Herbs & Plants

Eriodictyon glutinosum

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Botanical Name:
Eriodictyon glutinosum
E. californicum

Synonyms: Mountain Balm. Consumptive’s Weed. Gum Bush. Bear’s Weed. Holy or Sacred Herb. Eriodictyon Californicum (Hook and Arn.).
Common Names: Yerba Santa, California yerba santa

Other Name: Holy or Sacred Herb

Habitat: Eriodictyon glutinosum is native to California and Northern Mexico,found growing abundantly in clumps on dry hills in California and Northern Mexico.

Description: Eriodictyon glutinosum is a low, shrubby evergreen plant, 2 to 4 feet high. The stem is smooth, usually branched near the ground, and covered with a peculiar glutinous resin, which covers all the upper side of the plant. Leaves, thick and leathery, smooth, of a yellowish colour, their upper side coated with a brownish varnish-like resin, the under surface being yellowish-white reticulated and tomentose, with a prominent midrib, alternate, attached by short petioles, at acute angle with the base; shape, elliptical, narrow, 2 to 5 inches long 3/4 inch wide, acute and tapering to a short leaf-stalk at the base. The margin of the leaf, dentate, unequal, bluntly undulate. The flowers, bluish, in terminal clusters of six to ten, in a one-sided raceme, the corolla funnel-like, calyx sparsely hirsute….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
Requires a position in full sun in a well-drained sandy soil[200]. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to about -5°c. It is probably best grown against a sunny wall. If the plant needs pruning to keep it within bounds, then this is best carried out in spring or early summer. Do not cut back to wood more than 2 years old. This plant is remarkable for the coating of varnish-like resin that covers the upper leaf surface. The foliage is very aromatic.

Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. Grow on the young plants for at least their first winter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring or early summer. Give some protection from the cold for at least their first couple of winters outdoors.
Edible Uses: The fresh leaves are chewed for their refreshing taste and to relieve thirst. An aromatic sweet tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves. An extract of the leaves is used as a flavouring in baked goods, sweets, ice cream and soft drinks.

Medicinal Uses:
Parts Used:Dried leaves.
Constituents: The chief constituents are five phenolic bodies, eriodictyol, homoeriodictyol, chrysocriol, zanthoeridol and eridonel. Free formic and other acids, glycerides of fatty acids; a yellow volatile oil; a phytosterol, a quantity of resin, some glucose. Taste, balsamic and sweetish, afterwards acrid, but not bitter, recalls Dulcamara and creates a flow of saliva. Odour, aromatic. The leaves are brittle when dry, but flexible in a warm, moist atmosphere. Eriodictyon Californicum is official in the United States Dispensary. Alcohol is the best agent for the fluid extract of the dried plant.

Recommended for bronchial and laryngeal troubles and in chronic pulmonary affections, in the treatment of asthma and hay-fever in combination with Grindelia robusta. Likewise advised for haemorrhoids and chronic catarrh of the bladder. Much used in California as a bitter tonic and a stimulating balsamic expectorant and is a most useful vehicle to disguise the unpleasant taste of quinine. Male fern and Hydrastis. In asthma, the leaves are often smoked. Aromatic syrup is the best vehicle for quinine.

E. californica is more soluble in alcohol while the other varieties do better in water.  Dosage: Dry herb tincture: 20-30 drops up to 5 times a day.   Other uses include: catarrh of the bladder, hemorrhoids, and as a poultice for bruises, sprains,   wounds, and insect bites.

Known Hazards: Not recommended during breast feeding or pregnancy. Iron & other minerals absorption can be effected by Yerba Santa.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


Herbs & Plants

Grindelia nuda var. aphanactis

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Botanical Name : Grindelia nuda var. aphanactis
Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower or  Aster family Family)
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision : Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division:Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class:Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Genus: Grindelia Willd. – gumweed
Species : Grindelia nuda Alph. Wood – curlytop gumweed

Common English Names: Curlytop Gumweed,Yerba del Buey

Habitat :Grindelia nuda var. aphanactis occurs in California, Utah, and Colorado south into Trans-Pecos Texas and Mexic

Grindelia nuda var. aphanactis is probably a perennial shurb, 15-250+ cm (taprooted, rhizomatous in G. oölepis). Stems (1-6+) usually erect , sometimes ascending or decumbent to prostrate , simple or branched, glabrous or hairy , often gland-dotted and/or resinous . Leaves basal and cauline or mostly cauline; alternate; petiolate (proximal ) or sessile (distal) ; cauline blades 1-nerved, oblong , obovate , oblanceolate , or spatulate to triangular, lanceolate, or linear (bases usually clasping ), margins usually serrate to dentate , sometimes entire, crenate , or pinnatifid (especially proximal), faces usually glabrous and gland-dotted, sometimes hirsutulous , hirtellous, puberulous , scabridulous , villous , or stipitate-glandular . Heads radiate or discoid , in corymbiform to paniculiform arrays or borne singly. Involucres usually globose to hemispheric or broadly urceolate , sometimes campanulate to obconic, 5-25+ mm diam. (excluding phyllary apices). Phyllaries (persistent ) 25-100+ in (3-) 4-9+ series, 1-nerved or obscurely so (± flat, proximally and/or medially thickened), mostly filiform , linear, or lanceolate, usually unequal, sometimes subequal , bases usually ± chartaceous (apices ± herbaceous, looped, hooked , patent , recurved, straight, or incurved ), abaxial faces usually glabrous and ± resinous. Receptacles flat or convex , ± pitted (pits sometimes flanked by membranous or setiform enations ), epaleate. Ray florets 0 or 5-60+, pistillate , fertile ; corollas yellow to orange. Disc florets (20-) 100-200(-300+), bisexual and fertile (all or outer) or functionally staminate (ovaries not producing cypselae) corollas yellow, tubes shorter than gradually to abruptly ampliate throats , lobes 5, erect or spreading , ± deltate (equal) ; style-branch appendages linear or lanceolate to ± deltate. Cypselae (whitish or stramineous to gray, brown, or reddish) ellipsoid to obovoid , ± compressed , sometimes ± 3-4-angled (apices smooth, coroniform , or knobby), faces smooth , striate , ribbed , furrowed , or rugose , glabrous; pappi falling, of (1-) 2-8[-15], straight or contorted to curled, smooth or barbellulate to barbellate , sometimes distally clavate , subulate scales , setiform awns, or bristles in 1 series (in G. ciliata, persistent or tardily falling, of 25-40 barbellate bristles subtending 8-15+ barbellate, setiform awns or subulate scales). x = 6.

