Do It Your self Herbal Medicine
PART 2. THE HERBS
While there are many types of sage, Salvia officinalis is the most useful variety for your herbal medicine kit. Although there are many different types of sage within the same family, they have different benefits and uses. This particular sage—aka “common sage”—is widely used in aromatherapy as well as for wounds, infections, and cleaning solutions due to its antibacterial compounds.
Did You Know?
Sage has been present as a culinary herb for two thousand years. In ancient Greek and Roman times, royalty downed countless cups of sage tea believing it was a fountain of youth of sorts. During that same time, the herb was used both as a meat preservative and a memory booster. Later it was used for everything from snake bites to PMS to intestinal worms. In fact, sage was used during the Black Death to fight against the disease. Seems that these ancient civilizations were onto something. Research has since shown the herb to improve memory and fight against Alzheimer’s disease.
MEDICINAL: Treats menstrual cramps, asthma, diarrhea, bloating, heartburn, depression, memory loss, gas, over-sweating, cold sores, gum disease, memory loss, menopause symptoms, Alzheimer’s disease.
COSMETIC: Refreshes scalp, masks gray hair, strengthens and shines hair; deodorizes teeth and body.
•Apply as a poultice, ointment, tonic, or tincture
•Drink as a tea or tonic
•Eat in food
•Use as a spray
Sage contains the same active ingredient as in absinthe—thujone—so too much can be toxic. Experts suggest taking no more than 15 grams of leaves per dose. Nursing mothers should also avoid the herb as it can lower the benefits of breast milk.
Locating & Growing
This beautiful herb thrives in full sun and well-drained soils (no wet dirt for this guy). It grows best in Zones 4 to 8, blooms in June, and can handle drought conditions and rocky soil.