Hoja santa, yerba santa, hierba santa, Mexican pepperleaf, acuyo, tlanepa, anisillo, root beer plant, Vera Cruz pepper and sacred pepper, is an aromatic herb with a heart-shaped, velvety leaf which grows in tropic Mesoamerica.
It is often used in Mexican cuisine in tamales, fish or meat wrapped in its fragrant leaves for cooking, and as an essential ingredient in mole verde, a green sauce originally from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. It is also used to flavor eggs and soups like pozole. In Central Mexico, it is used to flavor chocolate drinks. In southeastern Mexico, a green liquor called ‘verdín is made from hoja santa. It is also used for tea.