Damiana Benefits and Side Effects Damiana

Damiana (Turnera diffusa) is a relatively small shrub that produces small, aromatic flowers. The aromatic leaves of this small shrub have amazing medicinal properties and have been used with a long history. The leaves of the damiana plant are used for medicinal purposes.

Damiana Benefits

Damiana has as strong reputation for improving sexual function for men and women. Animal studies have indicated antihyperglycemic, anti-inflammatory, and indomethacin-inhibiting properties. According to The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia, damiana is used for anxiety neurosis with a predominant sexual factor, depression and coital inadequacy.


Damiana has long been claimed to have a stimulating effect on libido, and its use as an aphrodisiac has continued into modern times. The active alkaloids in damiana may have a testosterone-like effect in your body, and this may be responsible for damiana’s ability to raise libido in both men and women. It was included in the National Formulary in the United States from 1888 to 1947, of its effect on sexuality and sexual dysfunction. Damiana leaf has been shown to increase circulation and sensitivity in the penis and clitoris, as well as stimulate sexual desire. In animal studies, extracts of damiana speeded up the mating behavior of sexually sluggish or impotent male rats.


Damiana has been shown to help boost energy and reduce the effects of exhaustion. Has also been proven that damiana contains properties that can help ease anxiety and depression for it has anti-depressant properties that can greatly help individuals that are depressed and anxious. In Germany damiana is a popular herbal remedy for stress or nervous disorders. Because of this quality, it has been prescribed as a herbal remedy for those suffering from mild to moderate depression. Poor blood flow can increase lethargy and chronic exhaustion so taking a stimulant such as damiana may help to restore energy and vitality.


An alkaloid in damiana acts like the male hormone testosterone. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agricultural Research showed that damiana leaves have the potential to raise testosterone levels. In-vitro tests also indicate that damiana extracts inhibit the aromatase enzyme responsible for testosterone conversion to estrogen and induce smooth muscle relaxation.


Damiana leaf has been used to relieve painful menstruation and other sorts of hormonal difficulties. By regulating hormonal levels, damiana helps to alleviate symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Damiana has a balancing and normalizing effect on the hormones and thus is a very useful herb to bring natural relief from many of the discomforts of menopause. It controls hot flashes, and helps to balance hormones in women. Damiana is believed to possess phytohormonal compounds that may be able to balance hormones and strengthen the reproductive organs in women. One study suggests that damiana may have plant compounds with effects similar to those of progesterone.

Blood Sugar & Antiinflammatory

Damiana’s traditional use for diabetes has been studied by scientists as well. The herb’s hypoglycemic properties were documented by Mexican scientists in 1984. A 1984 study published in the December edition of the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that a damiana leaf may help lower blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes. Damiana’s antiulcerogenic effect may be due to both its antiinflammatory action as well as its ability in increase gastric mucus secretion. Within the genitourinary system, damiana acts as an astringent and detoxifier, tackling preexisting urinary tract diseases.

Damiana Dosage

Pour one cup of boiling water over one teaspoonful of dried leaves and let infuse for 10 to 15 minutes. Daminia leaf tea is bitter, and is often blended with sweeter herbs. As a capsule, take 400 to 800 mg capsules up to three times daily.

Damiana Leaf Side Effects

Damiana side effects although rare, allergic reactions to damiana may occur. Higher doses may cause mild diarrhea. Damiana use reduces absorption of iron in some instances. Damiana can affect glucose levels and should be used with caution. Diabetics who take hypoglycemic medications should monitor blood glucose levels closely while using Damiana. Damiana may interact with herbs and supplements that alter progestin. If you are on any medications, check with your doctor first before using this product.

Red Clover Benefits and Side Effects

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is a perennial herb that grows in meadows throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. The flower is red but can also be shades of purple and pink. The flower head is the part of the plant used in herbal remedies.

Red Clover Benefits

Red clover, it contains compounds known as isoflavones that act as phytoestrogens. These two are precursors of the isoflavones genistein and daidzein, which are found in smaller amounts in red clover and also in soy. On dry matter basis, 100 gr red clover contains tenfold more isoflavones than soy. Also contains natural tocopherol, a form of  vitamin E which some researchers link to reduced risk of heart attack red clover is an ingredient in anti cancer formulas, such as Essiac and Hoxsey.


