The name Yerba Santa (“Holy Weed”) was given by the Spanish priests who learned of the medicinal value of the shrub from the Native Americans. It’s has also been known by many other names, including Bear's Weed, Consumptive's Weed, Gum Bush, Mountain Balm, Sacred Herb, and Tarweed, to name a few.
Yerba Santa is an evergreen shrub indigenous to California, Oregon and Northern Mexico. It has a lovely, uplifting smell and has been used traditionally as both a tea and a smudge/incense for purification, protection, and the release of emotional pain. Some ancient modalities reported that Yerba Santa was indicated for those who hold in the water element and carry emotions of grief, melancholy, depression or despair. It is said that these emotions are stored in the deeper cavities of the body, particularly in the heart/ lung/respiratory region. It was believed that respiratory illnesses, addiction to tobacco, and various allergies were common physical manifestations of this soul imbalance.
Historical evidence documents the use of Yerba Santa in the treatment of respiratory and bladder conditions including coughs, colds, tuberculosis, asthma, chronic bronchitis, fever and dry mouth. It has also been used to relieve muscle spasms, loosen phlegm, as a tonic, and topically in the treatment of bruises and rheumatic pain.
A Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieves
Medicinal Action and Uses for Yerba Santa:
Recommended for bronchial and laryngeal troubles and in chronic pulmonary affections, in the treatment of asthma and hay-fever in combination with Grindelia robusta. Likewise advised for haemorrhoids and chronic catarrh of the bladder. Much used in California as a bitter tonic and a stimulating balsamic expectorant and is a most useful vehicle to disguise the unpleasant taste of quinine. Male fern and Hydrastis. In asthma, the leaves are often smoked. Aromatic syrup is the best vehicle for quinine.
Caution: Lithium interacts with YERBA SANTA. Speak with your healthcare provider before using this product. Other potential side effects are unknown. Avoid use during pregnancy and lactation. May increase urination.
Preparation: As a tea: must be allowed to steep for at least half an hour to dissolve the resins. Often used as an alcohol tincture.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.