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Yerba Santa is a sticky-leafed evergreen shrub that is usually cultivated as an ornamental. It is native to the hills of California, Oregon and northern Mexico. Yerba Santa is also known as Mountain Balm, Bear’s Weed, Gum Bush, Gum Plant, and Consumptive Weed. California Yerba Santa is a member of the waterleaf family (family Hydrophyllaceae).
The name Yerba Santa (holy weed or sacred herb) was given by the Spanish priests who learned of the medicinal value of the shrub from the American Indigenous people.
In folk medicine the thick sticky leaves, used either fresh or dried, were boiled to make a tea or taken as treatment for coughs, colds, asthma and tuberculosis. A liniment was applied topically to reduce fever, or a poultice was used to treat bruises and rheumatism.
Unlike many other astringent herbs, Yerba Santa has a pleasant taste. It is used as a food flavouring and as an additive to unpleasant tasting herbal syrups.
The taste and energetics of Yerba Santa are sweet, slightly bitter, pungent, warming and bitter. Yerba Santa has an affinity to the respiratory system, digestive system, and urinary system. For a lung formula combine Yerba Santa with Thyme, Horehound, Ginger or Eucalyptus.
How to use:
Add 1 teaspoon of Yerba Santa to one cup of warm water. Steep for 15 minutes, strain, and drink up to 3 cups per day or incorporate into honeys, syrups, steeped in a herbal bath or for an herbal poultice.
Cautions & contraindications:
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.
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