7 Spiritual Benefits of Yerba Santa

Yerba Santa plant

Yerba Santa is a flowering shrub native to Southwest America and Northern Mexico. It is considered to be a sacred herb in Native American and Spanish cultures, where it is regularly used for protection, courage, purification, and healing. So how can you use this holy herb in your own life? Read on to find out.

Is Yerba Santa a sacred herb?

Yerba Santa means ‘holy herb’ in Spanish. Historically it has been used by Native American cultures to cure a range of ailments from coughs and colds, to asthma and bruises. It was also used in traditional smudging practices and rituals to increase a person’s connection with a higher power, as it works to open the crown chakra.

The Spanish missionaries came across this herb when they went to California and it quickly became revered by Spanish Priests for its ability to heal the body and spirit, as well as increase psychic awareness. It has also been regularly used as an altar offering which is said to provide spiritual protection for the home.

Today, Yerba Santa can be used to help you find your inner strength, heal emotional wounds, and increase psychic abilities.

Other names for Yerba Santa

Yerba Santa has been known by numerous names throughout history including Gum Bash, Holy Herb and Mountain Balm. Its Latin name, Eriodictyon is derived from the Greek phrase ‘woolley net’ due to the silky, fuzzy texture on the underside of its leaves.

7 spiritual benefits of Yerba Santa

Yerba Santa smudge sticks

Yerba Santa has been considered a sacred herb throughout history and for good reason! Below are 7 ways you can use this versatile herb in your own life:

1. Yerba Santa Smudging/incense for protection & cleansing

Yerba Santa is known to have a highly protective energy which makes it the perfect addition to charm bags and herbal amulets. It is also an excellent herb for smudging.

Simply light a stick of Yerba Santa and allow the smoke to travel into every corner of your home to repel negativity and provide protection from evil forces.

This herb is believed to be able to open up the heart chakra. So, try burning Yerba Santa incense and meditating with it, to overcome the trauma of heartbreak and help you find the courage to move on with your life. It is also a very powerful herb for shamanic journeys and enlightenment meditation practices as it works on the crown chakra which is your connection to the divine.

2. Opening heart chakra and releasing emotional pain

Traditionally, Yerba Santa has been used alongside Sage, to cleanse a person prior to performing any sacred work. Its ability to open the heart chakra will clear any negative energies and invoke a spiritual connection with your higher self.

Try burning the leaves of this herb when you are feeling emotionally drained or heartbroken. Then simply inhale the sweet scent to increase feelings of love, clarity, and empowerment.

3. Yerba Santa Essential oil for uplifting your energy

This herb has a naturally uplifting and pleasant scent that is believed to release a person from worries, shyness, and other forms of mental suffering. This will help your mind to feel clearer and allow the space for spiritual growth.

Simply add a few drops of Yerba Santa essential oil to your oil burner. Then sit in a comfortable position and allow the intense scent to instill you with a sense of serenity and courage to face the day. You can even combine it with Sage essential oil to intensify its effects.

4. Yerba Santa tea for healing

Dried Yerba Santa leaves

Yerba Santa has a huge variety of healing benefits when brewed as a tea. This concoction is believed to clear your airways and break up mucus which makes it the perfect beverage to drink if you are suffering from a cold or headache.

As a herb that is closely associated with the element of water, Yerba Santa is believed to be particularly beneficial for people who hold in the water element (emotions).

Drinking a cup of this tea will help you to release buried emotions such as grief, depression, or despair. Simply steep one teaspoon of Yerba Santa leaves in 8oz of boiling water for around half an hour, and then enjoy!

5. Yerba Santa bath for cleansing

Yerba Santa can cleanse your mind, body, and spirit, just as it can cleanse and purify a room. One of the best ways to do this is by taking a purification bath with Yerba Santa leaves or a few drops of essential oil added to the water. This will work to balance your emotions after a long day and help you connect with your inner self.

6. Burning leaves for Psychic abilities and honoring ancestors

Yerba Santa is an incredibly powerful herb for heightening psychic abilities. Try soaking Yerba Santa leaves in boiling water for a short period and then sprinkle them over the photo of a loved one you wish to contact. They will then speak to you through your dreams.

You can also perform the same process to ask for guidance from the divine before any divination practice or ritual. Adding Yerba Santa leaves or plants to your altar is believed to be an excellent way to honor any loved ones that have passed on.

7. Yerba Santa for blessing

Yerba Santa has a holy and sacred presence. For centuries, this herb has been placed on witches’ altars as an offering to a deity, angel, or God, who in return will bless your home or business. Many witches add other holy herbs to the mixture, such as Holy Ghost Root or Blessed Thistle to heighten its effects.

Simply sprinkle dried Yerba Santa leaves over your altar or in a bowl that is placed somewhere prominent in your home. Its energies will prevent unwanted guests from entering your space and imbue your home with spiritual protection.

Yerba Santa smudging prayer

To increase the power and effectiveness of any smudging ceremony or meditation practice, consider adding a prayer to solidify your intentions. Here is an example of a beautiful native American prayer to encourage spiritual growth and inner confidence:

“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.”

-Ute Prayer

Source: slife.org

Always remember, that when deciding on a prayer, you need to ensure the words mean something to you. The best prayers are the ones that are said aloud in your own words. It doesn’t need to be fancy or beautiful but it does need to encompass everything that you are worried about or you want to achieve.

Some people find it easier to write down all of their feelings in a journal first as this helps them to decipher their emotions. There are no rules when it comes to prayers; they can be long or short. Something as simple as:

“I pray for the strength and positive energy.”

Is just as powerful as a more elaborate poem, as long as you feel the words when you speak them.

Points to bear in mind

Even though Yerba Santa has been used for centuries as a herbal remedy for a range of ailments, it has yet to be the subject of many clinical trials so data on its side effects are a little scarce. Still, it is considered a safe herb to use unless you are pregnant because it can affect iron absorption in the blood. As an expectorant, it can also cause a dry mouth if ingested in large doses. This herb has a bit of a bitter taste so less is more when it comes to using Yerba Santa!


Yerba Santa is an incredibly sacred herb with a range of uses from medicinal to spiritual. If you are ever feeling lost or despondent in life, this herb will help you to find the power within yourself to go after your dreams, and will assist you in finding your true purpose.

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About the Author
Carla is a writer, author and a practicing Wiccan for the last twenty years and loves anything to do with nature and spirituality! She lives in Cambridge UK, with her two daughters and husband. When she is not working she has a special interest in creative writing, with two novels in progress.
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