“Love has something to do with the notion of being seen — the opposite of invisibility. The invisible, the unwitnessed, the unacknowledged, the isolated, the lonely — these are the unloved. Loving attention illuminates the unseen, escorting them from the frontiers of lovelessness into the observed world. To truly see someone — anyone — is an act that acknowledges and forgives our common and imperfect humanity. I am beside you. Look for me — call the windswept voices of love, to all that have the forbearance to hear.”
Notes on Damiana
Sometimes, our bodies (and minds!) are not always in the mood, with hormonal changes and stress being the main culprits of low sex drive (or libido) in women.
Psychological factors such as intimacy problems, relationship issues, body image, depression, and a history of sexual abuse can also play a role.
Low sex drive will affect almost every woman at some point in her life, often during reproductive years or in menopause.
Particularly during menopause, changes in the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone can greatly affect sexual desire and arousal. Hormone imbalances caused by PCOS, the birth control pill and stress can also impact sex drive.
Herbs and supplements can offer a lot of help in improving libido naturally.
Damiana, aka Turnera diffusa, is the best known ally when it comes to this topic.
She’s historically known as a natural female aphrodisiac and relaxant.
Originally from Central and South America, her use dates back to the time of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans.
She works by increasing circulation and sensitivity to female (and male) organs.
Her pro-sexual effects are due to flavonoid compounds in her leaves.
Effect of damiana in post-menopausal women
A placebo-controlled study with 108 women (age 22-73 years) with low sex drive looked at the effect of a supplement that contained damiana, ginkgo and additional vitamins and minerals. After 4 weeks, women taking the supplement reported a significant increase in sexual desire (72% more) and satisfaction with overall sex life, compared with the placebo group.
And actually, the group that seemed to benefit the most from the supplement were post-menopausal women. (There is also good news for men, as animal studies have shown that damiana can reduce impotence in males.)
In addition to her sex-enhancing benefits, she’s also known to improve digestion, treat constipation, and create an overall sense of well-being.
She’s also used to treat bladder and urinary issues.
Damiana is often consume in a liquer in Mexico but I’ve only consumed her as a beverage in Guayaki’s Pure Passion blend- which was the “love/aphrodisiac blend’
You can also take Damiana in tincture form. Simply fill a jar with the leaves of the herb, cover with a liter of vodka or organic vegetable glycerine ( which is what I prefer to make tinctures from) and let sit for at least 10 days. Give the jar a good shake each day and keep it out of direct sunlight.
After a couple weeks, strain the mixture through a coffee filter to remove the plant pieces. You can use the tincture to make a cup of tea by placing one dropper-full of the alcohol in a cup of hot water with honey.
To make a liqueur, add the vodka to 500ml of water. Warm the infused water and add one to two cups of honey until dissolved, then bottle.
Also, consider taking magnesium as well as adaptogens such as Ashwagandha and Rhodiola, and if you think stress might be the culprit to a lower sex drive, then start making stress management more of a priority and possibly consider having your stress hormones (such as cortisol) tested.