Latin Name: Salvia officinalis
Family: Lamiaceae (mint)
Description: Sage is an easy-to-grow perennial plant. It grows well in full sunshine, in warm to hot conditions, and in well-drained soil. Older plants can get leggy and woody, so the old growth should be cut back each spring before new growth begins.
Parts Used: Leaves, harvested at any point during the growing season
Plant Properties: Carminative, antispasmodic, antiseptic, astringent, antifungal, anhidrotic
Uses: Sage contains antioxidant enzymes that makes it a powerful herb for people with conditions caused by or worsened by inflammation. It also contains rosmarinic acid, also found in the herb rosemary, which enhances memory. Sage is commonly used to eliminate an abundance of moisture. For example, mothers can use sage to dry up milk production. Colds with excessive mucus will be relieved with the use of sage. Menopausal hot flashes may respond to a sage tea or tincture.
The antifungal properties of sage make it useful in homemade remedies that solve problems due to dampness, sweat, and fungus. An infused vinegar can be used on oily skin, as a hair rinse for oily hair, and to dry up oozing poison ivy or oak on the skin.
Tea – 2 tsps of dried sage (or 5-6 fresh leaves) steeped for at least 5 minutes in 1 cup of boiling water. Remove sage, add juice from ½ lemon, and honey to taste. This tea is perfect for a sore, scratchy throat, or when you feel like you are coming down with something.
First Aid Tea – Make a strong sage tea (steeped about an hour), strain the tea. Soak any areas with minor cuts or scrapes in this tea to help disinfect the cut and heal the skin.
Sage skin spray – Combine sage leaves with apple cider vinegar. You can also add equal parts of plantain leaves and/or yarrow flowers and leaves. Combine herb(s) in a jar, add apple cider vinegar to cover and allow to steep for a month. Strain into a spray bottle and use all summer long on rashes from plants, bug bites, and other summer skin irritations.
Sage Mouth/Throat Spray – Pour 1 cup boiling water over sage, cover and steep for 30 minutes. Strain. Drink ¼ cup of tea. Then combine ¾ cup of tea with ¼ cup brandy or vodka. Add 1-2 drops peppermint essential oil and add 1 tablespoon of honey for its soothing properties. Store in a bottle with a spray top. Spray directly into your mouth as often as needed.