The pharmacological actions of damiana have not been significantly investigated, so traditional use and in vitro and in vivo evidence is used. HORMONAL EFFECTS
One study that investigated the effects of over 1 50 herbs for their relative capacity to compete with oestradiol and progesterone binding to intracellular receptors identified damiana as a herb that binds to intracellular progesterone receptors, exerting a neutral effect and also exerting weak oestrogen agonist activity (Zava et al 1998). It © 2007 Elsevier Australia
has been reported that delta-cadinene is a testosterone inducer and 1,8-cineole is a testosterone hydroxylase inducer (Duke 2006). A study analysing the constituents of the essential oils found in various damiana samples identified that fresh and dry samples contained both compounds, but wild plants contained more delta-cadinene than cultivated plants (Alcaraz-Melendez et al 2004). The action of these constituents may support the common belief that damiana is useful as an aphrodisiac.
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