Yerba Santa Leaf


Also known as
Eriodictyon californicum, Eriodictyon trichocalyx, Eriodictyon glutinosum, Holy Herb, Bearsweed, Consumptive's Weed, Mountain Balm, and Tarweed.

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.

Bitter resins, eriodictyol, eriodictyonic acid, eriodictyonine, essential oil, tannins.

Parts Used
Dried leaves.

Typical Preparations
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.

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 strands existing in the Sierra Nevada mountain chain and parts of southern California.

Safety in young children, pregnant or nursing women, or in persons with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.


 For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

Unless otherwise stated, this information courtesy of MOUNTAIN ROSE HERBS, with full, written permission for reuse. For further traditional information concerning YERBA SANTA, please visit this excellent resource  Used with full, written permission.