Damiana leaf, also known as Tumera diffusa, is part of the family Turneraceae, which is composed mainly of tropical shrubs, of which damiana is one. Some of its common names include Mexican holly and oreganillo. The shrub also produces small yellow fragrant flowers during the summer months.
Damiana was used among early Mayans and ancient Aztecs. The fragrant leaves were made into a sweetened beverage that was enjoyed before lovemaking. It continues to be valued in the Southwest and in Central America as a libido restorative for both men and women.* Damiana was also used as a folk remedy for various complaints and was listed in the U.S. national formulary until 1947. Damiana contains up to 1% essential oil, flavonoids, about 14% resins, glycosides and 3 to 4% tannins. It also contains a cyanogenic glycoside.