Yerba Buena is an important medicinal plant. Primarily a pain reliever, it is also used in gaseous distention and mouthwash.
The efficiency and safety of Yerba Buena have been proven through scientific research and clinical trials. In fact, dried Yerba Buena leaves have been manufactured into tablet form by Department of Science and technology through the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development. The Department of Health will distribute these in their clinics and hospitals as soon as their own pilot plants are in operation.
You can, however, make Yerba Buena preparations yourself in your own home. Just follow the simple directions outlined here on the proper use of nature’s medicinal plants. It’s truly a healthful and scientific way to treat ailments.
To have a ready supply of Yerba Buena when you need it, this page also tells you how to cultivate it in your backyard.
You will have to know also that Yerba Buena is a creeping herb that rises to only 20 centimeters (or 8 inches) from the ground. Its stems are fleshly or
Non-woody and the leaves are coarse. This plant is also strongly aromatic.
Take note, however, that there is another creeping plant that is also called Yerba Buena. Known scientifically as Mentha arvenis L. and also commonly as Poleo or Poliyo in some places, this non-medicinal Yerba Buena has narrower leaves and bears plae lilac flowers, while the medicinal Yerba Buena does not flower in the Philippines.
Now that you can recognize Yerba Buena, let’s know its medicinal uses. Yerba Buena is indicated or used primarily as pain reliever. The medicinal term for pain reliever is analgesic. As analgesic, Yerba Buena is effective for headache, toothache, and pains caused by arthritis.
But Yerba Buena has other medicinal uses too, called its secondary indications. It is also used for gaseous distention and a mouthwash.
At the outset be reminded that aches and pains are sometimes only symptoms of other ailments. For this reason, it is always for our good that you consult a physician when the ache or pain is not relieved after appropriate use of the herbal medicine.
The procedure for using Yerba Buena as pain reliever or analgesic is the same whether it’s for headache, toothache, or arthritis. Just follow the steps for preparing the decoction.
The amount of leaves you should use differs depending on whether the leaves are dried or fresh and on how old the patient is. Fresh leaves are washed first and then chopped coarsely, while air-dried leaves are crushed.
After you have identified how much leaves to use, boil the leaves in Two glasses of water for at least 15 minutes. This boiled mixture is called “decoction”. Divide the decoction into two parts and take one part every three hours.
There are important rules to follow when boiling the leave in water. Observe correctly the following:
For convenience, you may prepare enough decoctions that you can use for several days. Simply adjust the amount of leaves to use according to the amount of water you will boil. When kept in thermo pot the decoction will last for three days without losing its efficacy. When kept in refrigerator the decoction will last up to four days without losing its efficacy. Keep in mind, however, that whether kept in thermo pot or refrigerated the decoction must not be taken anymore when its color has changed or when it has grown molds or fungus.
If the pain caused by headache, toothache, or arthritis is moderate and localized you may choose to just apply fresh Yerba Buena leaves on the affected part as in the following:
Yerba Buena leaves may be applied locally when pain is moderate. Fresh leaves are heated, then pounded and applied on affected body part.
Headache: If you have headache, it is best to rest in a quit, cool, and dimly-lighted room. A cold pack or massage on the forehead and nape also soothes the pain.
If the headache accompanies fever or cold, appropriate therapy for the fever or cold must be taken concurrently.
To use Yerba Buena for headache, simply heat enough fresh over fire until slightly wilted. Then pound the leaves a little and place on the forehead and temples. You may use a cloth bandage to keep the leaves in place. Change the dressing every four hours as needed. In case the headache is not relieved after one day, it is a must that you see a physician.
Toothache is usually caused by tooth cavity or gum infection. To relieve toothache using Yerba Buena wet a small piece of cotton ball with juice extracted from pounded fresh Yerba Buena leaves and then place on the aching tooth.
A word of advice is in order here. It is best for you to see a dentist whether your toothache is relieved or not. Remember that only a dentist can determine the cause of your toothache and prescribe appropriate measures to your teeth and gum.
Arthritis affects body joints, as those in the fingers, wrist, knee, etc…
There is yet no cure for arthritis, but in can be made less painful by resting, and placing compress on the affected joints. Or you can use Lagundi Leaves to relieve the pain. Simply heat enough fresh leaves (including stems and petioles) over a fire, then pound, and apply on the affected joints while still warm. Apply bandage to keep the leaves in place. Change the dressing every four hours as needed. If it didn’t work, you may take two aspirin don’t have peptic ulcer) four to six times day. Should you feel symptoms of overdose, like ringing in the ears or abnormal pain, reduce dosage to 1 tablet four to six times a day. When arthritis is accompanied by fever, sore throat, or sandy urine, and when the joints are red, warm, and tender, you have to consult a physician.
Gaseous distention is caused by excessive air in the stomach. Excessive air in the stomach is in turn produced by swallowing of air, indigestion, or eating too much gas-forming foods like root crops and some fruits.
For these simple cases of gaseous distention, follow the following steps in preparing boiled mixture of Yerba Buena.
1. Prepare 1 table spoon crushed dried or chopped fresh Yerba Buena leaves.
2. Boil the leaves in 1 glass of water for at least 15 minutes.
3. Strain and drink the boiled mixture while lukewarm.
For children, follow the steps above but reduce the amount of leaves to only ½ tablespoon.
Aside from being medicinal, Yerba Buena is also a mouthwash. Now here’s a more natural way to keep your breath fresh and your mouth clean. To prepare a Yerba Buena mouthwash, soak 2 tablespoonfuls or chopped fresh leaves in a glass of water for 30 minutes. Strain and use a mouthwash.
Now that you have known the medicinal uses of Yerba Buena, you may want to keep some plants for your use. Here are some helpful tips to guide you.
Yerba Buena is best propagated using terminal stem cuttings. Cut the top end of the mature stem consisting of three to four pair of leaves, maintaining the length of 10 to 15 centimeters ( 4 to inches ), and plant them in containers or directly in plots. They will grow roots in a week’s time. The cuttings, if planted in containers, may be transplanted to plots two weeks after planning. Yerba Buena may also b planted near or between tall plants as it can tolerate partial shading.
You will have to water newly planted cuttings very often for the first three days so they do not wilt.
As with other plants, remove weeds regularly. Remove also leaves and branches attacked by pest and disease so they do not spread to the whole plant. You may also apply fertilizer or compost if you wish.
But avoid using chemical pesticides because they might leave poison on the plants. Remember that you planted Yerba Buena for its medical use, and that you intend to take boiled mixture of its leaves later on.
It is best to harvest mature and healthy leaves. Make sure, though, that the plant is left with enough leaves to survive. If you wish, you may harvest excess leaves and air-dry them for storing. Air –drying takes about four days on warm weather or about two weeks during the rainy season. Leaves are sufficiently dry if they crumble when crushed with fingers. Dried leaves should be sealed in plastic bag or kept in covered tinted glass jar. Keep leaves in cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight to extend their storage life.