Damiana Addiction and Abuse

Consuming Damiana can quickly lead to abuse, mostly because the drug is still legal. The reason it’s legal is not because there aren’t any possible side effects, but rather it is still a relatively new recreational substance. Damiana traditionally serves as an aphrodisiac and is also used because of its relaxing and happiness inducing qualities, as well as for breaking addiction. All of the above are contributing factors for dependency, which is common with addictive substances.

Damiana is increasingly being used by teens. Its abuse leads to addiction, which has adverse effects on the user. Though it’s still legal to use, if you notice that a friend is beginning to abuse this substance, be observant for signs that are consistent with addiction.

What is Damiana?

Damiana is the common name for the yellowish shrub, turnera aphrodisiaca. It is also referred to as ‘black mamba’ and grows in Mexico, Central and South America, Southwestern United States and the Caribbean. It is traditionally used as an aphrodisiac (usually for women to increase vaginal wetness and sexual desire); for treating erectile dysfunction; as an antiseptic, antidepressant and diuretic. Some of its ingredients include different kinds of flavonoids, resins, beta-sitosterol, damianin, arbutin and tannins. Its yellow leaf is considered the most important part of the plant and contains much of its active substances.

Some of the reasons teens abuse Damiana is that like psychoactive drugs, it serves as an antidepressant with the ‘high’ that accompanies it. Furthermore, it doesn’t show up during drug tests, so you wouldn’t have to worry about random drug testing in the workplace.

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Different Forms of Damiana

Damiana comes in different forms. People find which is most convenient for them and consume the substance accordingly. They include:

  • Damiana tea: This is the commonest form of consuming Damiana and is mainly a relaxant. It is made into a sweetened tea alongside other substances, with Damiana the major ingredient. It is prepared by introducing the already cleaned Damiana leaves into boiling water. It is then left until the water changes, showing that the nutrients have been extracted into the water. The water is then poured into a cup. You can subsequently add honey, garlic, ginger, and so on.
  • Damiana liqueur: The leaves and stems of the Damiana plant are what’s used to make the liqueur. The drink is sweet and alcoholic and the flavor is herbaceous. It is the favourite of every nightclub attendant, as it makes dancers more active and happier.
  • Damiana Incense: Incense extract is used for varying reasons by different people. It has a pleasant, aromatic smell. However, people also use it for meditation, as the smell is very soothing. This particular use has gone on for centuries – especially in Latin American countries.

Organic Damiana: Is it Safe to use?

While Damiana has numerous health benefits, it is not always safe to use. Individuals with known allergies are advised to steer clear, even in its organic form. Also, the herb is not to be taken by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. So little is known about Damiana. Therefore, one should be careful, even when using it for medical purposes. In the past, the shrub was used as an abortion-inducing substance and may singlehandedly have an adverse effect on both the child and mother.

Damiana Abuse and Addiction Causes

Most herbal incenses are viewed as harmless and free of any side effects. However, put in the hands of teens who want to get ‘high’ and forget all the difficulties they might be facing in life, Damiana has a fair chance of abuse and addiction taking hold. It’s easy for even an adolescent to take, because Damiana is not illegal (yet), so an overdose could easily occur. Notably, when heroine began to appear more often, many people turned to it as a cure for morphine addiction. The same pattern is now seen in the use of other synthetic drugs.

Overdependence on Damiana for relaxation, beating addiction and fighting off depression each have the characteristics of addiction. So, avoid the drug, especially if you’re not taking it for its well-known health benefits and at the right dosage.

Why is Damiana Addictive?

One of the commonest names for Damiana is ‘the happy herb’. For those battling depression, taking some form of Damiana each day will lift your mood, with the effect lasting a considerable amount of time. It also acts as a relaxant and aphrodisiac, both of which are key for a healthier sex life. Smoking Damiana can bring about mild euphoria, whereas taking it before sleep induces sweet dreams. Meanwhile, inhaling the aroma helps meditation, thereby improving productivity and functionality during work. Such attractive properties can lure people to take Damiana on a regular basis, which could eventually result in addiction.

Addictive Properties of Damiana: Methods of Use

Damiana contains resins, which are also present in heroin. In fact, heroin is made from the resins of poppy plants, which is the same for cannabis. Resins collected from cannabis plants (which are compressed into sticks) are referred to as hashish, which is also highly addictive. Tannins (also found in Damiana) can be equally addictive, especially when mixed with caffeine.

Damiana should always be taken via the prescription of a doctor and should not be consumed more than three times a week.

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Damiana Abuse and Addiction: Signs, Effects and Symptoms

Although the government isn’t yet actively campaigning against Damiana, the substance can still be abused. It can also be addictive, with its own side effects and symptoms. Read on to get better acquainted with some of these possibilities.

Damiana Abuse

Substance abuse occurs when a person consumes a drug without a certified doctor’s prescription. It is also considered abuse when taking more than the prescribed dosage and for the wrong reasons. Constant exposure to drugs that contain stimulants and antidepressants can cause dependency, which in turn leads to addiction. Though there are no established cases of crises with Damiana use to date, teens are currently using it in alarmingly high doses.

It’s very easy to abuse Damiana, because of its boundless attractions and tempting properties. However, it’s wise to proceed with caution should you consider using this substance. Endeavor to consult your doctor. Also, if you notice that a friend or relative might be abusing it, advise them to get help.

