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Yerba Mansa Root

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 14, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Yerba Mansa Root (Anemopsis californica)


The Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis californica) is also called Lizard Tail and Swamp Root; it is native to the Southwestern part of North America. It is a perennial flowering plant that blooms in spring. It is similar to the sunflower plant with only one single flower in a plant stalk. The flowers are white with roughly 4 to 9 white bracts. The flower turns bright red as it matures. The Yerba Mansa Root is the most common part of the plant that is used for its medicinal value.

History and Origin

The name Yerba is a Spanish word which means herb owing to the herbal properties of this plant. Although the word Mansa means “tranquil” in Spanish, the Yerba Mansa plant does not actually have any sedative properties. The term Mansa is attributed instead to the Mansa Indians who may have used the plant for medicinal purposes.

Ancient Uses

The native North American tribes were the first ones to use the Yerba Mansa Root for its medicinal properties. It was mainly used as an antimicrobial treatment for swollen gums and sore throats, and many other diseases of the oral cavity. Parts of the Yerba Mansa plant were used as a poultice that was directly applied onto wounds, boils and burns. The natives were also the first people to discover the anti inflammatory properties of the Yerba Mansa Root that can be used to treat pain and swelling of arthritic joints and also for rheumatism.

Modern Uses

In more recent times, the Yerba Mansa Root has been discovered to contain many therapeutic properties such as being antimicrobial, antibacterial and antifungal as well. It is also known to treat diseases and infections of the throat and gums. Infusions of the Yerba Mansa Root can yield therapeutic relief for arthritis and rheumatism by easing joint pain, swelling and increasing mobility. The Yerba Mansa Root is also essential in the treatment of uric acid crystal build up in kidney stones. This wondrous herb can also be used for gastrointestinal problems and skin problems. There have been recent studies regarding the use of Yerba Mansa Root in the management of cancer as well as in the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

The Yerba Mansa Root may be used as a tincture, or dried or ground form for tea, as well as in capsule form. Fresh leaves of the Yerba Mansa can be used as a poultice for wounds and also to relieve muscle pain and inflammation in wounds and boils.

Side Effects

The Yerba Mansa Root is not recommended to use by women that are either pregnant or breastfeeding. Little is known of the effects of this herbal remedy in very young children. The Yerba Mansa root may cause increased sedation especially when used before any surgical procedure. It may also cause sleepiness and drowsiness so it is best to keep from driving and operating machinery when using Yerba Mansa Root supplements.

It is advised to seek consult with a health professional regarding the use of Yerba Mansa Root for its therapeutic benefits. It may cause adverse drug reactions and also life threatening side effects if combined with your current medication.

Read also: Night Blooming Cereus Stem

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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