Damiana??

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Old Topics Archived Thru Sep 2000:Damiana??
By Mr. Wormwood on Monday, August 28, 2000 - 04:35 am: Edit

I once read that damiana was the liquor that was used in the origianal Margarita cocktail until it was later replace by orange liqors like tripple sec Controu or Grand Mariner. So a bought a bottle on the net several years ago.

I have nothing to report on any other effects. I makes a fine Margarita, I recommend it.

By Morrigan Le Fey on Sunday, August 27, 2000 - 06:04 pm: Edit

As I read through this thread, it didn't even occur to me that I actually HAVE a bottle of this stuff (Guaycura licor de Damiana, brought back from Cabo as a gift from a friend who thought the bottle was humourous), until Don mentioned the "pregnant woman bottle".

My boyfriend & I have been through about half the bottle in the 2 years I've had it (it is too syrupy-sweet to drink much in one sitting). I just dragged it out of the dusty depths of my liquor cabinet & had a glass, to apply my now 'absinthe-educated palate' to it, and can say that whatever *small* herbal flavour it holds is pretty thoroughly masked by the sweetness. There IS a banana-esque quality to it. Rather like someone mixed Chartreuse, tequila & banana brandy.

Aphrodisiac? Other than the warm tingly feeling that any brandy-like drink would bring, I don't think so.

- Morrigan
(P.S. - to all who said in a prior thread that there aren't any women on this forum..*viola*. We just choose to post on those threads where the testosterone level isn't so threatening!)

By Jkk on Sunday, August 27, 2000 - 11:26 am: Edit

I once bought Damiana liqueur in Tijuana. Very syrupy. I don't have much of a sweet tooth. I had heard of its remarkable aprodisiacal qualities, so I also tried the tea. It seemed to stimulate overall circulation a little--something like brandy. On the whole, the herb is overrated, as far as I can see.

By Don Walsh on Sunday, August 27, 2000 - 10:02 am: Edit

Dear Absintheur

Thanks. It's a bit lower proof than Chartreuse jaune at least the way it's being imported now. 60 proof. Interesting bottle shape -- pregnant woman.

Cheers

D.

By Absintheur on Sunday, August 27, 2000 - 08:42 am: Edit

Olfactorially, I really don't see much of a similarity between Damiana and Wormwood -- and they're totally distinct in flavor.

Damiana is Turnera diffusa, a shrub that grows throughout Texas, Central America, and the West Indies. The scent is aromatic but sweet. It's very slightly bitter when chewed. The dried leaves are aromatic and resinous enough to smoke. Alcohol extraction results in a yellowish volatile oil which smells like chamomile, containing the slightly bitter constituent Damianin.

There's a great picture of the shrub in bloom here:

http://www.wfnirvana.com/pr/turndiff.html

Damiana liqueur has been available in the U.S. (at least in California) for decades. It's flavor is virtually identical to yellow Chartreuse (very syrupy and strangely banana-like). In fact, before it received ATF label approval the importer where I once worked imported Damiana as Banana Liqueur (the boxes in which it's imported read "Damiana Banana Flavored Spirits" to this day).

The current importer's webpage is here:

http://www.damiana.net/

As for it's presumed properties as an aphrodesiac -- I've consumed quite a bit, I have nothing to report.

By Don Walsh on Sunday, August 27, 2000 - 12:12 am: Edit

A chemist friend just opined, after smelling some of my A.absinthium, that it reminded him not only of sage (tyhis is well known) but of damiana, of which I had never heard.

An herb native to Baja California, from which Mexicans have long produced a liqueur. A commercial version of this liqueur is now available in USA (importer in Houston TX).

Tumera diffusa, or Tumera aphrodisiaca, depending on who you believe on the Net. Unfortunately the search results are crowded with newager capitalists selling daminana capsules as 'female Viagra' and worse.

Anyone know the chemistry of this herb, its REAL taxonomy, etc?

Our old 'pals' Crillon Importers even have a page up, but they mistakenly state that damiana is native to the Gulf of Mexico (!) not the Gulf of California. That's the sort of halfassed research we have come to expect from Michel Roux.

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