In a study, isoflavone intake improved arterial compliance, an index of the elasticity of large arteries, which is an important cardiovascular risk factor. Red clover contains the blood-thinning substance coumarin. May also have blood thinning properties, which keeps blood clots from forming. A double-blind controlled trial published in the “Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism”  demonstrated that red clover isoflavones help keep large blood vessels pliable.

Menopausal Symptoms

Some research have shown that red clover contains isoflavones, plant based chemicals that produce estrogen like effects in the body. Clinical trials showed that red clover supplementation decreased menopausal symptoms compared to placebo. Scientists at the “Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre” have proven that red clover can be an effective treatment for women who are in the throes of menopause. In a study published, 2002 issue of  ‘Maturitas‘ confirmed the use of red clover as effective in reducing the hot flash symptoms associated with menopause. One study, published in 2005 in “Gynecological Endocrinology”, found that isoflavone supplementation significantly decreased menopausal symptoms. In a 2007 review of the literature, the authors found evidence that women getting between 40 and 80 mg of red clover isoflavones a day experienced relief from hot flashes.

Anti Tumor

Red clover contains genistein, a compound that prohibits the growth of blood vessels into tumors, preventing the growth of the tumor as well. Red clover contains a form of vitamin E known as tocopherol, which is a powerful anticarcinogenic compound. Tocopherol helps to prevent the growth of cancerous tumors and lowers the risk of developing, particularly breast cancer. Some doctors believe that isoflavones increase the risk for a return of estrogen-dependent cancers, while others site evidence that suggests the isoflavones bind to the receptors that cancer cells require to divide and actually prevent or delay the return of cancer.

Prostate Health

Red clover may  block enzymes thought to contribute to prostate cancer in men. In a 2003 report published in the “Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicines“, Dr. Aaron E. Katz stated that “Isoflavone, particularly red clover extract, supplements are likely to be important therapies for promoting prostate health during the watchful-waiting period in patients with BPH.”

In a lab study published in 2010 in ‘International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics,’ experts found that red clover extracts inhibited the growth rate of normal prostate cells. A total of 20 men, were treated with a daily 60 mg dose of  isoflavone extract for a period of one year. Results indicate that the average PSA level was reduced by 33% after the 12 twelve. The approximately prostate volume showed a decrease from 49.3 cm3 to  44.3 cm3 after the 12 months. In a 2009 study of prostate cancer cells, researchers found that treatment with red clover led to a decrease in prostate-specific antigen.

Recent research, show that selenium with vitamin E, zinc and red clover subdue cancer-cell growth or reduce risk overall. The doctors gave 39 men with prostate cancer 400 IU of vitamin E per day, 200 mcg of selenium per day,  these two substances together or a placebo for about one month before scheduled surgery to remove the prostate gland. Examining prostate tissue samples after surgery from men who took selenium and vitamin E, experts found healthier, more normal activity in the gene that contains the code for a tumor-suppressing protein compared to that gene in the tissue of other men.

How to Use Red Clover?

Red clover extract are available as tablets, capsules, or in liquid extract form. Red clover extract; 40 – 160 mg per day (or 28 – 85 mg of red clover isoflavones). According to studies, 80 mg daily were sufficient to reduce menopausal hot flashes. Liquid Extract; (1:1): 1 ml 3 times per day. It can also be applied topically.

Red Clover Side Effects

Red clover should not be taken with oral contraceptives, progesterone, estrogen, compounds, anticoagulants. Consult with your doctor about potential interactions of red clover with medications.

Boswellia Benefits and Side Effects

Boswellia serrata is an Ayurvedic plant that contains triterpenoids called boswellic acids. It is native to India and used for centuries by Ayurvedic doctors. The terpenoid portion contains the boswellic acids that have been shown to be the active constituents in boswellia.

Boswellia Benefits

Boswellia extract has been used traditionally to treat arthritis, ulcerative colitis, asthma, coughs, sores, and to correct disorders of the digestive system. Test tube research shows that boswellic acids inhibit a specific enzyme crucial in producing certain chemicals important in the process of inflammation. Also, extracts of boswellia have been studied as an aid to standard care for malignant glioma . Use of boswellia serrata appears to decrease symptoms, probably by decreasing inflammation in the brain.


The most important component is boswellic acid , which was shown in animal studies to be a potent 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor with  antiarthritic and anti-inflammatory properties. In a study, involving  Triterpenes in boswellic acid reduce the synthesis of leukotrienes  in intact neutrophils by inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase, the key enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of leukotrienes, which mediate inflammation. 175 bedridden patients showed good or excellent improvements, in 67% of cases, in morning stiffness, pain and ability to carry out everyday activities. Boswellia extract, while providing effective in the treatment of different chronic inflammatory conditions, produces none of the common side-effects associated with conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  such as ibuprofen and Voltaren.


