Thursday, May 08, 2008

Spice : Sage

Latin Name: Salvia officinalis

Alternate Names: Garden Sage, Red Sage, Shu-wei-tsao (Chinese), Dalmation Sage


Parts Used: Above ground portion.

Properties: Anaphrodisiac, Antifungal, Antigalactagogue, Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Antisudorific, Aromatic, Astringent, Cerebral Tonic, Carminative, Choleretic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Diaphoretic, Hypoglycemic, Nervine, Phytoestrogenic, Rejuvenative, Tonic, Vermifuge.

Internal Uses: Anxiety, Blood Clots, Candida, Colds, Congestion, Cystitis, Depression, Diabetes, Diarrhea, Dysmenorrhea, Dyspepsia, Fever, Flatulence, Flu, Hot Flashes, Indigestion, Insomnia, Laryngitis, Lymphatic Congestion, Memory Loss, Menopause, Migraine, Night Sweats, Profuse Perspiration, Rheumatism, Spermatorrhea, Staphylococcus, Worms

Internal Applications: Tea, Tincture,Capsules.

Sage tends to have a drying effect and has even been used for excessive saliva production in those with Parkinson's Disease. It also helps women who have excessive menses.

Topical Uses: Asthma, Dandruff, Eczema, Gingivitis, Gray Hair, Insect Bites, Laryngitis, Leukorrhea, Mouth Sores, Oily Scalp, Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Psoriasis, Sore Throat, Tonsillitis, Wounds

Topical Applications: Poultice of fresh leaves for insect bites and wounds. Gargle for mouth sores, laryngitis, sore throat, sore gums and tonsillitis. Wash for eczema, poison ivy or oak and psoriasis. Hair rinse for dandruff and oily scalp, and to darken gray hair. Douche for leukorrhea. Facial steam, breath freshening toothpaste ingredient. Fresh leaves are rubbed on teeth as a whitening agent. Used in deodorants as an antiperspirant. Dried herb is burned for purification of negative energy. Leaves have traditionally been smoked to relieve asthma. It helps promote mental alertness just by smelling the leaves and has long been used by students cramming for tests.

Culinary uses: Improves the digestion of fatty foods and acts as a natural preservative. Add Sage leaves sparingly to salads, beans, breads, stuffing, soups, stews, cheese dishes, fish and meat dishes. One can make Sage vinegar, Sage butter and Sage wine. Leaves and flowers can be candied.

Energetics: Pungent, Warm, Dry.

Chemical Constituents: Essential oil (thujone, borneol, cineol, camphor, pinene), bitter principle (picrosalvine), flavonoids, tannin, phenolic acid (rosmarinic, caffeic, labiatic), phytoestrogens, resin.

Contraindications: Avoid large doses during pregnancy or for extended periods. Nursing mothers should avoid large doses as it can dry up breast milk. Those with epilepsy may be adversely affected by the thujone content and should avoid large doses of Sage.

Comments: The name Sage is derived from the Latin salvere, meaning 'to be in good health'. An ancient proverb is 'Cur moriatur homo cui Salvia cresit in horto?' translated as 'Why should a man die who has Sage in his garden?' Growing Sage in the Medieval garden was a sign of prosperity. It was also a sign that if the plant flourished, the woman ruled the house.

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