Safety in pregnancy has not been scientifically evaluated however no increase in fetal abnormalities has been observed from limited use in women (Mills & Bone 2005).
PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING
• Damiana is a herb with a traditional reputation as being an aphrodisiac, stimulant, mood enhancer and general tonic.
• Currently, evidence to support its use as an aphrodisiac is limited to research in animals, which has produced some positive results.
• In vivo studies have identified significant anti-inflammatory and hypoglycaemic activity, although human studies are still required to determine clinical significance
• It is also suspected that the herb exerts some degree of hormonal activity.
ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What will this herb do for me?
Damiana has not been significantly tested in human studies, so much information is taken from traditional sources or preliminary research in animals. According to these sources, it may increase sexual function and libido in some cases of dysfunction, lower blood glucose levels and exert anti-inflammatory actions. When will it start to work?
There is insufficient evidence to predict when effects may develop. Are there any safety issues?
A long history of use suggests it is generally safe. However, scientific testing has not been conducted.
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