Sage / Sauge
Salvia officinalis (Lamiaciae) / Sage is also known as garden sage, red sage, broad-leaved sage and white sage.
Parts used: The herb consists of the top 30% of the aerial parts of the plant picked as its flowers begin to open from mid June to mid July.
Habitat: Perennial. This plant is not native to North America but originated in the Mediterranean. In Ontario it can be treated as an annual or as a tender perennial. Typically only found in gardens. As a perennial the plant tends to become woody and scraggly after 3-4 years. The plant thrives in warm sunny locations with good drainage.
Properties: Antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antisecretory, carminative, decongestant, emmenagogue, and febrifuge.
Uses: Sage has been known and lauded for centuries for both its medicinal and culinary uses. Like many of the other aromatic carminatives in the mint family sage is good for inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract. Good for dyspepsia, gas, bloating, and flatulence. It is an excellent antimicrobial – most potent against bacteria and with a particular action upon Staphylococus Aureus infections. A gargle can be made for use on sore throats, laryngitis, mouth ulcers, and tonsillitis. Sage has a pronounced action on the endocrine system and can be used to balance the system. It is useful to treat menopausal symptoms – especially hot flashes. A very drying herb, it can be used to help with excessive perspiration and to dry up a nursing mother’s milk supply. For wounds, sores, and abscesses it makes an excellent poultice or compress. A strong sage tea can be applied daily to help darken grey hair. As a strong stimulating emmenagogue it can be used to treat amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, and suppressed or delayed periods. Sage is also a great tonic for the elderly or those convalescing from illness. It improves memory function.
Preparation/Dosage: Fresh or dried tea or tincture.
Safety Considerations: Contains thujone – a neurotoxin with narcotic properties. In sufficient quantities thujone can cause nausea, tremors, vomiting, and restlessness. Long-term use can lead to live and kidney damage. Not for use during pregnancy or during lactation. Use in formulations. Continuous usage should not exceed 1-2 months.