Asthma is a lung disorder in which spasms and inflammation of the bronchial passages restrict the flow of air in and out of the lungs. Boswellia serrata may reduce the number of asthma attacks. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the use of 300 mg of boswellia serrata 3 times daily led to a positive impact in signs and symptoms of asthma, including a reduction in asthma attacks. Seventy percent of the asthma patients showed improvement in symptoms and lung function and a decrease in allergic blood cells.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

BoswelliaBoswellia serrata appears to reduce the inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, painful intestinal disorders. Randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind experiment, patients with Crohn’s disease were treated with 2 oral capsules of 400 mg Boswellia serrata or placebo three times daily for 12 months. At the end of the study, found that 59% of the Boswellia-treated and 55% of the placebo-treated patients maintained remission from Crohn’s disease, indicating no statistically significant difference in efficacy between the active and control groups.

Ulcerative colitis  is a form of colitis, a disease of the intestine, specifically the large intestine or colon, that includes characteristic ulcers, or open sores, in the colon. Leukotrienes are believed to play a role in the inflammatory process of ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis symptoms include bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever,ulcerations in the colon, loss of appetite, and mucus in the stool. In one study of 20 patients in which Boswellia, 300 mg 3 times a day, was given for 6 weeks, 14 went into remission, while with sulfasalazine, the remission rate was 4 out of 10.The results of this study indicate that Boswellia serrata  may be as successful in treatment of ulcerative colitis as standard therapy.


Boswellic acids induce antiproliferation, differentiation and apoptosis in leukemia cell lines. They exert cytotoxic effects on established human glioblastoma and leukemia cell lines, as well as on primary human meningioma cells. Boswellia serrata have been shown to be both cytotoxic to glioma cells and anti-proliferative in a dose-dependent manner during studies with rats. Boswellic acid has been found to display antitumor activity in cervical, bladder, and other cancer cell lines as well as anti-inflammatory activity. Boswellia serrata may also reduce fluid retention associated with brain tumours. This fluid build-up is associated with the action of certain inflammatory chemicals. Boswellia inhibits the production of these chemicals. In a study, 44 patients who is from cerebral tumors were either given radiotherapy with 4,200 mg per day of boswellia  or a placebo. Sixty percent of those who received the radiotherapy and the boswellia serrata found more than a 75 percent reduction in their cerebral edema. Research results published in the February 2011 issue of Cancer. At the university hospitals of Bochum and Giessen, patients with gliome tumors were administered 3600 mg Boswellia. Within  a few days, many symptoms associated with brain tumors,  were greatly lessened. In a study of  25 patients were administered a  extract of boswellia  for one week and the tumors were then surgically removed. About half the patients had such significant regressions that the tumors had all but disappeared. This study was conducted by neurosurgeon Dr. Michael Winking.

Boswellia Dosage

Extracts are typically standardized to contain 37.5–65% boswellic acids. The dose of boswellia is 300 to 400 mg 3 times a day of an extract standardized to contain 37.5% boswellic acids.

For asthma, 300 milligrams three times  of boswellia extract.

For rheumatoid arthritis, 400 milligrams three times daily of standardized boswellia extract.

For Crohn’s disease, 1,200 milligrams three times daily of standardized boswellia extract.

For ulcerative colitis, 350 milligrams three times daily  of standardized boswellia extract.

Boswellia Side Effects

Side effects from  are rare. Side effects of boswellic acids include abdominal discomfort nausea, epigastric pain, hyperacidity and diarrhea. Unlike pharmaceutical corticosteroids which inhibit leukotriene synthesis,  boswellia exhibit no significant side effects or toxicity. In clinical trials of pharmaceutical grade standardized boswellia serrata extract, no serious side effects have been reported.

Schizandra Benefits and Side Effects

Schisandra chinensis a small red fruit from a large bush that is native to China. The schizandra fruit tastes a bit salty, bitter, sweet, hot, and sour. Because of the mixture of tastes, the Chinese named the fruit wu wei zi which means five taste fruit. Schisandra contains a wide variety of biologically active compounds, which, working in syntony, create its medicinal effects.

