Is it purely a coincidence that March’s Oil of the Month selection is a well-known aphrodisiac? After all, spring is the season for the birds and the bees, if you know what I mean. But Damiana is so much more than that! The exotic herb that produces this essential oil has a rich history that speaks to its importance throughout its native environments of Central and South America.
Let’s uncap that little bottle of Damiana you got in your mailbox and learn more about it and how you can put it to work.
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The Damiana plant, particularly its leaves, has been used traditionally for both medicinal and culinary uses. Ancient Mayan and Aztec civilizations recorded its use as an aphrodisiac, as well as for “giddiness and loss of balance.” In the last century, it has gained fame throughout the U.S. and Europe, not only because of its association with sexual function, but also for its support with headaches, digestive issues, and emotional tension .
How its made
Our Damiana, which is steam distilled from the leaves, flowers, and stems of the plant, comes from Mexico. The plant itself is a small perennial shrub that grows in a semiarid, high elevation climate (like mountains). It bears long, serrated, aromatic leaves and produces lovely bright yellow blooms from early to late summer. Today it is grown primarily in Mexico, Central America, the West Indies, and parts of South America.
Hands-down Damiana’s claim to fame is as an aphrodisiac. More than a hundred years ago, a Spanish missionary reported that Mexican natives made a “love potion” from Damiana leaves and some sugar. They then drank it to enhance their lovemaking! More recently, The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia lists Damiana as a support to those suffering from impotence because of its ability to aid underlying symptoms, such as emotional exhaustion, nervous tension, and depression . There are even several patents awarded for its use in medications to enhance the sexual experience . It can help calm and relax you, while simultaneously uplifting you and helping you focus. In turn, this helps get you in the right kind of mood for some romantic moments with your partner.
But what else is it good for? Well, if stomach issues are ailing you, Damiana can help!
When applied topically to the abdomen, it can help relieve bloating, cramping, and constipation. It does this by stimulating muscular contractions of the intestinal tract. To use it for tummy troubles, add a single drop to a teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil and massage onto your stomach in a clockwise manner.
Some things you need to know about Damiana….
Is it KidSafe? No
Shelf Life: 2-3 years
Cautions: Should not be used while pregnant or nursing.
The aroma of Damiana has a sweet, fruity, floral aroma with earthy undertones, reminiscent of sweet hay and wood. Try your hand at blending with Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, Pink Grapefruit, Sweet Orange, Rose Absolute and Otto, Australian Sandalwood, and Ylang Ylang Complete and Extra.
Romantic Massage Blend
What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
Mix all ingredients together and enjoy an intimate massage with your partner!
Don’t forget to head over to our Safe Essential Oil Recipes group on Facebook for more ideas and inspiration!
And as always, please feel free to reach out to our aromatherapists at [email protected] for any questions or more information!
By Katrina Scampini, Certified Aromatherapist
 Kumar, S., Madaan, R., & Sharma, A. (2008). Pharmacological evaluation of Bioactive Principle of Turnera aphrodisiaca. Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 70(6), 740-4.
 British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. West Yorks: British Herbal Medicine Association; 1983. Throughwww.phytotherapies.org/monograph-detail.com.
 Worwood, V. (2016). The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition. Novato, CA: New World Library. Pg. 583.