Sage is drying and cooling. It is used in menopause to relieve night sweats and other uncomfortable symptoms. Leaves may be used for this purpose although sage root is sometimes added for extra strength. Sage may also be given to nursing mothers to help wean babies -- sage helps decrease milk flow.
Sage grows in a pot on Payne Mountain Farms - Photo by Janice Boling
Sage is used in the treatment of sore throat, tonsillitis, mouth ulcers, gum disease, laryngitis, coughs, measles, headache, bruises, and menopausal problems. It is astringent and antiseptic. Sage also relaxes the peripheral blood vessels, reduces perspiration, and reduces salivation. It is a uterine stimulant, promotes bile flow, and stimulates the circulatory system. Sage is also a familiar culinary ingredient in sausages, stuffings, and dressings.
As an herbal remedy, sage is used in teas, tonics, and gargles. Combine a handful of sage leaves, two cups of boiling water, two tablespoons of malt vinegar, and one teaspoon of honey. Steep the ingredients for thirty minutes and then strain. Take a teaspoon three or four times a day for sore throat or use as a gargle. This tonic is also good for gum disease and mouth sores.
Sage is also used on the scalp and hair where it conditions and restores shine. Sage helps stop dandruff and relieves dry, itchy scalp. Use as a rinse after shampooing. Combine with rosemary for best results.
Sage is associated with longevity and increased memory. It is often used as a remedy for forgetfulness and confusion in the elderly. Use in tea with honey and lemon.
Sage can be used in compresses to relieve bruising. Apply to injured area several times a day. Add a little vinegar for best results. Sage may also be used on wounds to prevent bacterial infection.
Make a strong tea and put in a spray bottle. Apply liberally and often when in mosquito infested areas. For extra strength, add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Sage essential oil can also be added to mixture.
The Latin name for sage, salvia, means “to heal". Native Americans use sage in smudge sticks to purify and cleanse. Smudge sticks are bundles of dried herbs which are used much like incense. One end of a smudge stick is lit and then blown out, so that it produces a good amount of smoke. For best results, add lavender, sweet grass, or cedar.
Sage is a hardy perennial that grows up to three feet tall. The plant has woody stems, grayish colored leaves, and small purple flowers. There are many varieties to choose from including dwarf, golden, pineapple, and variegated. Sage plants need full sun and grow best in poor, well drained soil. Propagate by seeds, stem cuttings, or layering. Harvest in the summer and dry for winter use
* Sage may increase the sedative effect of prescription and over the counter drugs. Avoid large doses in pregnancy as it may cause miscarriage. Sage has been known to trigger epileptic seizures. Do not use in therapeutic amounts if you are hypoglycemic or undergoing anticonvulsant therapy. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking other medicines.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
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