What Is Yerba Buena?
Yerba buena is an aromatic herb that comes from the mint family and is full of health benefits! It is loaded with antioxidants, including:
• caffeic acid
• and caffeine.
Not only is it good for you, but it can also give you a nice energy boost when you need a quick pick me up.
With a taste that is closer to spearmint than peppermint, it can be refreshing in a tea or used as an added flavor in numerous recipes.
This article will address the various health benefits of yerba buena, we’ll give you tips on how to grow your own – as well as a few recipes to try it in! (2)
10 Health Benefits of Yerba Buena
- Skincare – As it’s chockfull with antioxdants that are good for your skin, drinking yerba buena can help improve your skin quality while eliminating free radicals, soothing inflammation, and reducing wrinkles.
- Soothes Stomach Issues – Inhaling the scent of burning yerba buena can help reduce nausea, especially for women in the early stages of pregnancy. If you are not looking to burn leaves, you can also crush dry leaves and inhale the scent from those for a similar effect.
- Asthma Relief – This herb’s minty scent can help calm the muscles in the respiratory system, which will help reduce asthma attacks. The best way to use yerba buena in these situations is by crushing the leaves and inhaling the scent. Did you know that turmeric can also stop asthma symptoms before they start? It’s true. In scientific testing, curcumins in turmeric remarkably reduced airway constriction making it easier to breathe.
- Immunity Booster – The catechins and polyphenolic compounds found in this herb can help fight bacteria and viral pathogens.
- Oral Health – Yerba buena has shown to help in whitening teeth as well as keeping your breath fresh. These days you can find both toothpastes and mouthwashes that are yerba buena based.
- Digestion – Yerba buena can help relax the gastrointestinal tract, which will ease digestion and can reduce flatulence. Some find yerba buena tea to be helpful when suffering from diarrhea or constipation as it helps balance pH levels in the stomach and reduces inflammation.
- Pain Relief – Those suffering from arthritis have found that this herb’s analgesic properties help provide pain relief. Similarly, it has been found to aid in recovering from injuries and illnesses. To aid in pain relief, it can be ingested as a tea or applied to wounded areas topically.
- Respiratory Help – Yerba Buena tea can help eliminate infections as well as reduce phlegm and mucus found in our respiratory tracts.
- Heals Wounds – Crushing up yerba buena stems into a powder and applying them to scrapes and wounds can help them heal faster.
- Weight Management – If you drink this tea regularly, it can help suppress your appetite as well as promote fat burning, leading to losing some unwanted pounds. (2)
9 Tips to Grow Yerba Buena
Now that you know some of the many health benefits of yerba buena, here are some tips on how to grow your own! (3)
- Purchase a yerba buena root ball from your local nursery or gardening store.
- In the spring, after the possibilities of winter weather and frost has passed, clear the weeds from a shaded plot of soil.
- Dig a hole about 6 inches deep and break up any large dirt clumps. This should be as deep as the root ball and twice as wide.
- Place the root ball in the hole so that it is level with the ground.
- If planting more than one, make sure to space them 4 to 6 feet apart.
- Water once a week in the summer when it is not raining. Just an inch of water a week will do the job. Once the plant has started to grow, it can survive on just rainfall as long as the weather isn’t too hot or dry.
- When leaves become dusty, spray them to keep from drying out. This will both water the plant and make the leaves look healthier. It’s best to do this in the morning so the leaves can dry before the air becomes too cool at night.
- Use pruning shears to trim the stems whenever they start to look overgrown and intruding on neighboring plants.
- If you are planning to harvest the leaves, its best to cut the upper parts of the stems right before the plant blooms. Dry and store them in an air-tight container.
Yerba Buena Recipes
Here are a few yerba buena recipes!
Yerba Buena Chicken
Enjoy this sweet and savory dish the next time you want to try a new chicken recipe. (4)
- ¼ cup of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of grated orange peel
- 5 tablespoons of vinegar
- ½ cup of yerba buena leaves
- 1 chicken cut into pieces
- 1 cup of orange juice
- Finely chop the mint
- Combine the sugar, orange juice, and grated orange peels
- Soak the mint in the orange juice mix
- Wash and dry the pieces of chicken, then season it
- Pan fry the chicken until golden brown
- Let the excess grease drain off and leave the chicken in the pan
- Boil the vinegar for a few seconds then add to the orange juice mixture
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and let it cook until the chicken is tender
Aqua de Yerba Buena
Relax and make your own version of spa water at home and help aid your digestion. (1)
- Filtered water
- Fresh yerba buena leaves still on the stem
- Place 4 or 5 stems of washed yerba buena in a resealable glass container
- Fill the container with very warm (not boiling/hot) water
- Let the container chill in the fridge
- Serve over ice
- This can be refilled with water twice before needing to replace the leaves.