Concentrated forms of damiana extract, usually added to water or other beverages.
  • Powder: Can be added to smoothies or other foods for easy consumption.

Dosage and Administration

The appropriate dosage of damiana can vary depending on factors such as age, health status, and the form of the supplement. However, typical dosages range from 2 to 4 grams of dried damiana leaf per day, or as directed by a healthcare professional. For liquid extracts or capsules, follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. It's important to start with a lower dose and gradually increase as needed, while monitoring for any adverse effects.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions

While damiana is generally considered safe for most people when used in moderation, it may cause side effects in some individuals, particularly at higher doses. These side effects may include nausea, headaches, and digestive upset. Additionally, damiana may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners and diabetes medications, so it's important to consult with a healthcare provider before using damiana supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.

Choosing Quality Damiana Products

When selecting damiana products, it's important to choose reputable brands that prioritize quality and purity. Look for products that have been tested for contaminants and standardized to contain a consistent amount of active ingredients. Additionally, opt for organic or sustainably sourced damiana whenever possible to minimize exposure to pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals.


Damiana is a versatile herbal remedy with a long history of traditional use for various health purposes. From its reputed aphrodisiac effects to its potential mood-enhancing and digestive benefits, damiana offers a range of potential health benefits. However, more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms of action and efficacy. As with any herbal supplement, it's important to use damiana responsibly and consult with a healthcare professional before beginning supplementation, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.


References and Resources