To cure various disorders concerning the lungs, Native Americans chewed or smoked yerba santa, which means “holy herb” in English. Spanish missionaries back in the 17th century were the ones who gave the plant such name after observing it was capable of dealing with a variety of ailments.
Yerba santa tea can be found in mountainous regions, although it’s not unlikely for it to grow along roadsides, too. The plant produces small light-purple flowers that come in bunches, and it has long and slender leaves that are sticky. It’s due to this stickiness why the leaves were once used as first aid for open wounds.
Although the fresh leaves of yerba santa may be chewed, turning them into tea is preferred more. To make a cup of yerba santa tea, a teaspoon of its dried leaves is steeped in a cup of boiling water for up to 45 minutes. This gives all the active compounds on the leaves enough time to be extracted.
The taste of yerba santa tea is easy to love because it’s kind of sweet with a hint of spice. Other than being used internally, the herbal drink may also be employed topically. For instance, allowing it to cool to room temperature makes for an excellent mouthwash, sprain reliever, skin cleanser and wound disinfectant.
Below are some of the well-known perks that come with the intake of yerba santa tea:
It Helps Loosen Thick Mucus
Traditionally, yerba santa tea is consumed to help expectorate thick mucus in the airways which commonly strike during a bout of cold, cough and flu. The consumption of the herbal tea is also usually recommended to those who have the likes of asthma and acute bronchitis as it helps promote normal breathing by relaxing the airways.
It Relieves Joint Pain
What makes yerba santa tea effective against achy and swollen joints is its capability to fight off inflammation. Scientists say that the herbal drink also supplies the body with fatty acids, which are also good for keeping the joints pain-free. Other that drinking the tea, it may also be employed topically to help ease painful and inflamed joints.
It Treats Urinary Tract Infections
Because of the antimicrobial properties of yerba santa tea, it is commonly taken by those who are suffering from urinary tract infections or UTI’s. The fact that the said tea has anti-inflammatory properties makes it even more beneficial for those with UTIs. The tea’s regular intake can help keep the urinary system in an excellent shape.
It Alleviates Stress and Depression
The consumption of yerba santa tea is also recommended for individuals who are facing a lot of stressors on a daily basis, leaving them feeling exhausted and putting them at risk of the various complications of chronic stress. The herbal drink is also known to be helpful for those who are suffering from mild cases of depression.
It Promotes Fresher Breath
When cooled to room temperature, yerba santa tea may be used for rinsing the mouth. Its antibacterial properties make it very good at zapping odor-causing microbes in the mouth that cause bad breath. Gargling with yerba santa tea also lowers one’s risk of various oral problems, like cavities and gum inflammation.
It Provides Relief From Hemorrhoids
Last but not least, yerba santa tea is very helpful for someone who is bugged by hemorrhoids. Although the beverage may be consumed by mouth to promote healing from within, it may also be applied directly on the problem area, but of course after it’s allowed to cool to room temperature.
While the intake of yerba santa tea offers numerous health benefits, pregnant women and nursing mothers should refrain from consuming it without first consulting their doctors or trusted herbalists. Individuals who are suffering from liver disease should avoid taking yerba santa tea until further investigations on the tea’s safety are made.