T Nation

Anti-Aromatase Activity of Damiana

Anybody use Damiana and have blood work done (hormonal profile)?

Apparently some of the constituents of the herb are have anti-aromatase activity (which is good). The fact is, with the straight herb, there are other constituents that have pro-estrogenic activity. Thus it seems (to me), purely from a hypothesis point of view, that the substance could potentially might act as a SERM if the overall activation is lower and binding affinity higher than estradiol (competitive inhibition). For example, you have a SERM like tamoxifen which also has mixed effect as well (agonistic in some tissues while antagonist in others).

The study: (I’m sure there are others as well)

Anti-aromatase activity of the constituents from damiana (Turnera diffusa).
Zhao J, Dasmahapatra AK, Khan SI, Khan IA.

Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, University of Mississippi, University, MS 38677, United States.

ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Damiana (Turnera diffusa Willd. Ex Schult) has traditionally been used as an herbal aphrodisiac. AIM OF THE STUDY: The study was aimed to investigate the anti-aromatse activity and the estrogenic activity of the constituents isolated from Turnera diffusa. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The methanolic extract and 24 compounds isolated from the leaves of Turnera diffusa were evaluated for aromatase activity by using a tritiated-water release assay and for estrogenic activity by using yeast estrogen screen (YES) assay. RESULTS: The methanolic extract demonstrated a dose-dependent inhibitory activity of the aromatase enzyme with the IC(50) value of 63.1 microg/ml. Among the 24 tested compounds, pinocembrin and acacetin showed the most potent inhibition with IC(50) values of 10.8 and 18.7 microM, respectively. Estrogenic activity was also observed in the extract and three compounds including apigenin 7-glucoside, Z-echinacin and pinocembrin with EC(50) values of 10, 20 and 67 microuM, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The extract of Turnera diffusa and two isolated compounds pinocembrin and acacetin could significantly suppress aromatase activity. Moreover, apigenin 7-glucoside, Z-echinacin and pinocembrin showed estrogenic activity. [/quote]

Anybody got any additional info, or know if there is a product that is credible?

Also FOR BILL ROBERTS: Is it cost effective to isolate the pure extracts (from a manufacturing perspective)?


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Upon preliminary research, both compounds (Pinocembrin and Acacetin in Damiana) sound promising. Both are readily available from sources in the US :stuck_out_tongue:

Pinocembrin is found in honey and propolis, among other plant sources such as damiana. Not sure of the potency in honey or propolis as compared to damiana. It also has been proven to have antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory property. Add it to super-food might be a good idea. no?

Acacetin is found in the leaves of Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust – native to South East US). It has potential as an anticancer drug.

edit: The compound has a ton of anecdotal data behind it. The scientific studies on it are inconclusive ti seems at this point. What I’ve read has lead me to decide to take the supplement. I plan to use the traditional means (which agrees with the anecdotal evidence) and steep cut leaves (i’m using dried, although I’m not sure if it was traditionally done with fresh leaves) in hot water and drinking the tea. What I’ve read indicates that it’s traditionally.

[quote]The use of damiana in cultural and traditional settings may differ from concepts accepted by current Western medicine. When considering the use of herbal supplements, consultation with a primary health care professional is advisable. Additionally, consultation with a practitioner trained in the uses of herbal/health supplements may be beneficial, and coordination of treatment among all health care providers involved may be advantageous.

Damiana is also known as Turnera diffusa, Mexican damiana, old woman’s broom, and herba de la pastora.

Damiana has been used as an aphrodisiac, to treat headaches, and to aid in the control of bed wetting.[/quote] (IMO this indicates it might help to lower estradiol (as an aphrodisiac possibly through negative feedback and boosting T temporarily) and prolactin (bed wetting is thought to be linked to prolactin – although i could be wrong about that because I just rechecked that info as I can’t rtemember where I read it originally – though if prolactin was a concern a person could think about stacking the daminana with zinc if prolactin is thought to be an issue as zinc controls prolactin and MANY people are deficient in it - use chelated form (that’s where the mineral attached (“chelated”) to an amino acid, like in Elite Pro Mineral which is made by the company who’s board you are reading this info for free on – that’s purely informational and not an attack at you OP or any reader).)

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
Have you tried searching for suppliers of the listed compounds? If so, I would be glad to know them, since obesity and aromatisation are linked and are a common enough trait in many middleaged men.

Thanks for the input. I did a little searching, but didn’t find anything. Then when I was thinking about it, I figured I’d rather not be a guinea pig by taking the isolated compounds in doses with unknown effects.

Maybe Biotest (Bill Roberts) has investigated the potential of the extracts though. If he/Biotest has done any research and wants a test subject to try a new product on, then by all means, hit me up.