Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Blooming with small yellow flowers, the shrub has an odor somewhat like chamomile, which is due to an oil present in the plant. The leaves have traditionally been made into a tea which was used by native people of Central and South America for its reputed aphrodisiac effects.
In herbal medicine, damiana is used to treat conditions ranging from coughs, to constipation, to depression. The leaves of damiana are sometimes smoked for relaxation and for its very mild psychoactive properties, described as somewhat similar to those of cannabis, however, the effects are a lot more mental than physical and movement is not severely impaired. Thinking remains the same, however, the smoker feels relaxed and mildly stoned. Also, a traditional Mexican liqueur, sometimes used in margaritas is made from this herb - indeed, some claim that damiana liqueur was used in the original margarita.
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