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Damiana Leaf Cut & Sifted

Damiana Leaf Cut & Sifted

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Damiana, also known as Old Woman's Broom, is a small shrub native to the southwestern US, Mexico and South America. A cousin to the passionflower vine, damiana produces aromatic but bitter tasting leaves that are combined with other herbs in tea blends. Note that this item cannot be shipped to Louisiana.

kosher certificate information
Turnera diffusa

Damiana Leaf Cut & Sifted

Damiana leaf, c/s

Turnera diffusa

common names
Old Woman's Broom, Mexican Damiana, Herba de la Pastora

flavor profile
Damiana has a somewhat bitter flavor with an aroma similar to chamomile: slightly sweet, mildly earthy. This is likely because both the chemical makeup of these plants share certain volatile oil compounds, such as calamine derivatives.

availability/processing Cut and sifted damiana and damiana leaf powder are available.

The dried herb is prepared as tea or the fresh leaf is added to salads along with other greens.

culinary companions
Combines well with spinach and other bitter greens, such as arugula and dandelion.

parts used
Fresh or dried leaf

storage tips
Store in a cabinet, cupboard or other cool, dark place, ideally in a sealed glass jar.

Gulf of Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean and South Africa.

a bit of botany
Damiana is a shrubby flowering member of the Passifloraceae family, which makes it a botanical cousin to passionflower. Small yellow flowers appear in mid-to-late summer that produce edible fruits with a flavor compared to figs.

history and folklore
For thousands of years, this herb has been attributed with aphrodisiac properties. The ancient Greeks gave the plant an official name of “aphrodisiakos,” while referring to it commonly as the “goddess of love.” The Mayans and Aztecs, who also used the herb to enhance libido, smoked or burned the dried leaf to promote vision quests.

In Mexico, damiana is featured in an alcoholic beverage considered the country’s traditional liquor. The shape of the bottle it is distributed in is designed to represent an Incan Goddess and the brew is touted as the original used in the first margarita ever made.

chemical composition
Tannins, resins, up to 0.9% volatile oils, including calamine, gamma-cadinene, thymol, p-cymene, 1,8-cineole and alpha- and beta-pinene.

side effects
The Physicians’ Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines notes that this herb is highly cyanogenic, which means that compounds in the plant may form cyanides when ingested and become toxic with high dosages. At the time of this writing, the state of Louisiana bans the sale or distribution of this herb for human consumption, citing cases of deliberate substance abuse. Because of the potential estrogenic effects of this herb, it should not be used during pregnancy or if there is a history of a hormone-driven cancer. This herb may also affect blood glucose levels and interfere with diabetes drugs, as well as other medications.

For educational purposes only
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised: 
you should always consult with your doctor
before making any changes to your diet!!
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