Schizandra Benefits

Schizandra has been used to increase the body’s resistance to stress, increase stamina, stimulate the immune system, and decrease fatigue. Active ingredients including lignans, vitamins and phytonutrients in Schisandra chinensis provide a normalizing effect on the body. As documented by the Health Sciences Institute, schizandra raises the body’s amount of the enzyme glutathione. Enhanced glutathione production enabling healthy cell growth, balance and energy production.


Schizandra demonstrates significant adaptogenic activity. Research in the late 1940s by Russian scientists confirmed that schizandra berries is an adaptogen. By bringing a balance or a homeostatis to the organs the use of Schizandra is responsible for a harmonious condition to spread in the body. Schizandra may help to reduce fatigue, improve endurance, improve work performance, and build strength. Schizandra is promoted for its stimulating effects on the nervous system without being excitatory like amphetamine or caffeine. In Russia it has been used for increasing attention, concentration, coordination, endurance, and strength. Schizandra, a remedy that reduces the effect of stress on the body by reducing the production of stress hormones from the adrenal glands. A recent study concluded that Schizandra may be a useful herb to help reverse depression, particularly that due to adrenal exhaustion.


Schizandra protects against free radical damage. Increases the activity of superoxide dismutase and catalase. Provide powerful antioxidant protection,  from free radicals and other toxins in the environment that may cause cellular damage. Recent studies have shown that it is a potent antioxidant that exerts a beneficial effect on the mitochondria—the powerhouse within every cell.


Schizandra has been shown to strengthen and protect the liver. Laboratory studies have demonstrated its ability to make the enzyme, glutathione peroxidase, which deactivates several kinds of toxic free radicals that attack the outer membranes of liver cells. It protects liver cells from oxidative damage and raises the capacity of liver to deal with drugs and their harmful metabolites during first pass metabolism. Schizandra uses its fat soluble compounds found in the core of its seed to protect the liver from toxins. In 1986, Chinese researchers reported more than 5,000 cases of various types of hepatitis have been treated with Schizandra  preparations, resulting in the reduction of elevated liver enzymes. Lignans have been found to lower blood levels of serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT), a marker for infective hepatitis and other liver disorders. According to researchers, elevated SGPT values returned to normal in 75 percent of patients treated after 20 days of taking an unspecified Schizandra preparation. Japanese scientists have shown that two Schizandra lignans have powerful hepato-protective effects, even against compounds as toxic as carbon tetrachloride.


Schizandra is  brain tonic that helps in increasing the brain capacity. Researchers at the Department of Pharmacology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing, found that two lignans in schizandra inhibit the swelling and disintegration of brain mitochondria, reducing the possibility of brain damage from stroke and aging. A study published in 2009 in of the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Pharmacy found that schisandra helped improve energy metabolism in the brain after clinically induced cerebral ischemia.


For both men and women, schizandra is considered an aphrodisiac. Schizandra affects men by stimulating semen production, boosting libido, extending erection time and preventing premature ejaculation.  Many women claim increased genital warmth and sensation after using Schizandra for a period of time.

Schizandra Dosage

Take  300-900 mg of standardized extract or 1-6 grams of Schizandra berries 2 times a day. The tincture of Schizandra is also available, take in the amount of 2-4 ml thrice daily. Tea: Pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the bark and leave to infuse for 10-15 minutes.

Schizandra Side Effects

Schizandra is generally safe in recommended doses. But may cause appetite loss and mild stomach upset. Schizandra in larger amounts should be avoided by persons with peptic ulcers or epilepsy. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not take Schizandra, as it may induce uterine muscle contractions.

Ashwagandha Dosage Benefits and Side Effects

Ashwagandha is a dietary supplement known by the botanical name withania somnifera. Also known as Indian ginseng, this powerful herb used in Ayurvedic medicine as a way similar to the use of ginseng in traditional Chinese medicine. Alkaloids, saponins, steroidal lactones and withanolides are thought to be the biologically active components of ashwagandha. Ashwagandha is often compared to Asian ginseng which contain molecules like withanoloids called ginsenosides.

Ashwagandha Benefits

Ashwagandha has good impressive adaptogenic properties. Adaptogens support the ability of an organism to cope with stress and thereby conserve energy. According to a large of research, components in ashwagandha possess tonic, anti-inflammatory, immune enhancing aphrodisiac anxiety relieving and nerve sedative properties. Ashwagandha is rich in antioxidants, such as catalase, glutathione and superoxide dismutase. This antioxidant effect partly explains its other effects like anti-aging, anti-stress, anti-inflammatory and cognition facilitation. Ashwagandha is known to have a positive effect on hormones and it helps the thyroid gland to increase the secretion of the hormone. The studies do not reveal selectively its effect on T3 or T4, but the levels of both T3 and T4 go up with high quality supplementation of ashwagandha.

