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Yerba Mansa (Anemopsis californica)

Houttuynia californica.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Yerba Mansa
Anemopsis californica

Beads can be made from the rootstock[94, 103, 207].

  • Medicinal Use

    Yerba mansa was widely employed by the native North American Indians to treat a wide variety of complaints[257]. It is little used in modern herbalism.

    The whole plant is analgesic, antiperiodic, antiphlogistic, blood purifier, disinfectant, diuretic, laxative, stomachic and vulnerary. The plant is infused and used to bathe aching muscles and sore feet[1, 46, 61, 71, 94, 103, 207].

    The root is chewed for affections of the mucous membranes[207].

    A tea made from the root is used as a blood purifier and general pain remedy, and as a treatment for pleurisy, gonorrhoea, syphilis and menstrual cramps[207, 257].

    An infusion of the plant is used in the treatment of colds, chest congestion and stomach ulcers[257]. The dried and powdered plant is used as a disinfectant on wounds whilst the fresh moist leaves are used as a poultice or salve on burns, cuts and wounds[257].

    An infusion of the bark is used as a wash for open sores[257].

  • Edible Use

    Root – raw or cooked[257]. An aromatic flavour[94]. The pulverized seeds are made into bread or cooked as a mush[257]. The peppery aromatic root is astringent and is chewed raw for medicinal purposes[207].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the summer. Stand the pots in about 3cm of water and germination should take place in about 5 weeks[274]. Sow stored seed in a cold frame in the spring[111]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. making sure you keep the compost wet. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring[200].
Requires shallow water or a wet muddy site in a humus-rich alkaline medium[1]. Requires a warm position[187]. Plants are hardy to about -5 to -10¡c, and are probably hardiest when the rootstock is submerged[200]. Another report says that they are hardy to about -15¡c[187].
South-western N. America – California, Mexico.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.