Yerba mansa, translated from Spanish as “the calming herb,” could have health benefits that mirror those of Echinacea and Goldenseal. Used for centuries by native tribes to cure all ranges of illness, this herb is finally being noticed by scientists at New Mexico State University. The plant can be grown in all types of soil, and requires no more water than a typical crop, making it a prime harvest for New Mexico farmers to grow in the usually arid climate. But, this herb faces the same threat as many other medicinal supplements, extinction. With the population growth of New Mexico on the rise, and cities and homes following to meet their needs, habitats for these plants are shrinking fast. And, as the healing qualities of the plant are advertised and become in demand, yerba mansa runs the risk of being over harvested. Although, there is light at the end of the tunnel, the herb has been placed on the “to watch” list by US Plant Savers, an organization striving to protect herbs used as folk remedies and New Mexico State University’s Charles Martin has started a plot of land to grow yerba mansa in hopes of increasing its population.Thus, people are working hard to help the survival of yerba mansa, many in hopes it will return the favor and provide us with herbal relief. (Dabovich, USA Today, 7/25/08)

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