Dr. Burgraaeve's Aphrodisiac, containing Damiana, Yohimbe, and Cannabis


Tribal and Herbal Medicine Uses: Damiana was recorded to be used as an aphrodisiac in the ancient Mayan civilisation, as well as for "giddiness and loss of balance". A Spanish missionary first reported that the Mexican Indians made a drink from the damiana leaves, added sugar, and drank it for its purported power to enhance lovemaking.

Damiana has a long history of use in traditional herbal medicine throughout the world. It is thought to act as an aphrodisiac, antidepressant, tonic, diuretic, cough suppressant, and mild laxative. It has been used for such conditions as depression, anxiety, sexual inadequacy, debilitation, bed-wetting, menstrual irregularities, gastric ulcers, and constipation. In Mexico, the plant also is used for asthma, bronchitis, neurosis, diabetes, dysentery, dyspepsia, headaches, paralysis, nephrosis, spermatorrhea, stomache, and syphilis. Damiana first was recorded wtih aphrodisiac effects in scientific literature over 100 years ago.

From 1888 to 1947 damiana leaf and damia elixirs were listed in the National Formulary in the United States. For more than a century damiana's use has been associated with improving sexual function in both males and females.

Biological Activities: Only one clinical study has been conducted to validate the traditional use of the plant for sexual dysfunction and impotence. In 1999, a group of researchers in Italy administered damiana to both sexually potent and sexually sluggish (or impotent) rats. The extract had no effect on sexually potent rats but, in others, it increased the percentage of rats achieving ejaculation and made them more sexually active. A US patent was awarded in 2002 for a combination of herbs, including damiana, to "overcome natural inhibitors of human sexual response and allow for improved response and psychological effects".

Excerpt from Rita Singh's Psychoactive Medicinal Plants: Hallucinogenic And Narcotic Drugs, (2006, pp. 239-240).


Yohimbine is an alkaloid with stimulant and aphrodisiac effects found naturally in Pausinystalia yohimbe (Yohimbe). It is also found naturally in Rauwolfia serpentina (Indian Snakeroot), Alchornea floribunda (Niando), along with several other active alkaloids. Yohimbine has been used as both an over-the-counter dietary supplement in herbal extract form and prescription medicine in pure form for the treatment of sexual dysfunction. Yohimbine was explored as a remedy for type 2 diabetes in animal and human models carrying polymorphisms of the ?2A-adrenergic receptor gene.[1]


The NIH states that yohimbine hydrochloride is the standardized form of yohimbine that is available as a prescription medicine in the United States, and has been shown in human studies to be effective in the treatment of male impotence.[2]
Yohimbine Hydrochloride, USP—a standardized form of yohimbine—is a prescription medicine that has been used to treat erectile dysfunction.[3] Controlled studies suggest that it is not always an effective treatment for impotence, and evidence of increased sex drive (libido) is anecdotal only.[4]

It cannot be excluded that orally administered yohimbine can have a beneficial effect in some patients with ED. The conflicting results available may be attributed to differences in drug design, patient selection, and definitions of positive response. However, generally, available results of treatment are not impressive.[5]

Excerpt from Wikipedia's Yohimbine


Physiological effects: Analgesic, antidiuretic, aphrodisiac, cardiac stimulant, cerebral stimulant, hallucinogen (mild), hypertensive, kidney yang tonic, serotonin inhibitor, stimulant, vasodilator.

Medicinal uses: Yohimbe has been used medicinally in Africa for hundreds of years, especially by the Bantu people. It increases blood flow to the genitals, compresses the veins, and prevents the blood from flowing back out of the genital area, while also stimulating the ganglian nerve centre at the base of the spine and thus stimulating erection. It has been found to restore erectile function in many cases of psychogenic (psychological) impotence....It is used in the treatment of angina, depression, dysmenorrhea, erectile dysfunction, low libido, and narcolepsy.

Topically, yohimbe can be used as a poultice for pain relief, to treat skin infection and itchiness, and as an analgesic. The powdered bark is sometimes smoked, used as snuff, or rubbed on the body as an aphrodisiac.

Contraindications: Yohimbe is best used under the guidance of a qualified health-care practitioner. It should be ingested no more than twice a week and used in only in small doses, as large doses can cause depression and reduced sex drive. Yohimbe can elevate blood pressure and cause insomnia, mania, tremors, nausea, and vomiting. Avoid using in conjunction with pharmaceuticals, particularly MAO inhibitors and medications for treating diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart problems. Avoid in cases of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, kidney disease, liver disease, prostate inflammation, bipolar conditions, and schizophrenia.

Excerpt from Brigitte Mars' The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, (2007).

Image from Hash Museum, Barcelona

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