The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Plant Profile: Yerba Santa

“Arizona Herbal medicine” “Sedona herbal medicine” “Phoenix herbal medicine” “Colorado herbal medicine” “Las Vegas herbal medicine” “Prescott herbal medicine” “Flagstaff herbal medicine” “Oak Creek Canyon” “New Mexico herbal medicine”Botanical Name:
Eriodictyon angustifolium is the narrow leafed species found around Sedona, the Verde Valley and the Superstition Mountains. This is the one I have used the most.

E. californicum is a much broader leafed species from northern California. It is more common in the wholesale herb trade. I consider these two species to be equally therapeutic. There are a few other species although I have not used them.


Common Names:
Yerba Santa

Southwest Habitat:
Between 3,500’ and 5,500’ in Arizona. Often found near roadsides (not good for collecting) and not uncommon around Sedona.

Energy & Tastes:
Warming and drying

Part Used for Medicine:
Leaves and fresh tips of new spring growth. Use the new growth in late April to early June. The resinous leaves have a tendency to clump and spoil soon after harvesting, so make the tincture fresh, even in the field, if possible.

Herbal Actions:
Stimulating expectorant

Therapeutic Uses:
Helps reduce excess dampness in the respiratory system so is useful for allergies, sinus congestion and coughs.
The anti-microbial aspect of the resinous leaves make it useful for bladder infections.

Herbal Combos:
Use with goldenrod and fresh nettles for seasonal allergies
Use with osha, thyme or Grindelia for wet coughs
Use with manzanita or Arizona cypress for bladder health

Preferred Method of Preparation:
The species I have worked with are resinous and work well with fresh leaf tincture.
An oxymel also works well energetically for cold, damp lung issues.

The Plant Profiles are brief materia medica summaries of plants encountered during plant walks or introduced during class on our longer programs. They are presented here to help students organize plant info on an ongoing basis. Although the Profiles are not meant to be comprehensive, they are offered here to the public in the hope that others find these pages useful.


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