Sage: More Than Just Poultry Stuffing
The wise gardener who planted salvia officinalis has an abundance of sage for valuable medicinal use. Prepared as an infusion (1 tsp herb steeped 15-30 minutes in a covered cup of boiled water), sage is helpful in relieving tension headaches, stomach cramps, flatulence and dyspepsia. Known as a diaphoretic herb, hot sage tea will increase the flow of bodily fluids (e.g. perspiration and delayed periods) and decrease the flow when taken cold. Colds, flu, and bronchial afflictions benefit from hot sage’s ability to expectorate and increase sweating and elimination of toxins. Cold sage tea arrests diarrhea and night sweats and can be used to assist in the weaning process when it is time to stem the flow of milk in a nursing mother. Sage is to be avoided during pregnancy as it can stimulate uterine contractions.
As a rinse, sage’s antiseptic properties help heal sore throat, inflamed tongue and mouth ulcers. Those sporting braces can benefit from sage’s ability to astringe and heal irritated tissue.
Aromatically, sage helps to clear the sinuses and lungs: the inhaled infusion (a towel tented to direct the vapors is helpful); strained sage tea in the vaporizer; sage tea added to the bath.
A sage compress speeds the healing of cuts, wounds, herpes sores, and varicose veins. Poured over the hair after shampooing, sage tea is helpful in reducing dandruff.
Sage was commonly used by Native Americans to clear the energy field. The dried leaves were rolled into cylinders and tied with string. The smoke from the ignited smudge sticks was credited with clearing negative vibrations.
Considering the varied medicinal uses of common sage, it is easy to understand the ancient proverb: “Why should a man die if he has sage flourishing in his garden?”