In the Spanish language, Yerba Buena means good herb. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Yerba Buena is variant of spearmint native to the west coast of North America and more specifically the California coast. This herb is very aromatic, with both medicinal and culinary properties which make Yerba Buena a very versatile plant!
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Yerba Buena has a very strong minty, herb-like smell whose tincture of essential oil (the a purified form of a plant’s natural oil) can be used in aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a technique that uses the sense of smell to help a person relax. According to the Anesthesia and Analgesia Journal, the usage of Yerba Buena spearmint aromatherapy is especially beneficial in reducing nausea when recovering from anesthesia used during surgery.
If you ever feel bloated after eating a massive bean and cheese burrito, you may benefit from the healing properties of Yerba Buena. Yerba Buena can be made into an essential oil or be boiled in water to make a tea that, according to BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine Journal, can help alleviate indigestion or a gassy stomach. Likewise, Yerba Buena can be chewed on like gum to leave you feeling minty fresh after a meal that might not have been so forgiving for your breath.
Image source: Brett Stevens
Aside from the medicinal properties, Yerba Buena is also an herb frequently used in Latin American or Spanish cuisine. Foods like Spanish meatballs are given a hint of minty goodness by adding a dash of Yerba Buena to the meat.
As you can see Yerba Buena has a multitude of uses. Now that you know a little more about it, maybe you will be inspired to try it in one of its many forms!
Feature Image Source: Martin Fisch