The medicinal power of damien leaf

Damien leaf grows extensively in Central and South America, Mexico and the South of the US. The medicinal power of damien leaf has many sides. It is strengthening for the body, uplifting for the mind. Damien leaf also vitalises sex life, is good for the kidneys and promotes digestion. Furthermore, it regulates hormones, promotes coughing up mucus and lowers blood sugar levels, making it ideal for diabetes patients. It doesn’t stop there; There are many more medicinal effects of this special plant.
NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.

Damienblad / Source: Dominiku, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)


  • Naming damien leaf
  • History of damien leaf
  • Active ingredients Damien leaf
  • Damien leaf as an aphrodisiac
  • Damien leaf as an uplifting herb
  • Damien leaf for physical performance
  • Damien leaf for hormonal balance
  • Damien leaf as a digestive stimulant
  • Damien leaf for the kidneys
  • Other medicinal effects of Damien leaf
  • Consult a herbal therapist


Naming damien leaf

In Latin the plant is called Turnera Diffusa . Turnera comes from William Turner (1508-1568), the father of English botany. Diffusa means ‘spreading’ which refers to the strongly branching growth habit of the plant. Damiana means ‘Tamer’ or ‘One who tames’ in Latin. That is a reference to the soothing effect of the herb. In Dutch, in addition to damien leaf, the plant is also called damian herb, pastor’s herb leaf, damiana and Mexican love herb. The latter name is a reference to the libido-enhancing effect of damien leaf in both men and women.

History of damien leaf

The Maya used Damien leaf as a sedative and for anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, reduced libido and erection problems. To a lesser extent it was used by the Mayans for bladder problems, digestive problems, constipation, asthma and respiratory diseases. In the 19th century, the Americans discovered the sex drive stimulating properties of damien leaf. Despite the flood of claims, science has done little research into the aphrodisiac properties of damien leaf. The studies that have been done confirm the effect of damien leaf as an aphrodisiac.

Active ingredients Damien leaf

In addition to damien leaves, the Turnera Afrodisiaca family species can be used. For medical purposes, only the leaves, including green twigs, are used. The main active substances are caffeine-like alkaloids, bitter substances such as damianine, the flavonoids luteolin, rhamnose and quinovose derivatives and gonzalitosine I, cyanogen glycosides, hydroquinoglycosides, essential oils such as p-cymol, thymol, the sesquiterpenes alphacopene, cadinene and calamenene, ceneol, alphapinene, betapinene and p-cymene. It also contains the phytosterol betasitosterol and tannins in reasonable amounts. To a lesser extent it contains resins, gum, starch, proteins, chlorophyll and fatty acids.

Damien leaf as an aphrodisiac

Damien leaf is a mild aphrodisiac. It stimulates the libido, or the urge to have sex. It increases libido for both men and women. It has a testosterone-like effect. Testosterone plays an important role in sexual hormone balance. The libido can be lowered by factors such as stress, fatigue, psychological and emotional causes. Damienblad ensures that there is enough testosterone to be able to enjoy sexual pleasure. Because of these medicinal properties, a herbalist may decide to use damien leaf for the following indications:

  • Non-organic forms of frigidity,
  • Reduced libido in men and women,
  • Reduced potency, impotence, premature ejaculation.


Damien leaf as an uplifting herb

Damien leaf is a neurotonic and psychostimulant; These are medical terms for a mental stimulant. It protects the nervous system, has a mild antidepressant, uplifting, euphoric effect and is a soothing and relaxing plant. For these effects it is used by herbalists for:

Damienblad / Source: H. Zell, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

  • Mental fatigue,
  • Nervous exhaustion,
  • nervous strain,
  • Headache,
  • To improve psychological abilities and mental performance,
  • Concentration disorder, memory weakness,
  • Negative attitude, depression,
  • Stress, low stress resistance, nervousness, fears.


Damien leaf for physical performance

It is a general tonic or a strengthening agent for the entire body. It stimulates the physical condition. Because of these medicinal properties, herbal therapists can prescribe it for the following indications:

  • Fatigue, chronic fatigue,
  • Weakness, coldness,
  • Overtiredness, overworkedness,
  • To improve physical performance,
  • Recovery after an illness or operation,
  • Early signs of old age.


Damien leaf for hormonal balance

Damien leaf not only contains medicinal ingredients, but it also stimulates the body to recover itself by contributing to the natural hormonal balance that is regulated by the pituitary gland. Related to this, it is a menstrual enhancer. It can be used by phytotherapists for:

  • BPH which stands for Benign Prostate Hypertrophy or benign prostate enlargement,
  • Menopausal complaints, menstrual pain,
  • Irregular menstruation, absence of menstruation,
  • White discharge, headache during menstrual period.


Damien leaf as a digestive stimulant

Damien leaf improves digestion because it promotes appetite, protects against stomach and duodenal ulcers, has an antispasmodic effect and is a mild laxative. Because of these digestion-promoting properties, it is used for:

  • Anorexia, dyspepsia, indigestion,
  • Slow digestion,
  • Prevention of gastric and duodenal ulcers,
  • Gastrointestinal cramps, atonic constipation, constipation due to debilitation,
  • Diarrhea, dysentery.


Damien leaf for the kidneys

It strengthens kidney energy, stimulates the genitourinary system, is diuretic and disinfects the urinary tract, so it is used for:

  • Insufficient urine production,
  • bedwetting,
  • Chronic urinary infections,
  • Kidney inflammation.


Other medicinal effects of Damien leaf

  • The stimulating effect on body, mind and sex life are the most important activities of damien leaf. There are more effects of this herb that it is good to mention:
  • Because damiana promotes coughing up of mucus, it is used for colds, coughs and asthma.
  • Since it is an antibacterial agent, it can be used for colds.
  • Due to its lowering effect on blood sugar levels, it is used for insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus type 2 and adult-onset diabetes.


Consult a herbal therapist

Anyone who wants to use damien leaf as a medicinal product is recommended to consult a herbal therapist. Damien leaf extracts and medicines in the form of mother tinctures, powders, nebulisate, liquid extract, ointment, cream and capsules should only be used as prescribed by authorized persons. A herbal therapist can tell you more about this, as well as about any side effects and interactions with other medicines or herbs. There are also beneficial combinations with herbs. All medicinal effects of this medicinal herb mentioned in this article are based on scientific research and come from Geert Verhelst’s Large Handbook of Medicinal Plants, a standard work in the field of healing plants. The book is used in phytotherapy.

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