Yerba Santa (Holy Herb) - Eriodictyon californicum

1 Oz Loose
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Yerba Santa is at home in the South-western mountains of North America. The Spaniards named this herb for what it is - Yerba Santa means 'holy herb'. The Western tribes had long used it for medicinal and spiritual purposes. It is especially valued as a smudging herb for healing rituals as it is thought to neutralize disease causing energies and offer protection. It is thought to bring peace and understanding and is used to heal the emotional wounds of quarrels.

Medicinal Uses Yerba santa leaves warm and stimulate the respiratory system; reduce inflammation in the sinuses, throat, and lungs; and dry excessive secretions of the lungs or upper respiratory tract. Take the leaf tincture to relieve chronic asthma, bronchitis, or seasonal allergies accompanied by copious and easily expectorated mucus discharge, but keep in mind that yerba santa leaves can be very astringent. If taken in higher doses—more than about 45 drops—the drying effect may make your tongue feel like it’s been wrung out, but if taken in smaller doses, you will find that yerba santa first gently dries and then remoistens and refreshes the mucous membranes.

The cooled tea or the tincture in room temperature water speeds the healing of urinary tract infections characterized by mucus discharge. The tea drunk hot or the tincture in hot water promotes sweating and increases circulation to the extremities and the surface of the skin.

Also known as consumptive’s weed, yerba santa leaf has a history of use for treating tubercular cough and wasting away. Its high flavonoid content, represented by its sweet taste, points to its ability to nourish, build, and maintain the integrity of tissues.

Yerba santa has a very interesting taste characteristic—it starts out bitter and slowly gets sweeter. It teaches us how to find sweetness in the bitter experiences of life by bringing awareness to the initiatory power of trauma. In a similar way through its association with fire, yerba santa aligns us with the myth of the phoenix rising from the ashes.

Burn the leaves as smudge to purify spaces and to clear heavy or dark energies from people. Crush the leaves and add them to herbal smoking mixes to help clear mucus from the lungs.

This pleasant herb is good for dressing altars and as an ingredient in a charm bag carried for protection or to increase divinatory abilities. Burned in the sick room, its fragrance helps dispel hostile spirits that might be involved in the disease, and it makes a nice purifying potpourri when combined with spearmint and cascara sagrada.

Some make a decoction (pour boiling water over the herb and let steep) and bring to the cemetery to pour over the grave of someone whose spirit you wish to contact in dreamwork. Others add it to bath water for magical beautification. Yerba santa is a nice ingredient for healing incenses as well. It smells great!

Yerba santa is used for psychic power, healing, empowerment, beauty, & protection. It is feminine in nature. In magic, Yerba Santa can also be used for making poppets, creating your own tinctures, charms or mojo bags, ritual baths, spellcraft supplies, or for making your own magick powders or ritual incense blends. Add Yerba Santa to your bath, to bring out your own inner beauty.

Spiritually, it is said that yerba santa helps to release the emotional pain that is often stored in the lungs and heart areas, such as grief, depression, melancholy, and despair. These emotions can impair the breathing and flow of soul energy. Yerba santa can help one to recognize and release these energies, allowing the spiritual body to come back into balance. As an incense it’s also called “Portable Temple” because it will drive out negative influences and restores a guarded boundary of protection.

Yerba santa leaves warm and stimulate the respiratory system; reduce inflammation in the sinuses, throat, and lungs; and dry excessive secretions of the lungs or upper respiratory tract. Take the leaf tincture to relieve chronic asthma, bronchitis, or seasonal allergies accompanied by copious and easily expectorated mucus discharge, but keep in mind that yerba santa leaves can be very astringent. If taken in higher doses—more than about 45 drops—the drying effect may make your tongue feel like it’s been wrung out, but if taken in smaller doses, you will find that yerba santa first gently dries and then re-moistens and refreshes the mucous membranes.
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