PART USED: Leaf
PROPERTIES: Sedative (mild, as needed), Stimulant, Tonic, mild Laxative and Diuretic, Antiseptic
SYSTEMS AFFECTED: Nervous, Endocrine/Glandular (parathyroid health), Reproductive, Structural
POSSIBLE USES: anxiety, depression, infertility, male menopause, osteoporosis
INGREDIENT IN: PRT
Damiana is a very versatile herb as you can see from the above list of systems affected. It should probably play a part in more combination recipes than just one! I believe that the mild sedative/calming action of Damiana lies at the core of its effectiveness. Even when using it to stimulate the parathyroid gland, the emotional and mental lifting of any clouds of anxiety and depression is a lovely side benefit.
The parathyroid gland is a key player in the absorption of calcium and in the body’s determination of what to do with that calcium—store it nicely in the “bank of the bones,” or turn the wonderful calcium into kidney and gallstones, or mess up the muscles and nerves by placing it there.
In the past, Damiana has been seen as an essential tonic herb for men because of its effect on the male reproductive system and the prostate in particular. Somehow I (and apparently some other midwives) missed that piece of information and discovered that it is an excellent herb for women also.
I found one source of information that listed a caution, stating that Damiana interfered with the iron absorption when taken internally (how else would you take it?). I could find no confirmation of this “side-effect” and don’t believe it to be accurate.