Signs and Symptoms of Damiana Abuse

Generally, all antidepressants and stimulants alter the structure of a person’s consciousness and produce a false feeling of happiness in them. In the case of Damiana, it does help individuals relax and this feeling lasts for a few hours. Damiana is used for relaxation, inducing sweet dreams and creating a state of euphoria in some people. However, constant intake causes a user’s condition to worsen.

From the above, some signs of Damiana abuse will include restlessness; nightmares; possible insomnia (that is abated once the drug is used); lack of focus; and a general inability to function properly without this ‘happy herb’.

Effects of Damiana Abuse: Psychological, Social, Emotional and Financial Effects

There hasn’t been a lot of research into the components of Damiana; consequently, there is no comprehensive list of possible side effects. However, the following are those already noted:

  • Its dependency for love-making will lead to emotional unavailability caused by the inability to connect with one’s lover without Damiana.
  • It leads to lack of socialization, culminating when it dawns on you that you’re addicted to Damiana. The next line of action will be to withdraw from family and friends, so that they do not notice your addiction.
  • It’s expensive and using will affect you financially if you become addicted. This will go on to affect your education and work, since you’re not able to maintain healthy spending habits.

Long-Term Effects of Damiana Abuse

As a diabetes patient, constant use of Damiana will have adverse medical implications on your body. The other long-term effects include the ones listed below (for short-term) – only with further exposure, whereby effects might be fatal in the long run. It is also rich in fibre, so constant use will result in diarrhoea in the long-term.

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Short-Term Effects of Damiana Abuse

Some of the short-term effects of abusing Damiana (especially if you have a history of allergic reactions) include difficulty breathing, swelling of the lip, throat, face, and so on (depending on the mode of consumption). It can also cause:

  • Seizure
  • Nausea
  • Fear
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Drooling and difficulty swallowing
  • Loss of muscle movement

Damiana Addiction Treatment

If you have read to this point, this means you are committed to regaining control from your addiction, which is a very bold step. Drug rehabilitation is a very serious process; in fact, it is a journey.

Detoxing from Damiana

Not all drug addictions require detox. It is however the first process of treatment in severe addictions of substances like opium and alcohol. The detox option for Damiana will depend on your clinician.

Treatment and Therapies for Damiana Abuse and Addiction

The over-dependency on the antidepressant ingredients in Damiana will be treated via psychological treatments that show the brain it doesn’t need this substance to deal with depression. There is no stipulated process of treating Damiana, so treatment will be determined by your doctor.

Cost of Treatment

The resources for treating addictions are generally quite scarce, owing to high demand and limited production and regulations. The stringent processes involved make it an expensive exercise, in spite of government subsidization of some treatment. The antibodies that are injected into your bloodstream (if needed) range between $1,500 and $2,000 per infusion. Other treatments will be determined by your doctor and depend on the length and types of treatment.

Damiana Withdrawal

Withdrawal is part of the treatment process for addiction. It occurs as a result of alteration in the amount of Damiana used. It can seem as though you are acutely exposed to all the conditions that Damiana supposedly helps to shield.

Effects of Withdrawal

  • Gloomy mood
  • Intense nightmares or possible insomnia
  • Intense restlessness
  • Intense menstrual cramp in women
  • Trembling

Getting Through Damiana Withdrawal

The withdrawal period should not be undertaken without the close supervision of a doctor of clinician. In some cases, the trembling associated with general antidepressant addiction can lead to acute seizures in the patient during this time. Therefore, this critical period should be handled with care to avoid a potentially fatal outcome.

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Repairing the Damage

The first step is to recognise all the people you’ve hurt through your addiction. If it helps, make a list of these people and the relationships that suffered because of your Damiana addiction. Then, you can begin repairing them.

Advice for Families

Keep a close eye on your loved one. Get to know their friends and try to be a part of their lives. One of the reasons people abuse substances is the lack of a support group. During treatment, try not to criticize, but focus more on their healthcare.

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Important Facts about Damiana Addiction and Abuse

  • Damiana is very easy to abuse
  • Damiana is not to be used as a weaning substance for nicotine addiction (or other addictions)
  • To date, little is known about Damiana, so addiction might prove to be more serious than it looks


What are the downsides to being a regular Damiana user?

  • Addiction
  • Financial stress
  • Lack of emotional availability
  • Lack of good judgement (owing to constant drug induced euphoria)

Is Damiana use Illegal?

As at the time of writing, Damiana is still legal.

Can I be a ‘safe user’?

Yes. Usage should be measured via a doctor’s prescription. Damiana should not be consumed more than three times a week for recreational purposes.

How does a Damiana abuser look?

Damiana addiction hasn’t generated much concern, because it is not as grave in appearance as other substances like heroin. Addicts will look normal, except for some level of restlessness.

Are There Benefits of Damiana use?

There are some benefits of using Damiana. They include:

  • Allows for better digestion
  • Mood boosting
  • Antioxidant
  • Antibacterial
  • For sexual stimulation

What about Organic Damiana?

The best way to take Damiana is organically. Many associated risks derive from mixing it with other substances.

What does Damiana look like?

It has a yellowish/pale green flower, which contains much of its nutrients, as well as a green stem with green leaves that looks a little bit like cannabis.

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