This is one of my favorite herbs for transformation and support. Historically, yerba santa had three primary uses: treatment of lung ailments, treatment of alcoholism/drug dependency, and energetically supporting Phoenix-like transformations...helping us rise from our ashes.
The use of yerba santa for lung health is well-documented, perhaps most famously for treating tuberculosis, an infection that is hard to treat because it becomes walled off, seemingly separate from the body and its immune defenses. It has also been used to treat bronchitis, asthma, inflammation, excess secretions, and infections. I use it when the cold, damp weather descends on Portland, and I get my first cold of the season. It gives me a feeling of being "evergreen" inside and lifts my spirits a bit too.
With alcoholic/drug dependency, folx are often self-medicating to separate themselves from emotions. Yerba Santa is great for reminding you of your inner light and affirming that you do have it in you to get through stressful times without drugs or alcohol. Similarly, when we are having difficulty knowing how to integrate traumatic experiences, Yerba Santa can help shift that pattern to one of centering and empowerment. Giving up dependencies and coping mechanisms can lead us to feel confident in our resiliency and ability to live with integrity.
Overall, Yerba Santa is an herb that is good at getting through walls--walled off emotions and trauma, walled off infections, etc. It has a way of reminding you that you can deal with things that seem to be too much. You can use these personal trials (whether physical or emotional) as a catalyst to rise even higher than you have before. I put it in the True to You blend to help support lung health and to help people with a dependence on substances. Often these are folx who don't smoke unless they are drinking or doing other drugs, but when they do, they smoke a lot. You can try it as a tea, tincture, smudge, chew, (the leaves have a bubble gum aftertaste), flower essence, or smoking herb.*
Long story short, Yerba Santa says, "You got this!"