This past winter I had the extreme pleasure of finally meeting in person (ie: growing in its native environment) a plant ally I have benefited from for many years now.
Damiana. (Turnera diffusa)
Classified in Mexico as a national treasure and used by the Aztecs, Maya and other indigenous people of Mexico, this fragrant plant is famous for its aphrodisiac properties.
Damiana grows wild on the mesas above the little town of Santiago in southern Baja near my winter domicile of El Chorro.
A local friend offered to show me a plentiful cache of this herb that has fencing around it, so it is relatively undisturbed by the cows. Cows LOVE damiana!
Interesting that it just so aligned to go harvesting in the midst of Lupercalia and on Valentine’s.
Damiana also has medicinal properties as a kidney tonic, a diuretic (making it great for PMS), a nervine (produces a feeling of calm and well-being which can be supportive for those who experience anxiety) and as aforementioned, an aphrodisiac. Studies have shown that it improves blood flow and maintains vigor of nerve endings in the genitalia.
Damiana or “hierba de la pastora” originated in Central and South America and can grow up to 2 meters. However, being a favorite munchie with cows, it is challenging to find taller plants where cows are grazing.
This plant ally is a favorite of mine for any UTI issues with its diuretic, antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
But a cup of tea before bedtime is a wonderful way to settle into dreamtime.
It is contraindicated for people with iron deficiencies as it can affect absorption of iron,
thyroid conditions since it can affect hormones and those with low blood sugar.
This was my first time harvesting this from this herb, but I feel very connected with the spirit of this plant so hanging out with her while her roots are in the ground, blooming delicate yellow flowers, leaves stretched skyward was incredibly special.
And the sweet sticky resin left on the fingers is a nosegasm unto itself.
A tea of the fresh leaves is fragrant and tender treat with raw Baja honey!
#baja #damiana #harvesting #botanicalmedicine #nervine #kidneytonic #aphrodisiac #teatime #mexicanbotanical #medicinatradicional #adaptogeniclifestyle