Yerba Santa

Other names: bear’s weed, consumptives weed, gum plant, mountain balm, tar weed

Scientific name: Eriodictyon glutinosum

Common names:

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names:

Bangladesh names: Yerba Santa

Arabic names:    يربا سانتا (Yerba Santa)

Rain Forest names:

Family: Fabaceae

Approximate number of species known:

Common parts used: Leaf


Annual/Perennial: Perennial

Height: 2 to 4 feet

Actions: aromatic, expectorant, tonic

Known Constituents: Eriodictyol, homoeriodictyol, chrysocriol, zanthoeridol and eridonel. Also free formic and other acids, glycerides of fatty acids, a yellow volatile oil, a phytosterol, resin and glucose

Constituents Explained:


Yerba santa is an evergreen shrub; it is somewhat branching and grows to a height of 2-4 feet. The stems are smooth and exude a gummy substance. Leaves are 3-4 inches long, distinctively woolly on the undersides, containing a network of prominent veins, and the resinous substance appears as if the woolly fibers have been varnished; upper surface is smooth with depressed veins. The flowers are terminal, appearing in shades of dark lavender to pale shades of lavender to white; forming funnel-shaped clusters at the top of the plant. The honey is amber, with a slightly spicy flavor. Bees love this plant. The capsule fruit is oval, grayish-brown and contains small brown shriveled seeds.

Traditional Use:

Used for the lungs and mucous.

Clinical Studies: