Herbs & Plants
Of The Southwest
Latin Name: Anemopsis californica Common Names: Lizard Tail, Swamp Root
For the indigenous people of the Southwest and Mexico, Yerba Mansa has been commonly used as a medicine. Yerba Mansa is found in stands in areas of boggy swamps and marshes, along rivers like the Colorado and down into areas in Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico. It is a low growing plant with rounded, somewhat succulent leaves from 3" to 6" long, growing from the base. The flowers resemble coneflowers, but with white spikes and white bracts at the base. The plant is highly aromatic, similar to Eucalyptus. In the fall, the plant turns brick red.
Yerba Mansa has been used for centuries for poorly healing infections of the mouth, such as gum, mouth and throat sores; intestinal problems such as stomach and duodendal ulcers; urinary tract infections; and is useful for arthritis because it stimulates the excretion of uric acid and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It is anti bacterial and antifungal, so it is useful for skin infections also. The roots are gathered in the fall and winter, when the foliage has died back. Wash them well and allow to dry whole for several weeks, then slice into sections and allow it to finish drying. When totally dry (take care not to allow them to mold), grind to powder to mix with water for tea or antiseptic washes. Available in capsule form.
Another fairly benign plant, although individual reactions can vary. The chemical constituents are methyleugenol, esdragole, thymol methylether, linalool, p-cymene, and asarinin.
Be sure of the identity of the plant before you use it. If a preparation makes you sick or gives you a rash, don't use it, and throw it away! If your condition does not improve, see your doctor. Be sure to let your physician know EVERYTHING that you are taking!