There are many ways to feel sexier and many ways to support a particular pathway to pleasure. Damiana brings a special combination of flavors and actions that may resonate for folks who are looking for an aphrodisiac that helps them reconnect to their bodies, cultivate self-love, relax, and enhance sensation. A strengthening tonic for the nervous system, damiana was originally utilized by Mayan and Aztec people to restore sexual function. Herbalists all over the world continue to call on this plant for its aphrodisiac qualities, and more. This demure little yellow-flowered woody shrub continues to tantalize. Damiana is the herbal aphrodisiac for you!
What is an Herbal Aphrodisiac?
There are many plants that we call aphrodisiacs. But what is an aphrodisiac exactly? Does a cup of tea suddenly propel you into a world of desire? Does a drop of tincture make you see a potential partner in a whole new light? Probably not.
More likely, herbal aphrodisiacs help us create an internal environment from which we can more readily drop into a sensory experience and flow into the present moment.
Many herbal aphrodisiacs share the quality of being circulatory enhancers, moving blood through the body. Blood means warmth, possibly tingles. Circulatory herbs may also help stimulate the reproductive organs and increase sensitivity to touch.
The focus of some aphrodisiac actions is to calm the nervous system and ease tension. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get in the mood when I’m stressed out, thinking too much, or feeling the tension in my muscles. This is where our nervines and more bitter herbs can really shine, offering to soothe the overwhelm, and facilitate a downward flow of energy – away from the head and into the heart…and pelvis.
Is Damiana Right for Me?
According to one of my favorite herbal teachers, Claudia Keel, damiana especially shines for those who feel numbed or disconnected from their own bodies. Damiana offers profound support for people who have trouble getting out of their heads, are self-conscious in lovemaking, or for those who have experienced trauma that prevents them from feeling safe in their own skin.
I also think of damiana for the person who runs cold, withdrawn, and perhaps depleted from overextending themselves. According to traditional Chinese medicine, damiana supplements kidney yang. In the TCM tradition, the kidneys house our deepest reserves of energy, and are intimately tied to reproductive health. Yang is the active energy in the body (and all of nature), while yin is more the passive and nourishing force. Yang stimulates, warms, and moves. These are qualities that underpin damiana’s reputation and traditional usage.
When I drink a cup of damiana tea, I feel like I’m putting a bit of sunshine in my belly. It helps ease my mind, feel more social, and brings sensations of warmth to my center. Damiana’s pungency gently increases blood flow to the lower abdomen and pelvic area, not only enhancing sensation but also providing digestive support. No one feels sexy when they’re bloated and full. Finally, damiana’s unique bitter constituents also contribute to its digestive actions and add another benefit – relaxation.
Cultivating Your Relationship with Damiana
If you see yourself as someone who might benefit from damiana, cultivate a relationship with this plant. Make a damiana tea, close your eyes as you open to the plant’s energy, notice what shifts inside you. Or try a high-quality tincture like La Abeja Herbs Damiana Elixir or Plant Alchemy Love Stoned, which combines damiana’s healing properties with anti-inflammatory CBD, and see where it takes you!