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7 Health Benefits and Uses of Yerba Santa

7 Health Benefits and Uses of Yerba Santa

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Yerba Santa is a blooming plant that grows in Southwest America and Northern Mexico. People in Native American and Spanish cultures view it as a special plant. They use it often for protection, courage, making things clean, and getting better. How can you bring this amazing plant into your life? Keep reading to learn!

7 Health Benefits and Uses of Yerba Santa
Yerba Santa

Is Yerba Santa considered a sacred herb?

The plant holds a special place as a sacred herb, a significance reflected in its name which translates to ‘holy herb’ in Spanish. Throughout history, various Native American cultures have harnessed its healing potential, relying on it to address a diverse range of ailments such as coughs, colds, asthma, and even bruises. However, its importance goes beyond the physical realm.

What is holy herb?

“Holy herb” is a term used to refer to various plants that hold spiritual or sacred significance in different cultures and traditions. These herbs are often believed to have special qualities, such as the ability to cleanse, protect, or facilitate spiritual experiences. Examples of herbs that have been referred to as “holy herbs” include sage, basil, tulsi (holy basil), and yerba santa. The specific herb considered holy can vary depending on the cultural context and the beliefs of a particular community.

Embedded within traditional practices, Yerba Santa played a pivotal role in Native American rituals, particularly in the form of smudging ceremonies. By engaging in these ceremonies, individuals sought to strengthen their connection with higher realms, utilizing the herb’s reputed ability to stimulate the opening of the crown chakra, the energy center associated with spiritual consciousness.

Interestingly, the arrival of Spanish missionaries in California introduced Yerba Santa to a new audience. Spanish Priests quickly recognized its profound capabilities, both in terms of physical and metaphysical healing. Its reputation expanded, becoming synonymous with not only the mending of the body and spirit but also the enhancement of psychic awareness.

Beyond its spiritual applications, Yerba Santa also found a place in everyday life as a regular offering on altars. This practice, rooted in the belief that the herb imparts spiritual safeguarding, became an integral part of many households, contributing to a sense of protection and harmony.

In our contemporary world, the legacy of this aromatic evergreen shrub persists. It serves as a conduit for inner strength, offering solace and aiding in the mending of emotional wounds. Moreover, its reputation for heightening psychic abilities endures, making it a choice tool for those seeking to explore the depths of their intuition and connection to the unseen.

7 Health Benefits and Uses of Yerba Santa
Yerba Santa bundle

Different names for Yerba Santa

Throughout its history, the plant has been recognized by a multitude of names, each contributing to its diverse identity. Among these appellations are “Gum Bush,” highlighting its resinous properties, “Holy Herb,” underscoring its spiritual significance, and “Mountain Balm,” alluding to its traditional use as a healing balm by various cultures.

However, its nomenclature doesn’t stop there. The Latin name assigned to Yerba Santa, Eriodictyon, holds its own fascinating story. Derived from the Greek phrase ‘eriodes diktyon,’ which translates to ‘woolly net,’ this name aptly captures the distinctive characteristic of the plant’s leaves. The underside of Yerba Santa’s leaves boasts a soft, velvety texture resembling a delicate net of fine wool.

This array of names not only showcases the plant’s versatility but also mirrors its myriad uses and cultural associations across time. From spiritual reverence to medicinal applications, Yerba Santa’s many names encapsulate the rich tapestry of its history and significance.

7 Health Benefits and Uses of Yerba Santa
Different names for Yerba Santa

7 spiritual advantages of Yerba Santa

Discover the 7 profound spiritual advantages of Yerba Santa, a herb with a longstanding sacred reputation. Explore how you can incorporate this versatile plant into your personal journey:

Yerba Santa’s Protective Smudging and Cleansing Power

Yerba Santa boasts remarkable protective energies that have earned it a prominent place in various spiritual practices. Its versatility shines through in its application, whether as an addition to charm bags, herbal amulets, or in the form of incense for smudging rituals. Its ability to safeguard and cleanse spaces has been acknowledged throughout history.

Through the simple act of lighting a Yerba Santa stick and allowing its fragrant smoke to permeate every nook and cranny of your home, you engage in a potent ritual of repelling negativity and inviting protection against malevolent forces. This ancient technique has been trusted for generations to create an aura of positivity and security.

However, the plant’s spiritual benefits go beyond physical spaces. It holds a profound connection to the heart chakra, a pivotal energy center associated with love, compassion, and emotional well-being. By incorporating Yerba Santa incense into meditation sessions, you can tap into its healing potential to mend the wounds of heartbreak. This practice can also ignite the courage needed to embark on new life journeys.

