Yerba Santa, meaning “sacred herb” in Spanish, is a name that refers to several similar plants of the eriodictyon genus. This perennial shrub has a distinctly pleasant aromatic scent. Native to dry areas of the southwestern United States, this evergreen typically measures about 4 feet in height and displays pale lavender flower clusters from May through July. Native Americans form the California region held this herb in high esteem as a spiritual aid and a medicine. Yerba Santa is associated with release. It is believed to free emotion from deep within the body. Having such qualities, it is believed to help with depression and sadness. On a physical level, yerba santa is an expectorant used for coughs, asthma and allergies. It has been used for respiratory issues ranging from bronchitis to tuberculosis to pneumonia. It is a bronchial dilator and was traditionally taken as a tea, tincture, syrup or smoke. It is said to have a pleasant taste.
Growing Information: This species normally grows on disturbed poor rocky soils. they can be sowed outdoors in the spring in such areas or sowed in containers of sandy soil. Press the seeds into the surface of the soil and keep them moist until germination. Germination may take 1-2 months. Some growers have had success triggering germination by using smoke treatment or by pre-soaking the seeds prior to sowing. Space the plants at about 3 feet apart and provide full sun.
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