Damiana has not been significantly investigated under clinical trial conditions; therefore, evidence is derived from traditional use, in vitro and animal studies and clinical significance is unknown. SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION OR DECREASED LIBIDO
Damiana has been used traditionally for sexual dysfunction or as an aphrodisiac to enhance sexual activity. Scientific studies in experimental models provide preliminary support for its use in these conditions, but controlled trials are lacking. One in vivo study established that damiana fluid extract significantly improves the copulatory performance of sexually sluggish animals, but has no effect on normally functioning ones (Arletti et al 1999). The effect appears to be dose-dependent as positive results were only obtained when the highest dose (1 miykg) was administered.
One clinical study of unknown design compared a herbal combination product consisting of ginseng, ginkgo, damiana, l-arginine and a variety of vitamins and minerals with placebo in 77 female volunteers. After 4 weeks, 73.5% of the women in the treatment group reported an increase in sexual satisfaction compared with 37.2% receiving placebo (Ito et al 2001). Although promising, the role of damiana in achieving this result is unknown.
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