Damiana for Libido & Hormonal Health

Looking to pump up your sex drive? Look to damiana, an adaptogen that balances stress hormones and increases libido.

Damiana for Libido and Hormonal Health from Wile. ID: closeup of yellow, 5-petaled flowers on clusters of shiny, serrated leaves.

Meet Damiana, Your New Favorite Aphrodisiac

You may have heard that oysters, dark chocolate, chilies or figs can increase libido. Here’s another ingredient that can turn up the heat. Damiana, which has been used in Traditional Mexican Medicine for centuries, is shown to reverse low sex drive in women 40 and up. Read on to learn why we included damiana in our new Libido herbal tincture

Why We Love Damiana 

  • Damiana is an adaptogen, which means that it balances stress hormones in your body. Adaptogens also build up stress tolerance and teach your body to regulate itself for both energy and calm. Especially during midlife, damiana is great for women’s stress relief.
  • It’s not only used medicinally! Damiana has a chamomile-like flavor that makes it delicious in damiana liqueurs, which are popular in margaritas and cocktails. Yum!

Key Benefits

Increases Libido - Damiana’s libido-enhancing properties are so well-documented that it has earned the alternate name damiana aphrodisiaca. As with many facets of women’s health and sexuality, there are still questions about how exactly this works. The current theory is that compounds called flavonoids in damiana increase desire, helping to turn around low sex drive in women. 

Whatever the nitty gritty, it works. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial, women taking a combination of herbs containing damiana reported:

  • Increased sexual desire
  • More orgasms
  • Greater clitoral sensitivity
  • Enhanced lubrication

Damiana is especially potent for increasing libido in women 40 and up. 

Perimenopausal women taking damiana reported:

  • 86% increase in sexual frequency

  • 79% increase in sexual satisfaction

  • 64% decrease in vaginal dryness.

It’s no wonder that damiana shines so brightly in our Libido herbal tincture

Natural Hormone Balance - Hormonal balance is a huge part of sexual wellness during perimenopause. Damiana promotes hormonal health in women over 40 by slowing down the enzyme that converts testosterone to estrogen, so there’s more testosterone left over in your body. We usually don’t think of testosterone as a women’s sex hormone, but it’s actually vital for balanced hormones, promoting estrogen production and libido. That’s another way that damiana increases sex drive in women and fits into our Libido tincture

Improves Mood - Damiana has been used in Traditional Mexican Medicine to decrease occasional symptoms of anxiety and depression, and contemporary science is finding evidence to support it. Part of this could be because damiana contains a small amount of caffeine. It could also be due to a compound called apigenin, which is shown to reduce anxiety.

Traditional Uses:

Damiana has been used in Mexico and Central America since pre-hispanic times and is still in broad use today. In addition to culinary use, damiana has been used for: 

  • Libido support
  • Perimenopause and menopause
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Lung and respiratory disease
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Hangovers 

About the Plant: 

Damiana is native to Texas, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The first known damiana use was by the Guaycura people of Baja California in Mexico, who used it in religious ceremonies before allegedly forbidding its use because its aphrodisiac powers were a little too potent! The Guaycura people traded damiana with the Aztecs, who then spread it across Mexico and Central America. 

Damiana is a bush with clusters of scalloped leaves, yellow flowers and fruits that taste a bit like figs. 

On top of the nickname damiana aphrodisiaca it’s also called mexican holly, hierba de la pastora, oreganillo and bourrique.

Found In (Wile Products)

Things to Know about Damiana:

Damiana may decrease blood sugar, so talk to your doctor before use if you have low blood sugar or are on medication for diabetes. 

The dose we use in our Wile Libido herbal tincture is very safe, but know that taking too much damiana has been associated with toxic effects. Still, you’d have to consume 200 grams of damiana, which is a whopping 2 cups of the dried herb, for it to be dangerous.  

Damiana isn’t recommended for pregnancy, breastfeeding or for children. 

Clinical Research
  • Ito, Thomas I., Aileen S. Trant, and Mary Lake Polan. “A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study of ArginMax, a Nutritional Supplement for Enhancement of Female Sexual Function.” Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 27, no. 5 (October 1, 2001): 541–49. https://doi.org/10.1080/713846828.
  • Ito, Thomas I., Mary Lake Polan, Beverly Whipple, and Aileen S. Trant. “The Enhancement of Female Sexual Function with ArginMax, a Nutritional Supplement, Among Women Differing in Menopausal Status.” Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 32, no. 5 (November 23, 2006): 369–78. https://doi.org/10.1080/00926230600834901.
  • Kumar, Sanjay, Reecha Madaan, and Archana Sharma. “Estimation of Apigenin, an Anxiolytic Constituent, inTurnera Aphrodisiaca.” Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences 70, no. 6 (November 1, 2008): 847. https://doi.org/10.4103/0250-474x.49143.
  • María, Dorantes-Barrón Ana, Vigueras Villaseñor Rosa María, Mayagoitia-Novales Lilian, Martínez-Mota Lucía, Gutiérrez-Pérez Oscar, and Estrada-Reyes Rosa. “Neurobehavioral and Toxicological Effects of an Aqueous Extract of Turnera Diffusa Willd (Turneraceae) in Mice.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 236 (May 23, 2019): 50–62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2019.02.036.
  • Szewczyk, Katarzyna, and Christian Zidorn. “Ethnobotany, Phytochemistry, and Bioactivity of the Genus Turnera (Passifloraceae) with a Focus on Damiana—Turnera Diffusa.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 152, no. 3 (March 28, 2014): 424–43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2014.01.019.
  • Zhao, Jianping, Asok K. Dasmahapatra, Shabana I. Khan, and Ikhlas A. Khan. “Anti-Aromatase Activity of the Constituents from Damiana (Turnera Diffusa).” Journal of Ethnopharmacology 120, no. 3 (December 8, 2008): 387–93. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2008.09.016.
  • “DAMIANA: Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews,” n.d. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-703/damiana.
  • Indigo Herbs. “Damiana Benefits,” December 9, 2022. https://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/natural-health-guide/benefits/damiana.
  • Parra, Alberto. “8 Benefits of Damiana - Ben's Natural Health.” Ben’s Natural Health, September 5, 2022. https://www.bensnaturalhealth.com/blog/sexual-health/benefits-of-damiana/.
  • Phan, Ross. “What Is Damiana?” Verywell Health, January 23, 2023. https://www.verywellhealth.com/damiana-what-should-i-know-about-it-89557.
  • RxList. “Damiana: Health Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dose & Precautions,” June 11, 2021. https://www.rxlist.com/damiana/supplements.htm.
  • Tello, Carlos. “3 Damiana Benefits & Effects + Dosage & Reviews.” SelfDecode Supplements, September 9, 2021. https://supplements.selfdecode.com/blog/damiana/.

This article is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to replace a one-on-one medical consultation with a professional. Wile, Inc researches and shares information and advice from our own research and advisors. We encourage every woman to research, ask questions and speak to a trusted health care professional to make her own best decisions.
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