Yerba santa, which includes Eriodictyon glutinosum and Eriodictyon californicum, is also known as bear's weed, holy herb or mountain balm. It grows in dry areas of California and Northern Mexico. The fragrance of its sticky leaves, both sweet and bitter, helps to create a magical and mysterious atmosphere.
It’s traditionally used during protection and purification rituals, to release negative energies and to uplift love. It’s said to increase courage and psychic powers. You can also burn it to make an offering to your ancestors.
About its cultivation
Our plants are both wild harvested and farmed. Whether they are collected in private or public areas, the people who pick them have a legal authorization to do so. The process is simple: branches are cut and the roots of the plants are left in the ground to allow future harvesting. Exports are controlled by the USDA (US Agriculture Department), who certifies they fulfill all legal and environmental requirements.
Yerba santa is a perennial and hardy plant. Its growth depends on the climate and annual precipitations. That's why the size of the bundles can vary from year to year, following seasonal contingency and changing harvesting. During drought periods, the concentration of essential oils in the leaves is higher.
How to use it
This purification ritual is a universal practise.
1. Use a heat resistant container such as an abalone shell. Place it on top of an appropriate support or stand and take a feather or a fan.
2. Light the yerba santa bundle, preferably with a match. Let the leaves burn for a few seconds, and then blow the flame. Be careful, the leaves can easily be blown away.
3. Go through each room and guide the scented smoke with the feather or fan towards the place you would like to purify.
4. Wait until the yerba santa bundle goes out. According to Indian beliefs, sage will carry on burning until purification is over.
Remember that smudging is an intention-based ritual. With a pure heart and noble aspiration, you will boost its effect.
Ventilate the room after use. Do not inhale the smoke directly.