What Are Some Facts About Damiana Leaves?


Quick Answer

Damiana leaves come from a Mexican shrub, and they are yellow-brown in color and aromatic, explains Drugs.com. The shrub is known as Mexican damiana and old woman's broom. The leaves, the twigs and the small fruit have all been used for medicinal purposes historically.

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Full Answer

The leaves have been documented in scientific research to have been used as an aphrodisiac by making a drink from them and adding sugar, according to Drugs.com. The plant also was used by the Mayans for the treatment of loss of balance. In the late 19th century, it was used in the United States as a tincture to liven the sexual lives of the aged and enfeebled. The extract of damiana leaves is still found in certain over-the-counter herbal supplements and sometimes marketed as a natural high.

The leaves are used for other medicinal purposes around the world, says Drugs.com. In the Caribbean, vapors from boiling the leaves in water are used as pain relief for headaches. As of 2015, there have been no studies that confirm the effectiveness of any of these historical uses. Some people suggest that the drug may contain caffeine and that this may account for its purported aphrodisiac qualities. No clinical studies have been conducted on appropriate dosing, and anyone should consult a physician before taking any extract from damiana leaves.

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