A picture of a yellow damiana (a.k.a. Turnera diffuse, Turnera aphrodisiaca) flower.

Simon’s Damiana (Turnera Diffusa) Guide

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Damiana (a. k. a. Turnera diffusa, or Turnera aphrodisiaca) is a shrub native to southwestern Texas, Central America, Mexico, South America, and certain parts of the Caribbean.

Damiana is a relatively small shrub that produces small, yellow, aromatic flowers. It blossoms in early to late summer and grows edible fruits that taste similar to figs.

In modern medicine, it is used mainly to treat respiratory disorders, depression, headaches and menorrhalgia. Damiana is also a recognised aphrodisiac. It is widely available in the form of capsules, tablets, tea blends, tinctures, and extracts.

Source: Exploring scientifically proven herbal aphrodisiacs

Damiana is also cultivated for its reported mild psychoactive properties. It is popular amongst herbal legal high enthusiasts and, because it blends well with other similar herbs, it is often used in relaxing and anxiety relieving tea and smoking mixtures.



Interesting facts about damiana:


Damiana use has a long history in indigenous American cultures. Damiana leaves had been used to prepare “love potions” that boost sexual potency by the native peoples of Mexico, including the Mayan Indians. The plant was also embraced for its mild psychoactive properties in certain rituals.



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Damiana guide




Turnera diffusa – legal status


There is one US state where restrictions on the use of damiana (Turnera diffusa) exist. Louisiana State Act No. 159 of 2005 reportedly outlawed over 40 plants for human consumption, amongst them damiana (Turnera diffusa).

It appears to be legal in every other state and country around the world. If you have conflicting information, let me know in the comments section below!



Buy damiana


Damiana is a relatively easy-to-obtain herb. You can buy it as an ingredient in relaxing or aphrodisiac herbal mixes, as well as a standalone product. It is also available in the form of extracts or pills.

Check out the shops below, to buy damiana shipped from the US, or from Europe.

Buy damiana – US


A picture of the damiana plant. You can buy dried damiana from the us. Its great for smoking, as well as a damiana tea!
Buy damiana from the US

I recommend buying damiana or damiana extract from the US here:

Buy damiana or damiana extract /shipped from the US, credit cards accepted/



Buy damiana – Europe, Netherlands


A picture of dried damiana - great, if you want to try smoking damiana. You can also brew it in a tea!
Buy damiana from the Netherlands

I recommend buying damiana, damiana extract, or damiana containing aphrodisiac and anxiety relieving herbal mixes from the Netherlands from the following place:

Buy damiana, damiana extract and more /shipped from the Netherlands/



Main active ingredients of damiana


The structure of apigenin - the component reportedly responsible for damiana's (Turnera diffusa) mild psychoactive properties.
Apigenin – the component reportedly responsible for damiana’s mild psychoactive properties

The relaxing and mild psychoactive effects of damiana are attributed to a compound called apigenin, which has scientifically proven anxiolytic effects at smaller doses, and functions as a sedative, if consumed in larger amounts.

As for the properties of Turnera diffusa as an aphrodisiac, phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors like Sildenafil, Tadalafil or Vardenafil, some of which are found in damiana, are reportedly used to cure erectile dysfunction. However, they are not aphrodisiacs in the traditional sense, as they don’t affect the libido directly, they merely help the user to obtain an erection.



Damiana – effects


Historically, damiana had been used for its anxiolytic effects and its ability to boost sexual potency. Recently, it also became popular as a recreational herbal legal high due to some of its desirable, mild, psychoactive effects.

Damiana – both smoked or brewed in a tea – has the following effects:

  • A feeling of relaxation (sedation, with higher doses)
  • Mild euphoria
  • Relieved anxiety
  • Increased sexual potency and desire for both male and female users



Dangers of damiana


Damiana is generally considered safe. There are no reported serious side effects consumed in normal amounts. However, there are some cases, when damiana consumption is contradicted:

It may increase your risk of becoming hypoglycemic – meaning, your blood sugar drops too low – if taken with medications for controlling blood sugar levels, like insulin.

Pregnant or nursing mothers should avoid damiana, as it contains cyanogenic glycosides, which can cause cyanide toxicity in overly large doses. These compounds are present in some regular foods we safely eat, like lima beans and almonds, apple and some more exotic ones, like stone fruits, bamboo shoots and cassava. Only very large doses pose any danger.

As with basically any herb, avoid large doses and excessive use and in case of risky conditions, (diabetes, pregnancy etc.) consult an expert!


The Side Effects of Damiana Leaves

Cyanogenic Glycosides- Information Sheet



Damiana – benefits


In traditional and modern medicine, damiana is used:

  • as a male and female sexual stimulant used to treat erectile dysfunction and anorgasmia
  • to tone, balance, and strengthen the central nervous system
  • to treat emotional stress, depression, and anxiety
  • as a general hormonal balancing aid
  • for nervous stomach, colic, and dyspepsia
  • for mood disorders (hypochondria, obsessive compulsive disorder, neurosis, paranoia, etc).

Most of damiana’s health benefits are attributed to its properties as an aphrodisiac and anxiolytic. In fact, it was proven to be effective in trials in both relieving anxiety and boosting sexual potency.

A study, published in 2006 concluded that the compound apigenin is responsible for the anxiety reducing effects of the plant. The authors used the Elevated plus maze anxiety model to measure the plants anxiolytic effects on mice.