Medicinal Uses:
Pharmaceutical uses include waxes and resins, and a source of acids and alkaloids used for kidney problems, skin abrasions, and sores. Sticky blossoms can be placed on an aching tooth. As a balsamic bitter tea, the flowering tops are widely used for sore throat and incipient chest colds; and combined with yerba santa and honey as an expectorant.  The sticky flowers, boiled are used to treat bladder and urethral infections. It is effective but intensely bitter. The flowers, boiled in lard are a stimulating salve for burns and slowly healing ulcers.  It is also used internally and externally to treat bites caused by red ants.  The sticky juice can hold cuts together until they heal.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider


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Herbs & Plants

Grindelia camporum

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Botanical Name : Grindelia camporum
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Astereae
Genus: Grindelia
Species: G. camporum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms: Grindelia robusta, Grindelia procera. Grindelia  squarossa

Common Names: Grindelia , Gumweed, Great Valley gumplant and Great Valley gumweed

Habitat : Grindelia camporum  is native to California and Baja California, where it can be found in a number of habitats. Its range may extend into Nevada. This hardy plant readily grows in disturbed and altered areas such as ditches and roadsides.It is normally found  on dry banks, rocky fields and plains, low alkaline ground in California

It is a gangly weedlike perennial topping two meters in maximum height. Its erect, branching stems are lined with many stiff, wavy-edged, serrated leaves 2 to 3 centimeters long. Atop the stem branches are inflorescences of a single large flower head up to 3 centimeters wide. The head is a vaguely thistlelike cup of green clawlike phyllaries that bend downward. The center of the head is filled with yellow disc florets and there are usually many yellow ray florets around the circumference. The flower head fills with a copious white exudate, especially during the early stages of blooming.It is hardy to zone (UK) 8. It is in flower from Jul to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.


It is called gum plant because of the sticky substance covering the plant. It is coveted for medicinal purposes. Grindelia also attracts butterflies and other interesting insects. It likes full sun, and can tolerate deer, and will grow in salty soil.

Succeeds in any well-drained soil in full sun. Does well on dry sandy banks and in poor soils. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. All parts of the plant have a balsamic odour.

Propagation :
Seed – sow autumn or spring in a cool greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Prick out the plants into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.

Medicinal Uses:

Gumplant was used by the native North American Indians to treat bronchial problems and also skin afflictions such as reactions to poison ivy. It is still used in modern herbalism where it is valued especially as a treatment for bronchial asthma and for states where phlegm in the airways impedes respiration. In addition, it is believed to desensitize the nerve endings in the bronchial tree and slow the heart rate, thus leading to easier breathing. The herb is contraindicated for patients with kidney or heart complaints. The dried leaves and flowering tops are antiasthmatic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant and sedative. The principal use of this herb is in the treatment of bronchial catarrh, especially when there is an asthmatic tendency, it is also used to treat whooping cough and cystitis. The active principle is excreted from the kidneys, and this sometimes produces signs of renal irritation. Externally, the plant is used to treat burns, poison ivy rash, dermatitis, eczema and skin eruptions. The plant is harvested when in full bloom and can be used fresh as a poultice or dried for infusions etc. A homeopathic remedy is prepared from the leaves and flowering stems.

This plant has a number of historical medicinal uses.Grindelia acts to relax smooth muscles and heart muscles. It’s used in the treatment of asthmatic and bronchial conditions, especially where these are associated with a rapid heart beat and nervous response. It may be used in asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough and upper respiratory catarrh. Because of the relaxing effect on the heart and pulse rate, there may be a reduction in blood pressure. Externally the lotion is used in the dermatitis caused by poison ivy. Traditionally, Grindelia’s been used for: arrhythmia, arthritis, asthma, blisters, bronchitis, bronchorrhea, burns, cachexia, common cold, cough, cystitis, difficulty breathing, dyspepsia, eczema, emphysema, fever, gonorrhea, hay fever, hepatitis, hypertension, indolent skin ulcer, iritis, muscle spasms, ophthalmia, pertussis, pharyngitis, pneumonia, poison ivy, psoriasis, rheumatism, rhus dermatitis (lotion), sleep apnea, smallpox, splenomegaly, syphilis, tachycardia, tuberculosis, upper respiratory catarrh.

Other Uses:…..Adhesive; ……… Dye……...Yellow and green dyes are obtained from the flowering heads and pods. Aromatic. A possible substitute for wood rosin, used in the manufacture of adhesives etc. This report probably refers to the resin that covers the flower buds.

Known Hazards : Large doses used medicinally can irritate the kidneys

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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