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Yerba santa (also spelled yerbasanta) is the Spanish name for this indigenous southwestern plant. The name just means "holy herb," and in fact the same name is used to refer to several other completely unrelated plants with medicinal properties (such as Mexican pepper-leaf, for one.) The yerba santa we are referring to on this page has the Latin name of Eriodictyon, the English name of Mountain Balm, and the Miwok name Passaale (or Possalle.) Tribes throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, and northern Mexico used yerba santa as a medicine herb to cure a wide variety of ailments, from asthma to wounds and sores to coughs and colds.
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