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Herb Spotlight - Sage

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Family: Lamiaceae

Part Used: Leaf

Flavor/Aroma: Pungent, Bitter

Energetics: Cooling, Drying


Herbal Actions: 

Carminative, Antispasmodic, Antiviral1, Anti Inflammatory, Astringent, Antimicrobial, Anticatarrhal, Neuroprotective3

Overview:

Not many herbs can boast the same level of fame as Sage. There is a rich history of the use of this aromatic herbal in ancient Egyptian, Roman, and Greek pharmacopoeias for a variety of ailments including respiratory infections and infertility, to name a few. For thousands of years Sage has been implemented in both medicinal and ceremonial preparations, but it is time to make a shift as to preserve this delicate species from overharvesting and exploitation, and eventually extinction. Sage is a wonderful botanical remedy that warrants a careful and specifically indicated use when applied therapeutically.

Botany:

Sage, with over 700 known species, generally grows a perennial shrub that can reach heights of about a foot or so high in ideal conditions. It’s leaves are furry in texture and aromatic, and its color is vibrant green on the tops with a greyish underbelly. The flowers express in summer, usually in a purple or blue varieties, are quite fragrant and grow in a stacked pattern.1

Cultivation and Harvesting:

Sage is native to the Medditerranian region of the world, and other parts of Europe, and Asia as well. Its cultivation in some parts of Europe date back to Medieval times, and has been cultivated across much of Europe and parts of Asia since. Sage was introduced to cultivation practices in North America in the seventeenth century. Commercial exploitation and harvesting of White sage (Salvia apiana) has caused a huge disruption in the natural progression of this species, and therefore please use a sustainable practice if you find it necessary to harvest or purchase this botanical. Please read more on the United Plant Savers blog.5

Southern Oregon Cultivation:

Various species of Sage grow in the Rogue Valley. Like many others in the lamiaceae family of plants, Sage produces fragrant flowers that help sustain the delicate ecosystem of the valley. Sage can be found in the wild along rocky hiking trails and along roadsides with good drainage.

History and Folklore:

Sage is a ceremonial herb that holds considerable significance amongst many cultures. It was used most commonly in a tea preparation to soothe sore throats, remedy respiratory infections and coughs, and to support digestive upset. It was found beneficial in supporting menopausal symptoms and to balance fertility. 

Ayurvedic Medicinal Use: Sage is mentioned in the Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia and is used to treat a variety of mouth conditions such as gingivitis and tonsil infections, as well as being utilized as a stomachic and remedy for excessive flatulence.4

American Native Medicinal Use: White sage was predominantly used by tribes for centuries for ceremonial purposes to cleanse the physical and energetic space. It was also considered a powerful aid in protection from evil spirits, and from all who wished them harm. Sage was also used in both birth and death ceremonies. Sacred objects were often purified by the smoke of White sage.5,1,4

Modern Applications:

Sage is indicated to support respiratory conditions such as a troubled cough, sores in the mouth or on the throat, to soothe irritated mucosal tissue, and for general cold and flu presentations. It is commonly used as a smudge, by burning and dispersing the smoke with intention, to clear energetic blockages and dispel of bacteria from the air through the antimicrobial mechanisms of the volatile oils found abundantly in the leaves of Sage. It has been approved by the Commission E for the treatment of excessive perspiration and dyspeptic conditions, and to support the healing of gingivitis, pharyngitis, and stomatitis.4,1

Uses and Preparations:

Dried Herb Tea Preparation: 

1 Tablespoon per cup of hot water.

Using a reusable tea bag or tea ball, immerse the loose dried herbs into boiling water and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes, preferably covered, in order to release the maximum amount of herbal goodness. Some herbal tea can carry a strong flavor. We recommend organic honey as a sweetener which preserves the beneficial herbal compounds. 

Tincture: 

2-4 mL up to 4 times daily.

Some herbal tinctures can have a strong flavor on their own. Adding your tincture to a glass of 6-8oz of water is one easy way to help, should you wish to dilute the flavor.  

Dosage:

It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended dosages are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the dosage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.  

Precautions:

We recommend consulting with your practitioner if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, or if you are using any other medications.

References:

  1. Salvia (U. S. P.)-Salvia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/kings/salvia.html 
  2. Ghorbani, A., & Esmaeilizadeh, M. (2017, January 13). Pharmacological properties of Salvia officinalis and its components. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29034191 
  3. Lopresti, A. L. (2017, March). Salvia (Sage): A Review of its Potential Cognitive-Enhancing and Protective Effects. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27888449 
  4. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cms.herbalgram.org/expandedE/Sageleaf.html 
  5. What is going on with White Sage? (2019, August 5). Retrieved from https://unitedplantsavers.org/what-is-going-on-with-white-sage/

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.