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Sage - the powerful beauty




Herbal Properties of Sage

Antispasmodic - relaxes muscles and muscle spasms- thus why beneficial in culinary

Astringent - has a constrictive and binding effect- thus why useful in herbal infusions (vinegar, oil, alcohol)

Carminative - reduces gas in digestion

Nervine - releases nervous tension

Expectorant - expels mucus from lungs and cavities

Mild stimulant - increases energy, drives circulation, breaks up obstructions and warms the body



Traditional Herbal Uses of Sage

In herbal medicine sage has been traditionally used for treating the following:

  • Excessive perspiration, night sweats, clearing discharge.

  • Halting/drying up breast milk production when taken in high does on it's own. E.g cold strong tea every few hours for continual days.

  • Nourishment after a bout of sickness, diarrhea, sinus congestion, bladder infections.

  • Antiinflammatory for general conditions of pain and injury.

  • Gargled for throat conditions, mouth ulcers, gum infections.

  • A strong tea is effective for short acute situations otherwise it is blended with other herbs for use as a nourisher.

  • Can be soothing for hormones, such as PMS and menopause.

  • Culinary- general use of sage is for heavy robust flavours- such as pot roasts, creamy pasta dishes, and pork.

  • Infusions- I commonly use sage in our vinegar infusion for both our cleaning solution and topical herbal toner. We have also used sage in our oil infusions and in soap (like our Pumice Rock w/ Sage).


Burning Sage

Traditionally sage has been burned for spiritual benefit, including clearing negative energy and spirits. The smoke has 'renewing' effects. We commonly burn sage at home to refresh the air, when company comes and goes, and especially if someone has been sick.


During my Aboriginal studies class in university, we would begin each class with a "smudging ceremony". Where our professor would sing alongside the beat of his drum and we would have someone walk around the class with burning sage. Each person would take a turn and wash the smoke over their head, as if to have a fresh start in the class.


To roll sage at home

To do this, I harvest the tops of the sage plant. I bring my index and thumb to touch and cup the rest of my hand down (as if to be holding an ice cream cone). In a V position, I layer the tops of the sage plant, biggest leaves at the bottom. You'll notice below, I sometimes fold in flowers, like lavender, or sprigs of rosemary or thyme for pops of colour and scent when burning.


Once I have the sage rolled to a nice length, I wrap it, around and around, with a thin piece of string from my sewing kit. This holds it in place while it dries.


To dry the wrap, place it in a well ventilated area, such as beside a window, but ideally not in direct sunlight.





To burn sage at home

The same way as you would burn incense. Light the end of your sage, allow the plant to ignite, get hot and then gently blow it out- but not entirely, ember should still be there. This allows for smoke to continue. Walk this around your house, waving the smoke to clear the air. Leave the burning sage in a dish- such as with crystals, on an altar, etc. whatever you choose.




Grow sage at home

A very low maintenance perennial herb to grow in full sun. Our sage plant withstands both extremely hot droughts, without wilting, when the rest of the garden is, and it is one of the heartiest plants into the cool autumn temperatures.


I would highly recommend growing sage both for the visual, beautiful purple, and for herbal use! On top of that, bees LOVE it! Our sage plant is usually covered in honey bees!




Mint, Sage and Nettle hanging to dry

Thank you for reading,

Samantha



DISCLAIMER: Please note the NIH herbal encyclopedia is created to share the herbal benefits and notes through personal experience working with plants in the NIH garden and in the wild. Herbal knowledge shared here is referenced by various herbal texts in the NIH library. Any information gathered from our herbal blog posts should be utilized at your own risk. If you have medical conditions, are taking medication or are unsure of your health diagnosis, please speak with a physician or medical professional about the use of herbs.

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