Damiana tea comes from a shrub native to Central and South America, where it has been used throughout history as an aphrodisiac. Although its small yellow flowers have been compared to chamomile, its leaves and stems are the ingredients for this tea. Today damiana is still used to encourage and enhance sexuality. Other modern uses might include an alternative treatment for depression, constipation, nervous dyspepsia and fatigue. Damiana also may help with asthma, low blood sugar, neurosis, coughing or low fertility. The tea is often made with .07 ounces (2 grams) of crushed dried damiana leaves or stems steeped in hot water for 15 to 30 minutes.
Damiana tea's most longest and most popular use is to boost the libido. Even the scientific name, turnera aphrodisiaca, reflects its aphrodisiac properties. Damiana tea not only claims to enhance the sexual experience, it might also benefit the entire reproductive system of both sexes. Some herbalists have suggested that the tea fights against impotency, menstrual problems or infertility. Women who suffer from low estrogen levels, either during their fertile years or as a result of menopause, might find relief with damiana tea.
Many people believe that damiana helps with their mental or emotional struggles as well. Those who battle with fatigue might find an extra boost of energy if they regularly consume damiana. The tea might also be used to supplement a treatment plan for depression. Even those who do not consider themselves depressed could find that damiana can boost their moods. Many users also claim that damiana brings relief during times of rattled nerves or excessive worries.
Along with sexual and mental healing, damiana tea reportedly helps with other physical ailments such as respiratory problems. People who experience frequent coughing fits might want to integrate damiana tea with their daily diet. Regular consumption of damiana might also help prevent bronchitis and decrease asthma attacks.
Damiana tea has been used for more than just traditional medicinal purposes. Some people believe that damiana can be an agent for spiritual healing or enlightenment. Damiana tea is featured in some Central American mystical folklore, and its spiritual powers have been recorded by the ancient Mayans. Damiana leaves have also been used recreationally in liquor or smoking pipes.
Some herbalists might point out that natural does not always mean safe. For instance, damiana is not recommended for pregnant women, and excess amounts of this herbal tea might induce headaches, insomnia or even liver damage. Most herbalists will recommend consulting a physician before self diagnosing or self treating. If side effects seem to appear, tea drinkers might want to discontinue use until they can consult a doctor.