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Interestingly, this evergreen shrub’s influence extends to higher realms of consciousness. Its impact on the crown chakra, which serves as a conduit to the divine, renders it a valuable aid in shamanic journeys and meditation practices focused on enlightenment. As the herb’s essence aligns with the crown chakra’s energy, individuals often report heightened spiritual experiences and a strengthened connection to the transcendental.

What is the crown chakra?

The crown chakra, often referred to as the “Sahasrara” in Sanskrit, is one of the seven main energy centers in the human body according to certain spiritual and metaphysical traditions, particularly in Hinduism and some forms of yoga and meditation practices.

Located at the top of the head, the crown chakra is believed to be the center of spiritual connection, higher consciousness, and enlightenment. It is associated with qualities such as pure awareness, unity, transcendence, and a sense of being connected to something greater than oneself.

In essence, Yerba Santa not only serves as a physical tool for protection and cleansing but also as a catalyst for spiritual growth and exploration. Its multifaceted nature lends itself to a spectrum of practices, from ancient smudging ceremonies to contemporary meditation techniques, making it a truly versatile and cherished herb in the realm of spirituality.

7 Health Benefits and Uses of Yerba Santa7 Health Benefits and Uses of Yerba Santa
Yerba Santa’s Protective Smudging and Cleansing Power

Healing the Heart Chakra and Easing Emotional Distress

For centuries, Yerba Santa has stood alongside Sage in the realm of cleansing rituals, particularly before engaging in sacred endeavors. This herb’s distinctive quality lies in its capacity to unlock the heart chakra, a practice that purifies one’s energy field and establishes a profound connection with the higher self.

When emotional burdens weigh you down or heartache leaves its mark, the plant offers solace. By carefully igniting its leaves, you release a gentle, sweet-scented smoke that becomes a balm for your spirit. Inhaling this fragrance envelops you in a transformative experience, elevating your emotions from the depths of sorrow to a realm of love, clarity, and empowerment.

In the company of Yerba Santa’s aromatic presence, negative energies dissipate. The heart chakra’s gentle unfurling occurs, creating an atmosphere of emotional release and renewal. As you breathe in the herb’s essence, a sense of tranquility and hope washes over, fostering a rejuvenating connection with your own emotions and the world around you.

Engaging with this evergreen shrub’s heart-centered properties doesn’t just cleanse and heal—it prompts an elevation of the spirit. Its power to soothe emotional wounds and amplify feelings of love and empowerment has made it a cherished companion in times of emotional turbulence, reminding us of the intricate interplay between botanical wisdom and inner well-being.

7 Health Benefits and Uses of Yerba Santa
Healing the Heart Chakra and Easing Emotional Distress

Elevating Energy with Yerba Santa Essential Oil

The inherent essence of Yerba Santa carries a natural and captivating aroma, offering more than just olfactory delight. This fragrance is believed to possess the power to liberate individuals from mental distress, worries, and inhibitions. A journey into this aromatic realm can grant a clearer mental landscape and cultivate an environment for spiritual expansion.

Harnessing the potential of  the plant essential oil requires only a few drops. By infusing your oil burner with this precious essence, you create a tranquil ambiance that extends beyond the physical space. As you settle into a comfortable position, the aromatic intensity envelops you, gradually infusing your being with serenity and fortitude—the perfect armor to face the day ahead.

The option to combine Yerba Santa essential oil with Sage essential oil enhances the experience. This fusion of botanical energies intensifies the effects, magnifying the emotional upliftment and mental clarity they bring forth. The subtle interplay between these oils resonates with the soul, easing worries and guiding you toward a state of inner balance and strength.

What is Sage?

Sage is a common term used to refer to a group of aromatic herbs that belong to the Salvia genus. These herbs are known for their distinctive fragrance and are often used for culinary, medicinal, and ceremonial purposes. Sage is native to various regions around the world and has been cultivated and utilized for centuries for its diverse properties.

In the realm of aromatherapy, Yerba Santa’s essential oil stands as a beacon of positivity, an aromatic remedy that not only invigorates the senses but also nurtures the spirit. As the fragrance swirls around, it’s as though the herb’s essence whispers promises of serenity and the courage to confront life’s challenges with a renewed perspective.

7 Health Benefits and Uses of Yerba Santa
Elevating Energy with Yerba Santa Essential Oil

Harnessing Healing Power through Yerba Santa Tea

The potential for healing within Yerba Santa extends gracefully to its role as a tea. Crafted from dried Yerba Santa leaves, this infusion offers a diverse array of therapeutic advantages, making it a go-to elixir for wellness. Among its myriad benefits, it’s particularly renowned for its ability to clear airways and disperse mucus, rendering it a soothing choice for those grappling with colds or headaches.

