If you’ve wandered into the souvenir stores in Los Cabos, you’ve probably wondered what exactly was inside these little bottles shaped like pregnant women. If you asked the shop keeper, they would have told you that they contained “Damiana” and that it was a natural aphrodisiac.
The small shrub turnera diffusa, more commonly known as Damiana, grows throughout Mexico, Central American and into some parts of Texas and California. The pale green oval leaves and stems are commonly dried and used to produce herbal products as well as liqueur.
Originally used by Native Americans such as the Mayans and Incas, Damiana was used as an herbal remedy for everything from weight loss to asthma. And over the years, the liqueur form of Damiana earned the reputation as being an aphrodisiac for women.
Along with goodies like chocolate and vanilla, the Native Americans introduced Damiana to the European explorers and its popularity grew.
In Los Cabos, you will find Damiana used in drinks, spa treatments and of course throughout the souvenir stores. And if you’re wondering what’s up with the funny looking Damiana bottle – they are sculpted in the form of the Incan goddess of fertility.
If you’ve purchased your own bottle of Damiana and are wondering what to do with it at home, many people suggest using it in a margarita recipe, replacing the Triple Sec.
Just be careful if you are headed to Lousiana. Damiana is considered a prohibited plant there.
Have you tried Damiana in Cabo? Do you agree with its aphrodisiac reputation?
Cara Gourley is the Director of Web Strategy for All About Mexico as well as an All About Girl. She’s a certified Los Cabos Expert and has been to Cabo many times.
If you have any questions on restaurants, hotels or activities, Cara would love to help you! You can head to the forum to ask a question or you can email her directly.