Yerba Santa is an herb that grows in North America. The leaves can be made into a tea and have been used to ease coughing and to treat breathing problems. Yerba santa can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. It can also be applied to the skin as a cream and has been used to ease swelling of the skin and the joints.


There are no advised doses for yerba santa.

What Research Shows

There is not enough data to support that yerba santa is helpful in treating health problems. We will review future studies as they are published.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to use yerba santa on the skin and to take it orally in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.


REF1 Fischer W, Currais A, et al. Old age-associated phenotypic screening for Alzheimer's disease drug candidates identifies sterubin as a potent neuroprotective compound from Yerba santa. Redox Biol. 2019 Feb;21:101089.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 07/2019
  • Update Date: 03/26/2020