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When taking damiana, safety precautions include being aware that the herbal supplement may cause unknown drug interactions. In addition, people with certain medical conditions, such as liver or kidney disease, may not be able to take damiana safely. Warnings and precautions also extend to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Is Damiana Safe?Damiana is an herbal supplement used to treat a wide variety of conditions, such as depression, headaches, and sexual problems. You may not be able to take it safely if you have:
- Liver disease, such as liver failure, cirrhosis, or hepatitis
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Any allergies, including allergies to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
You should also tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Specific Damiana Warnings and PrecautionsWarnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of damiana include the following:
- Damiana may have effects on blood sugar. In particular, damiana is sometimes claimed to lower blood sugar. Therefore, if you have diabetes, do not take damiana without checking with your healthcare provider. If you take the herbal supplement in combination with any diabetes medications, more frequent monitoring of your blood sugar may be recommended.
- If you decide to use supplements, including damiana, what you see on the label may not reflect what is in the bottle. For example, some herbal supplements have been found to be contaminated with heavy metals or prescription drugs, and some have been found to have much more or much less of the featured ingredient than their label states. Therefore, make sure the manufacturer of your damiana product is trusted and reputable. It is a good sign if a manufacturer abides by the rules of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) for drugs. It is also a good sign if a product has the United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) seal, which means that the product has been independently tested and shown to contain the correct ingredients in the amounts listed on the label. Your pharmacist is a good resource for information about which manufacturers are most reputable.
- If you have liver or kidney disease, check with your healthcare provider before taking any medication or supplement, including damiana. The liver and kidneys help clear many medications and supplements from the body.
- It is not known if damiana interacts with other supplements or medications (see Damiana Drug Interactions).
- It is not known if damiana is safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (see Damiana and Pregnancy and Damiana and Breastfeeding).