Damiana, a medicinal with 1,000 functions

Today we give way to an example of a plant that works for everything. Damiana is credited with so many medicinal properties and is widely marketed around the world to alleviate a host of problems, ranging from laxative properties to male libido enhancers. Today’s article is dedicated to Turnera diffusa or damiana . To enjoy!

Depending on the area where we are, we can know Turnera diffusa by many names, ranging from the aforementioned  Damiana  to  grass of the shepherdess, grass of the deer, shepherd, male shirtbreaker, little ear,  etc.

As you can see, most aromatic or medicinal plants have many names and derivatives since they have been used by a lot of cultures (not necessarily being connected to each other) and each one attributed a different property to them.

Today they are studied and investigated and some benefits of Damiana have been shown . Little by little we will tell you about them throughout this article.

We can classify it as a shrub since it can reach 2 meters in height, and it belongs to the Turneraceae family 



Turnerea diffusa is a plant that is used to growing in arid climates. In fact, it does so indigenously in many parts of America, such as California, Mexico and tropical areas of Brazil.

That is why it adapts very well to climates where high temperatures are reached , although generally we assume that the ideal is an average of between 22 and 25º C. I said, it is a plant used to heat, so it will reduce any negative temperature fruit of a frost.

Take a look at our article and find out about some methods to protect your crops from frost .

As for light, if we have seen that it can grow without problems in arid areas of Mexico or California, it will need large doses of light. It is a shrub that grows in full light conditions.


Damiana is adapted to a soil with a medium texture between half sand and half clay. It usually grows in alkaline soils so pH is not a cause for concern in this plant. Normally it must be between a basic pH (typical of an arid area with a water deficit) and a basic pH.


Damiana is a shrub used to times of drought with a series of widely spaced irrigations. At the beginning of the crop is when it has more water needs to strengthen its growth, but little by little we can get used to the drought, watering very periodically. It is difficult to specify the amount but we give you an example where with a drip irrigation system you can apply an irrigation every week in hot weather.

As for the subscriber, something similar happens. Under normal conditions, Damiana grows without anyone providing it with mineral or organic fertilizers. But in order to improve its growth and increase the vigor of our plant in the garden, we will provide an average of half a kilo of manure or compost around each Damiana.


One thing we know about Damiana is that it has a low germination power, something rare in an aromatic or medicinal plant. It is not a serious problem since we can resort to vegetative multiplication methods.

Just between the period in which the Turnera diffusa leaves have fallen and before the start of the new sprouting, you can proceed to obtain woody cuttings that will serve to constitute the future plant. Stakes that are 30 to 40 centimeters above the ground are usually cut, obtaining a woody “branch” 20 centimeters long.

These cuttings can be dipped in phytohormones to improve rooting (optional) and then they are grown in pots with substrate by driving them 10 centimeters deep.

Here the form of irrigation is very important. We will not water with a watering can or rubber if not with some type of sprayer or atomizer. What we are looking for is a small droplet size that will warm the substrate but not puddle it, as this woody Damiana stake is sensitive to rot .

If we leave the stakes in direct sunlight, we will water a couple of times a week or once a week if it is indoors. We will continue like this for 2 months until the roots are formed and grow.

Photography: magical garden


And we come to the part that we mentioned at the beginning of the article. Here we are going to comment on all the medicinal properties attributed to Damiana:


These were the first attributions that were given to Damiana and it comes from many years ago. We are talking about the Mayans already cultivating this bush for the simple fact of increasing sexual potency among their warriors. Apparently these properties have also been scientifically studied and confirmed, so it can be said that the Mayans were not wrong. 😉


The essential oil components (alpha-pinene, calamene, cineole, beta-sisoterol, thymol, etc.) extracted from this plant have antibacterial properties. This, together with the mucolytic properties of ascorbic acid, make it a good technique to avoid respiratory problems such as bronchitis , an antitussive,  and helps to improve flu symptoms 


Damiana has some components (including caffeine) that have diuretic properties . This means that it helps eliminate fluid retention and alleviate problems such as kidney infections, promote diuresis when you have kidney stones, inflammations or infections.


Apart from other components similar to caffeine, what they basically do is increase the dopamine content of our body, and this translates into an increase in the feeling of vitality, well-being and happiness. So it is appropriate as an assistant for depressive treatments and feelings of general exhaustion.


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Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

Ryan Heagle

Welcome to The GardenPure! My name is Ryan Heagle, and I’m the founder of The GardenPure, I spent the first part of my adult life teaching and then living in Australia in various business ventures, the first of which was a business devoted to the sale of house plants.  I am now a full time blogger. I am a self taught gardener.

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