With its close affiliation to the element of water, Yerba Santa finds resonance in its healing effects, especially for individuals who embody the water element—often associated with emotions. This infusion is believed to hold a key to unlocking and processing deep-seated emotions, offering a gentle current to guide them to the surface.

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Sipping on a cup of Yerba Santa tea becomes a ritual of release. Emotions like grief, depression, and despair, once buried, find an avenue to emerge and be acknowledged. Through the steam rising from the brew, a symbolic purification occurs, allowing emotional catharsis and offering the space to heal and grow.

Brewing Yerba Santa tea is a straightforward process. Steep a teaspoon of the dried leaves in 8 ounces of boiling water for approximately thirty minutes, allowing the essence of the herb to infuse the liquid. The resulting brew carries not only the warmth of the infusion but also the essence of healing and release.

As the cup cradles your hands and the aroma wafts upward, a sense of comfort and solace intertwines with the act of sipping. Each gulp becomes a step toward self-nurturing and emotional liberation. The healing journey unfurls, guided by the gentle strength of Yerba Santa, inviting you to sip away worries and embrace rejuvenation sip by sip.

Harnessing Healing Power through the plant Tea
Harnessing Healing Power through Yerba Santa Tea

Purification Bath with Yerba Santa: Cleansing Mind, Body, and Spirit

The plant’s remarkable ability to cleanse and purify extends beyond physical spaces, embracing your entire being—mind, body, and spirit. Much like its role in cleansing rooms, it offers a powerful means of inner purification through a revitalizing bath.

Immersing yourself in a Yerba Santa bath becomes an intimate ritual of self-care, enabling you to wash away not only the physical grime but also the emotional residue that accumulates throughout the day. Infusing the water with Yerba Santa leaves or a few drops of its essential oil transforms the bath into a sacred space of rejuvenation and reconnection.

As you soak in the fragrant waters, Yerba Santa’s energy works to harmonize your emotions, helping you find equilibrium after the demands of daily life. This process is akin to a gentle purification, as the herb’s essence envelops you, releasing tension and providing solace.

The bath is more than a mere physical act—it’s a journey inward, a sacred encounter with your inner self. The aromatic currents of this evergreen shrub become a bridge, linking your senses to your spiritual core. Submerged in this cleansing embrace, you’re invited to shed not only the physical layers but also the emotional burdens that may weigh you down.

With each droplet that cascades over you, you’re reminded of the interconnectedness of the external and internal realms. The cleansing waters mirror the process unfolding within you, facilitating the release of what no longer serves your well-being.

Emerging from this purification bath, you’ll find yourself not only physically refreshed but also spiritually invigorated. The cycle of cleansing is complete, leaving you with a sense of renewal and a harmonious connection with your inner landscape—a testament to the transformative power of Yerba Santa’s essence.

The plant is commonly found in habitats characterized by dry and sunny conditions
Purification Bath with Yerba Santa

Elevating Psychic Abilities and Ancestral Honoring through Burning Leaves

Within Yerba Santa’s multifaceted nature lies a remarkable potential to amplify psychic abilities, offering a conduit to realms beyond the ordinary. The act of burning its leaves becomes a pathway to heightened perception and communication, serving as a bridge to both the ethereal and ancestral dimensions.

To harness this potency, a simple yet profound practice involves soaking Yerba Santa leaves in boiling water briefly. After this infusion, gently sprinkle the moistened leaves over a photograph of a cherished loved one you desire to connect with on a spiritual plane. As you dream, the lines between the realms blur, and your loved one’s voice may echo through the dreamscape, offering messages and insights.

The same practice holds the key to seeking divine guidance before embarking on divination practices or rituals. By incorporating the plant leaves or the plant itself onto your altar, you create a space where the veil between the seen and unseen becomes thin. In this sacred zone, you can honor those who have transitioned, weaving a connection between the realms as you pay homage to your ancestors.

Incorporating Yerba Santa into your spiritual journey enriches your practice with its profound energy. The leaves, when burned, become a vessel for communication—whether with departed loved ones or the higher realms. Through this ancient tradition, you nurture your psychic abilities while fostering a lasting connection to your roots and the spiritual lineage that has shaped your path.

Elevating Psychic Abilities and Ancestral Honoring through Burning Leaves
Elevating Psychic Abilities and Ancestral Honoring through Burning Leaves

Yerba Santa’s Sacred Blessing

Yerba Santa holds a profound and sanctified essence that has been revered through the ages. Its presence carries an inherent blessing, making it a cherished offering on the altars of practitioners. This tradition, steeped in spirituality, has transcended time, offering a conduit for divine blessings upon homes and businesses.

