Habitat & Cultivation:
Sage is native to the Mediterranean rim, predominantly around the Adriatic Sea. It can now naturalized in in Albania, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, U.K. and U.S. It is produced mainly in the southeastern European countries, the cultivation from northern European countries dates back to medieval times and it was introduced to North America during the seventeenth century. The material of commerce comes mainly from southeastern European countries (Albania, Italy, Serbia, Croatia, etc.).
In the first year, harvest sage lightly to ensure that the plant grows to its full potential. After the first year be sure to leave a few stalks so that the plant can rejuvenate. If fully established, one plant can be harvested up to three times in one season. Sage’s flavor is best when fresh, but it can also be stored frozen or dried. To dry this herb, leave the branches in the sun; once dried, remove the leaves and store them in an airtight container. Cut an entire stem if desired, or just pinch a leaf at a time. To give new foliage time to fully mature, leave 2 months between your last big harvest and the first frost of the season. Dry harvested sage by hanging bunches of stems upside-down. Strip the dry leaves from the stem and store in an airtight container. Keep the flowers on the stems to cultivate pretty pods that work well in dried herb arrangements.
Sage acts well on the mucous membrane (Mills & Bone, 2005). For this reason, sage can be used as a mouthwash to help soothe any inflammation in the mouth, gums, and throat (Mills & Bone, 2005). Sage can help treat gingivitis, stomatitis, laryngitis, tonsillitis, and helps with mouth ulcers (Mills & Bone, 2005). When used orally, sage can help with indigestion (Mills & Bone, 2005). Topically, sage can be used in the form of a compress to help heal wounds (Mills & Bone, 2005). Because sage helps decrease sweating, another indication for the use would be for hyperhidrosis, hot flashes, and night sweats (Romm, 2010).
Conditions of excessive wetness or mucous: dyspepsia, pharyngitis, uvulitis, stomatitis, gingivitis, and glossitis . GI upset, flatulence, diarrhea involving mucus discharge. Menopausal hot flashes, night sweats, and estrogenic effect. Infections, notably URI. I imagine it’s the common effect of Lamiaceiae and of sage's specific drying effect. Periodontal health. General tonic, fatigue, nervous exhaustion, immune depletion, poor memory and concentration.
Sage should be avoided during pregnancy (internally) for its stimulating effect on the uterus.
Sage energetic is considered to be a heating herb with pungent. Known to be bitter and astringent (Frawley & Lad, 2001). Sage in creases Pita, and in the same time it decreases Kapha and Vata(Frawley & Lad, 2001).
Preg Cat C. Emmenagogue, unsafe. Estrogenic. Proven harmful fetal effects.
Lactation Cat X. Safe for baby, but anti-galactagogue in therapeutic dose.
(Mills & Bone, 2005, p. 558-9)
dried leaf or infusion
3-12 mL/day of a 1:1
2-4.5 mL/day of a 1:2
liquid extract or tablet, capsule.
At our last onsite, as a class we saged ourselves outside during lunch and before our Midwifery Care final. Our cohort has had a bad run of luck and it was our way of starting fresh. We all held hands and took turns saging all the bad intentions away. I have to say I did feel rejuvenated after the ceremony.
Frawley, D., & Lad, V. (2001). The yoga of herbs. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press
Mills, S. & Bone, K. (2005). The essential guide to herbal safety. United Kingdom: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.
Romm, A. (2010). Botanical Medicine for Women's Health (2nd ed.). St. Louis: Elsevier.
Winston, D. & Maimes, S. (2007). Adaptogens: herbs for strength, stamina, and stress relief. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press.
Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)
Sage (Salvia officinalis)