Whittier Narrows


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  • Yerba Santa (Holy Plant)


    Yerba Santa (Eriodictyon californicum) is in the Waterleaf Family.  It has leathery, sticky, lance-shaped leaves; flowers can be purple or white, May to August.  It is found in dry, rocky slopes and ridges, in chaparral and even roadsides, from Ventura County southward. Other species grew into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada from Monterey county northwards. The sweet, spicy leaves can be made into a tea for colds, stomach problems, coughs, asthma, rheumatism, pneumonia and even tuberculosis. It was one of the few remedies used by the Natives that the Spanish fathers learned to use as well, hence the name Yerba Santa ("Saintly Grass" or "Holy Plant.")