Also Known as: Eriodictyon californicum, Eriodictyon trichocalyx, Eriodictyon glutinosum, Holy Herb, Bearsweed, Consumptive's Weed, Mountain Balm, Gum Bush, Sacred Herb and Tarweed.
Farming Type: Wild Harvested
Yerba santa is a sticky-leafed evergreen native to the southwestern United States. Spanish missionary priests impressed with usefulness in treating coughs, colds, asthma, pleurisy, tuberculosis, and pneumonia gave it the name "holy weed," or yerba santa. Unlike many other astringent herbs, yerba santa actually has a pleasant taste. It is used as a food flavoring and as an additive to herbal cough syrups to disguise the taste of other ingredients.. It was given its name ("holy weed") by Spanish priests impressed with its medicinal properties.
Yerba santa is a warm and pungent herb that is both astringent and stimulant. A study published in 1951 in the journal Archives of Biochemistry notes that the resins are mildly antibacterial. Most of the nations supply of Yerba Santa comes from California with most stands existing in the Sierra Nevada mountain chain and parts of southern California. Can be used as a tea, but must be allowed to steep for at least half an hour to dissolve the resins. More often used as an alcohol tincture.
Note: Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or in persons with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
Yerba Santa is very important in native American magick. A key component of many incense blends. It is generally carried to improve beauty and therefore has been used in pagan glamour rituals for many years. It can also be added to healing incenses to raise vibrations, improve health and ward off illness. Due to its ability to raise vibrations in an area, it is also used as a psychic herb, to improve psychic ability and improve psychic strength.