What are Yerba Santa Plant Uses?

Yerba Santa has been used by the Chumash Indians and other California Native Americans historically for many centuries to treat pulmonary conditions, stimulate saliva production, and to stop bleeding of minor cuts and scrapes. In the United States and Britain, Yerba Santa was formally used for conditions including influenza, bacterial pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, and tuberculosis starting in the late 1800s until the 1960s (when drug regulations became more stringent around proof of efficacy).

Subsequently, the extracts remained on the GRAS (“Generally Regarded as Safe”) as a flavor for foods, beers, and pharmaceuticals (such as to hide the bitterness of quinine). Eriodictyon plant extracts have also been used in cosmetics.

Yerba Santa is used orally to treat the following:

  • Colds
  • Coughs
  • Asthma
  • Tuberculosis
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Xerostomia

Yerba Santa is also used as the following:

  • Antispasmodic
  • Tonic
  • Antipyretic
  • Expectorant

Yerba Santa is used topically as a poultice to treat the following:

  • Bruises
  • Sprains
  • Wounds
  • Insect bites
  • Relieve rheumatism

In foods and beverages, a fluid extract of Yerba Santa is used as a flavoring component.

In manufacturing, Yerba Santa is used as a pharmaceutical flavoring agent to mask the bitter taste of other drugs.

Also known as:  Bear’s Weed, Consumptive’s Weed, Eriodictyon, Gum Bush, Gum Plant, Herbe des Montagnes, Herbe à Ourse, Herbe Sacrée, Herbe Sainte, Hierba Santa, Holy Herb, Holy Weed, Mountain Balm, Sacred Herb, Tarweed

Diseases and Conditions

There is insufficient reliable information available on the effectiveness of Yerba Santa on the following conditions:

  • Colds
  • Coughs
  • Asthma
  • Tuberculosis
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Xerostomia
  • Bruises
  • Sprains
  • Wounds
  • Insect bites
  • Rheumatism

Safety

Yerba Santa is likely safe when used orally in food and medicinal amounts. There is insufficient information on the safety of Yerba Santa for its other uses, or for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Medication Interactions

Yerba Santa may interfere with the following:

  • Lithium

Supplement and Food Interactions

There are no known supplement, herb, or food interactions for Yerba Santa.

Dosage

The correct dosage of any supplement requires a comprehensive analysis of many factors including your age, sex, health conditions, DNA, and lifestyle.

The typical recommended dosage of Yerba Santa for adults is one to two milliliters of fluid extract taken orally with a spoon every three to four hours. A historical guideline for preparing a fluid extract is to use one thousand grams of powdered, dried leaves, extracted with eight hundred milliliters of fifty percent ethanol by percolating the solvent through the powder in a glass column. The resulting fluid may be stored in a brown glass bottle, with a tight stopper. The traditional recommendation is to use for no longer than ten consecutive days. Longer-term use should only be under medical supervision. Poultices can be made by crushing one-fifth of a kilogram of the leaves in one thousand millliliters of water. The leaves are used traditionally as a treatment for pulmonary congestion by placing the slightly wet leaves on the chest. The poultice is usually used once or twice every day for up to two weeks.

Foods

There is insufficient evidence to determine if Yerba Santa can be found in foods

 

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