Information on Yerba Santa

Latin NameEriodictyon californicum
Other NamesBear's Weed
Part UsedHerb
Herb FormsTincture, bulk herb for tea, syrups.
AffectsUrinary system, Respiratory system
CautionsNone known.
Botanical InfoA sticky, shiny-leaved aromatic resinous shrub of dry hillsides and deserts with sprays of lavender flowers in the Waterleaf familly.
DescriptionYerba santa is an expectorant herb useful for asthma, bronchitis, pleurisy, and moist coughs. It is also used as a bitter tonic to stimulate digestion (chewing on tender young yerba santa leaves is good for digestion). The herb has an agreeable, bitter, and resinous taste. The tincture is useful to mask the objectionable taste of very bitter herbs, such as cascara sagrada.
Grindelia, another well-known spicy warm respiratory plant, is often blended with yerba santa.

Yerba Santa has a taste of SPICY, AROMATIC and a temperature of VERY WARM.


Infusion1 cup 2-3 x daily
Tincture1-2 dropperful 2-3 x daily

Ailments Treated by Yerba Santa

AilmentTreatment SupportApplication
Breath, shortness ofwarming expectoranttea, tincture
Cough, chronicexpectoranttincture, tea
Emphysema, mildexpectoranttea, tincture
Pleurisyantitussive, expectoranttea, tincture
Asthmaexpectorant, mucolytic, antispasmodictincture, tea
Bronchitisexpectorant, antibacterialtincture, tea


Leung, A. and S. Foster. 1996. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.
McGuffin, M. et al. 1997. Botanical Safety Handbook. Boca Raton: CRC Press.