Ethnobotany is a promising way of discovering new drugs, drawing on the knowledge of generations of traditional healers. The healing qualities of Yerba Santa (Eriodictyon crassifolium) have been recognized for hundreds of years by Chumash Indians and Spanish missionaries, so much so that they came to call it “holy herb”. We decided to determine the efficacy of Yerba Santa by extracting potentially bioactive molecules in methanol and then using this extract to treat scales from goldfish (Carassius auratus) to test the hypothesis that the Yerba Santa extract would alter the growth of fibroblasts. Compared to scales treated with only modified PBS, scales treated with Yerba Santa extract exhibited greater areas of cell growth; the average growth area for the PBS control was 0.3701mm2 compared to 4.1118 mm2 for the Yerba Santa extract. The p value for this was 0.004711 leading us to believe that this result is highly significant; therefore we accepted our hypothesis and concluded that the Yerba Santa promoted fibroblast growth.
Dobbins, Carlie F.; Sutherland, Paige A.; and Woods, Emily A., "Ethnobotanical Promotion of Fibroblast Growth Using Yerba Santa Extract" (2014). Pepperdine University, Featured Research. Paper 116.