There is limited evidence of Damiana’s stimulant effects. It has not been shown to treat cancer in humans.
Damiana is a wild shrub found in Mexico, Central America and parts of South America. It is used as a diuretic, laxative, stimulant, aphrodisiac, and also to treat diabetes and venereal diseases. Animal data show that Damiana can reduce anxiety and affect sexual behavior but there is no human data. Patients with diabetes should avoid Damiana because it may increase effects of drugs that reduce blood sugar.
Damiana is a wild shrub prevalent in South America. It is used in traditional medicine as a diuretic, laxative, stimulant, aphrodisiac and for treating diabetes and venereal diseases. Studies done in mice have shown that Damiana acts as an anxiolytic (1), stimulates sexual behavior (3)(13), and has hypoglycemic activity (7)(9). It is used in the botanical formulation ArginMax(4), which is marketed for the treatment of sexual dysfunction in women. Data from studies of damiana’s estrogenic activity are conflicting (8)(12).
Oral intake of capsules containing a mixture of Damiana, Yerba Mate, and Guarana led to weight loss in healthy volunteers (5).
Diabetics should use Damiana with caution as it may potentiate the effects of hypoglycemic drugs.
Damiana has not been studied in cancer patients.
Damiana extract and two of its compounds, pinocembrin and acacetin, could significantly suppress aromatase activity. Other compounds including pigenin 7-glucoside, Z-echinacin and pinocembrin showed estrogenic activity (12).