Scientific name: Turnera diffusa, Turnera aphrodisiaca

Common names: Damiana, Herba de la pastora, Mexican damiana, Mizibcoc, Old woman’s broom

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names:

Arabic names:    الدميانة (ad-damiana)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Fabaceae?

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Leaf, stem

Collection:  Both the stem and leaf are normally collected when the plant is flowering.

Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 3 to 6 feet

Actions: Anti-depressant, urinary antiseptic, laxative, nerve tonic

Known Constituents:  Oil including pinene, cineol, cymol, arbutin, cymene, cadinene and copanen; alkaloids, bitter, flavanoid, cynaogenic glycoside, tannin

Constituents Explained:


Traditional Use:

Thought of as a aphrodisiac, it is also used as a mood elevator and to help cases of light exhaustion.  It is used to enhance the libido in both men and women.

Used to give endurance.  The alkaloids are sometimes thought of as having testosterone properties.

Clinical Studies:

A study conducted on women over the age of 21 years with an interest in improving their sexual function. Of the 77 participants, 34 received ArginMax and 43 received a placebo.

ArginMax for Women is a proprietary nutritional supplement consisting of extracts of ginseng, ginkgo, and damiana, L-arginine, multivitamins, and minerals. 

After 4 weeks, 73.5% of the ArginMax group improved in satisfaction with their overall sex life, compared with 37.2% of the placebo group. 

Notable improvements were also observed in sexual desire, reduction of vaginal dryness, frequency of sexual intercourse and orgasm, and clitoral sensation. No significant side effects were noted.


Ito TY, Trant AS, Polan ML. “A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study Of ArginMax, A Nutritional Supplement For Enhancement Of Female Sexual Function.” 2001 October



Other names: Turnera diffusa, Turnera aphrodisiaca, 

Latin name: Turnera aphrodisiaca

Family: Turneraceae

Common part used: leaves

This plant can be found in Mexico, some countries of South America, Texas and West Indies.

In Mexico the plant has been used a lot as an aphrodisiac for both men and women. There is no scientific proof of daminana having these properties, but the plant is still believed to be a powerful sexual stimulant. 

Its leaves, which are actually the part used for the medicinal and other purposes, are smooth, with hairs on the ribs and pale green in color. The flowers of these plants appear singly, they are placed on the axils of the leaves. Typically they are yellow. As for the fruit of the plant, it is a capsule with one cell divided into three. The damiana plant is characterized by bitter taste and aromatic fragrance of the leaves and flowers. 

Except having the claimed aphrodisiac characteristics, damiana is also used as a remedy for anxiety, headaches, depressions, asthma, and all sorts of women’s health disorders.  Damiana is sold in different forms, such as liquid extracts, teas, capsules and pills. 

As for ill effects, damiana can cause some mild forms of indigestion. Besides, this plant contains arbutin, which turn into the chemical based element hydroquinone in the urinary tract. If the hydroquinone amount is too large, it can cause vomiting and nausea. In some cases the consequences of this can be fatal.