Yerba del manzo: A versatile healing herb


Yerba del manzo is a plant that grows throughout the Southwestern United States in swampy areas. This is an amazing medicinal herb with many properties. First of all, it is an astringent; astringents have the effect of binding proteins. In common terms, this mean that astringents cool and tighten the tissues they contact and are useful for sore throats, blisters, sunburns, hemorrhoids and diaper rash (to name just a few).

But yerba del manzo does so much more. It is effective for irritated bowel and inflammation of the urinary bladder. But perhaps the most outstanding effect is that it reduces the “bogginess” that is present in conditions like sinusitis. It helps get fluids moving in tissues that are “swamped” and congested so that the swelling is reduced while supporting recovery from infection. Yerba del manzo is my favorite herb to use for sinus problems and works especially well when combined with Coleus forskohlii and cubeb berries.

One teaspoon of the root of yerba del manzo can be boiled for tea and drunk for internal conditions or applied as a compress for external use.

Consult your health care practitioner about the use of herbs or supplements, especially if you are taking prescription medication.

Hawley owns Taos Herb Company.