Yerba Mansa

Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis californica)

Family: Saururaceae

Parts commonly used: Root.

Properties/energetics: Astringent, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, stimulant/Warm; aromatic, spicy.

Systems predominantly affected:  Gastrointestinal, respiratory, genitourinary.

Uses: Yerba Mansa has a spicy, warming, aromatic nature similar to those of Bayberry and Myrrh. It is employed primarily as a mucous membrane tonic, making it a valuable substitute for Goldenseal. Extracts of Yerba Mansa act on the gastrointestinal, respiratory, and genitourinary mucous membranes of the body. Its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, stimulant, and astringent actions are all useful when one’s mucous membranes are congested and overly relaxed. Extracts of this plant are particularly beneficial in subacute and chronic conditions where there are unresolved imbalances that linger on (for example, lingering dampness, and mucus in lungs with moist, persistent cough). These extracts will usher in more blood and immune cells to the tissue to help complete the healing process. Yerba Mansa’s astringent action improves tissue integrity and checks secretions, while its stimulating activity helps remove accumulated wastes ushering in oxygen and nutrients to regenerate poorly healing membranes. Yerba Mansa relieves sinus problems and head colds, especially those that have become subacute, exuding thick mucus. Administered as a nasal spray, it relieves inflammation of the nose and sinuses, and the infusion makes an effective gargle and throat spray for treating sore throats. For the genitourinary system, Yerba Mansa is helpful for relieving vague urinary-tract irritations that suggest lingering infection.

Combinations: For lingering dampness, mucus in lungs with moist, persistent cough, use with Yerba Santa and Elecampane.

Affects on specific body types: Excellent tonic for the mucous membrane imbalances common to the Monarch-type constitution. It will help with chronic thick secretions associated with imbalances in the sinuses or lungs. In the gastrointestinal tract, it will heal mucous membrane congestion and deterioration of tissues with signs such as chronic ulcerations of the mucosa, or mucus in the stools. It has similar effects in the genitourinary tract and is useful when there are chronic, low-grade imbalances with excess secretions (for example, mild urinary-tract infections that never quite go away). It’s also useful for Monarch joint problems.

Precautions: This herb is best not used when there is burning sensation, active irritation, or acute inflammation in mucous membranes of lungs or in the urinary tract, or in the case of ulcers.

Preparations/dosage: Tincture: 30 – 60 drops up to five times a day. The tincture can be diluted to use as a gargle. When preparing infusions or decoctions, use about 1 ounce of herb to 1 quart of water. Dosage is 1/4 to 1/2 cup up to five times a day.

By James Green, Herbalist, copyright 2008

For more information please refer to James Green’s book, The Male Herbal, 2nd Edition