The aphrodisiac effects of damiana were proven in a small double-blind, placebo controlled study of 34 women. In the paper describing the experiment, the researchers concluded, that members of the test group showed a significant increase in sexual desire, sexual intercourses, orgasms and a reduction in vagina dryness.


Tropical Plant Database: Damiana

Apigenin: The Anxiolytic Constituent of Turnera aphrodisiaca

Phytopharmacy: An Evidence-Based Guide to Herbal Medicinal Products



Smoking damiana


One method to consume damiana is to smoke the dried leaves in a cigarette in themselves, or mixed with tobacco or other smokable herbs. 

Many damiana smokers reported that the smoke produced by the plant has a pleasant, flowery taste. However, some say it’s not quite enjoyable and harsh on the lungs and throat. We all like different things, I guess but it seems to me that users who smoked only the petals had better experiences compared to other who used a smoking mixture containing other parts as well.

There is no exact dosage, but experience reports on the internet suggest that 1-2 medium sized joints already produce noticeable effects!

Many smokers report effect similar to, only milder than, that of cannabis. A general sense of well being, tranquility, relaxation, mild euphoria and in some cases, increased sexual desire.

Damiana blends well in smoke mixes with, for instance, skullcap, wild dagga, catnip, passionflower and more. You can experiment, but don’t forget to do proper research and consult an expert if possible, before you proceed.



Damiana tea


Many herbal high enthusiast claim, that damiana is best when brewed into a tea. Some report more potent effects, compared to smoking the herb. Also, if you’re not a smoker, this method of consumption might suit you better!

Again, there is no exact dosage, but most experience reports suggest 1-2 tablespoons of damiana in a cup of boiling water should trigger some of the effects.

Very similar to those of smoking the plant. A mild buzz, improved general mood, relieved anxiety, slight euphoria and in many cases, increased sexual desire. Some say the effects are more pronounced in a tea. However, some claim the contrary. Feel free to experiment with what suits you better and let us know in the comments section below.

Damiana blends well with other similar plants in herbal tea mixes. Skullcap, wild dagga, catnip, passionflower etc. are reported to be synergistic when mixed.

You can experiment, but don’t forget to do proper research and consult an expert if possible, before you proceed.




Buy damiana – US


Buy damiana or damiana extract from the US here:

Buy damiana or damiana extract /shipped from the US, credit cards accepted/

Buy damiana – Europe, Netherlands


Buy damiana, damiana extract, or damiana containing aphrodisiac and anxiety relieving mixes from the Netherlands on the link below:

Buy damiana, damiana extract and more /shipped from the Netherlands/



Damiana effects, experiences, “trip reports”


Here are some excerpts from reports about the effects of damiana:

Smoking damiana:

“They first few lung fulls I drew in were harsh and burned slightly but they were definitely not unbearable. The herb itself had a flowery taste and actually tasted pretty good.

After a couple long draws, to my surprise, it almost felt like the come on of some low grade cannabis. My heart beat increased significantly and I did feel a slight head change. My mood improved significantly as well. I proceeded to smoke the rest of the bowl and felt great. I was very relaxed for a couple of hours. Also I want to make note that I got very sexually aroused and I wasn’t thinking about sex in any way shape or form. All in all I learned that damiana is a definite success and I will most definitely smoke more. I heard that brewing tea out of it is more effective then smoking it so I think next time I will try that next.”

Source: Erowid Experience Vault – Damiana – A Deffinate Success


Tea (damiana & catnip):

“After about 15 minutes I stood up and I knew it had hit me. I was feeling slightly numb all over, my legs and arms were feeling heavier and I just felt generally relaxed. I went downstairs and tried listening to some tunes on the computer but it was the wrong setting so I went outside and sat on my deck. It was a beautiful, clear evening out, birds singing, all the good stuff. I was just completely relaxed.

Let me just clarify this is not an identical high to weed, it’s not a psychedelic, you won’t be inquisitive of shit and you won’t be all giddy or anything. This is like just being calm and forgetting about all your stresses. I love it, I tend to stress easily at times (like exam time right now).[…]

This is where the second part of the drink stands out.(I believe it’s the Damiana in particular). This drink is a powerful dream enhancer. All night, I had vivid dreams, like little bits of big dreams. It was like flipping through the channels on TV and it was VERY entertaining. I woke up, and 30 minutes after waking up and typing this I can still remember a few of the dreams.”

Source: Erowid Experience Vault – Damiana – An Excellent Relaxation and Dreamscape



If you find this damiana guide useful please give it a “+1”:

Thank you! It helps my website a lot.


Share your own trip report in the comment section below (to ensure anonymity don’t use your real name or real email address when submitting trip reports)!

Some of the information presented here might be outdated or incorrect (check “last updated” below). Make sure, that if you are planning to try out any of the substances to research them yourself as well.

I’m 100% committed to safe and responsible legal high consumption. If you have a few minutes to spare please read my blog post about responsible and safe legal drugs use.


Damiana is only one of the legal highs included in Simon’s legal high guide, check out the others as well.

If you’re interested in more legal, natural sedatives, check out Simon’s Guide to Natural Sedatives!


Last updated: 2015. 12. 14.

Simon's Damiana (Turnera Diffusa) Guide
Article Name
Simon's Damiana (Turnera Diffusa) Guide
An overview of the anxiolytic, aphrodisiac and mild psychoactive properties of damiana (Turnera diffusa). This post also includes some tips on smoking damiana, as well as preparing a damiana tea.

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