Eriodictyon californicum is a species of plant within the family Boraginaceae. It is also known as yerba santa (sacred herb), mountain balm, bear's weed, gum bush, gum plant, and consumptive weed. Less common names include Herbe des Montagnes, Herbe à Ourse, Herbe Sacrée, Herbe Sainte, Hierba Santa, Holy Herb, and Tarweed.
It is native to California and Oregon, where it grows in several types of habitats including chaparral and coast redwood forests.
Yerba Santa leaves are considered sacred in Native American and Spanish cultures. This ‘holy herb’ gives off a pleasant and uplifting scent. These herb sticks are used in traditional smudging practice for protection, purification, healing, spiritual strength, courage, psychic abilities, and finding your innermost self. It is traditionally used for protection and setting boundaries. Burn the leaves as smudge to purify spaces and to clear heavy or dark energies from people. Crush the leaves and add them to herbal smoking mixes to help clear mucus from the lungs. You can also burn Yerba Santa to nurture and protect that which is ancient, sacred and wild within yourself. Use it when you need encouragement or courage.