For centuries, the plant has found its place on the altars of witches, a testament to its potency in invoking benevolent forces. As an offering to deities, angels, or the divine, it sets the stage for a reciprocal exchange—the act of giving inviting blessings in return. This ritualistic practice weaves a tapestry of sacredness that permeates the environment it touches.

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While Yerba Santa alone holds remarkable power, some practitioners choose to amplify its effects by combining it with other holy herbs. Pairing it with botanical allies such as Holy Ghost Root or Blessed Thistle enhances the ritual’s intent, creating a harmonious symphony of energies that resonate with the sacred.

What is Holy Ghost Root?

“Holy Ghost Root” is another term for a plant called “Archangelica officinalis,” which is commonly known as Angelica. It’s a large, aromatic herb belonging to the Apiaceae family. This plant has been used for various purposes throughout history, including culinary, medicinal, and spiritual applications.

Holy Ghost
Holy Ghost


7 Health Benefits and Uses of Yerba Santa
Blessed Thistle

The act of placing Yerba Santa on an altar is akin to extending an invitation to the spiritual realm, an act of acknowledging the unseen and embracing its gifts. As the herb’s fragrance mingles with the air, it becomes an agent of connection, opening channels for blessings to descend upon the space it inhabits.

Elevating Smudging with a Yerba Santa Prayer

What is Smudging?

Smudging is a ceremonial practice that involves burning herbs, often white sage (Salvia apiana) or other sacred plants, to cleanse and purify a space, person, or object. This practice has deep cultural and spiritual significance in various Indigenous cultures, particularly among Native American and First Nations peoples.

Elevating your smudging ceremony or meditation practice with a prayer can infuse it with deeper intention and meaning. Here’s a native American prayer, a resonant accompaniment to Yerba Santa smudging, aimed at fostering spiritual growth and inner strength:

Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me to forget myself
as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me to remember kindness
as dry fields weep with rain.

As the fragrant smoke of Yerba Santa wafts through the air, this prayer becomes a vessel for your intentions, reaching out to the universe to guide your journey. With every word, you weave a connection to the ancestral wisdom that has danced with the winds for generations.

The prayer’s verses mirror the essence of the plant itself—a bridge to the natural world and the profound teachings it holds. Just as the herb’s smoke spirals upward, carrying your intentions, the prayer spirals outward, embracing the elements and channeling your desires for growth and self-assuredness.

Incorporating this prayer enriches your smudging ritual, bringing the timeless wisdom of native American spirituality into your present moment. The combination of Yerba Santa’s cleansing energy and the prayer’s profound verses transforms your space into a sacred sanctuary, where intentions are heard and intentions bloom.

Absolutely, the essence of a prayer lies in its sincerity and personal connection. Crafted words, when spoken from the heart, hold a unique power to channel intentions and emotions. While established prayers can provide guidance and inspiration, the most potent prayers are those that resonate with your individual journey.

Authenticity is key. The words you choose should be a reflection of your true feelings, aspirations, and concerns. While they don’t need to be grand or adorned, they should encapsulate the essence of what you wish to convey to the universe, whether it’s gratitude, healing, strength, or guidance.

For many, writing down thoughts in a journal serves as a preliminary step, helping to distill emotions and clarify intentions. This process can be profoundly transformative, allowing you to delve deep within before crafting your prayer.

Remember, there are no rigid rules dictating the length or complexity of a prayer. Its power lies in its connection to your innermost self. A simple phrase or a few heartfelt sentences can be just as impactful as an elaborate composition. The potency of your prayer emanates from the resonance between your spoken words and your emotions—the merging of intention and energy.

So, whether your prayer is a heartfelt sentence or a carefully woven tapestry of words, let it be a genuine expression of your being. As you utter your prayer, it becomes a vessel, a bridge between the finite and the infinite, a conduit through which your desires and intentions flow into the universe.

Elevating Smudging
Elevating Smudging with a Yerba Santa Prayer

Remember these key points

Yerba Santa has been a traditional herbal remedy for many health issues over the years. However, there haven’t been many clinical trials, so we don’t have much information about its side effects. It’s generally safe, except for pregnant individuals as it can impact iron absorption. Using it as an expectorant might lead to a dry mouth in high amounts due to its bitter taste. So, use Yerba Santa sparingly!


Yerba Santa is a highly revered herb with versatile applications, both in healing and spirituality. During times of uncertainty or low spirits, this herb can guide you towards discovering your inner strength to pursue your aspirations and uncover your genuine life purpose.

Author Linh Vu
Linh Vu

“Herbs are the friend of the physician and the pride of cooks.” ~ Charlemagne.