Immune System

Ashwagandha increases the count of white blood cells and prepares the body to produce antigens against various infections and allergies. A number of studies have shown significant increases in white blood cell counts and other measures of strengthened immunity in rodents given ashwagandha or certain chemicals extracted from the herb. Animal studies published in 1994 confirmed that ashwagandha’s withanolides stimulate lymphocytes, which are immune system cells. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study in healthy men aged 50-59 years, red blood cell counts and hemoglobin level were significantly increased.


Ashwagandha is reported to have anti-carcinogenic effects in animal and cell cultures by decreasing the expression of nuclear factor-kappaB, suppressing intercellular tumor necrosis factor and potentiating apoptotic signalling in cancerous cell lines. Published in 2007, another study on human cells shows that ashwagandha may inhibit tumor growth without harming normal cells. In another study, orally administered ashwagandha extract significantly inhibited experimentally induced stomach cancer in laboratory animals. A recent analysis showed that ashwagandha extract inhibit the growth of human breast, lung, and colon cancer cell lines in the laboratory. Other studies on mice have found that administering an alcohol extract of Ashwagandha caused the total tumor remission in 25% of animals and more than 50% reversal of tumor growth in 63% of the animals.


An application of the leaves when applied on an inflammation acts as anti inflammatory. Several withanolides exert selective COX-2 enzyme inhibition and withania has been found to decrease alpha-2-macroglobulin, a liver-synthesised plasma protein that increases during inflammation. Findings of a more up-to-date study published in the October 2004 issue of the ‘Journal of Clinical Rheumatology‘ show that ashwagandha reduces knee pain in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Animal studies have found that naturally occurring steroids in ashwaganda are more potent than treatment with the synthetic steroid hydrocortisone for controlling inflammation.


Latest researches reveal that Ashwagandha, if given in proper dose, can restore the neurotransmitters and hence can be useful in various mental disorders. A 2009 randomized controlled clinical trial found that ashwagandha helps to treat anxiety. In a trial, 30 patients suffering from anxiety neurosis were administered a dose of 40 ml per day for a month. The research concluded that most of anxiety symptoms, panic attacks and phobia were significantly relieved. Oral administration of ashwagandha for 5 days suggested anxiety-relieving effects similar to those achieved by the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam (Ativan), and antidepressant effects similar to those of the prescription antidepressant drug imipramine (Tofranil). A study done at the Department of Pharmacology, University of Texas Health Science Center indicated that extracts of Ashwagandha produce GABA-like activity, which may account for the herb’s anti-anxiety effects.

Nerves and Memory

Ashwagandha has been shown to support the regeneration and reconstruction of nerve cells and synapses. In one human clinical study, ashwagandha improves overall mental aptitude and reaction time. Ashwagandha could prevent memory deficit and cognitive impairment by inhibiting degeneration of neurons and repairing the damaged neurons. Experimental studies suggest that Ashwagandha root extract might help to reconstruct the damaged neuronal network. Several animal studies indicate the potential for protection of neurons, including protection from neuronal injury in Parkinson’s disease  and promotion of dendrite formation.

Sexual Performance

Research shows that ashwagandha has an aphrodisiac effect and improves sexual performance. The root extract is used in impairment in libido, sexual performance, vigor, and penile erectile dysfunction. Its most active compounds, alkaloids and withanoloids enhance longevity and possess sexually stimulating properties. One double-blind clinical trial found that a dose of 3 g taken daily for 1 year improved the sexual performance of 71.4% of healthy aging males.

Ashwagandha Dosage

Take 1-2 capsules of Ashwagandha twice a day, after meals. Ayurvedic practitioners may recommend 500 to 2000 milligrams of ashwagandha root powder daily.

Side Effects

Side effects large doses of Ashwagandha can cause abdominal discomfort and diarrhea. May potentiate the sedative effect of barbiturates. In extremely large doses, ashwagandha has been reported to induce abortions in animals. Taking ashwagandha with thyroid hormone pills might cause too much thyroid hormone in the body, and increase the effects and side effects of thyroid hormone. No one with an autoimmune disease should use the product without express consent from their doctor.