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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.

SageClary SagePurple SageWild Meadow Sage

(Salvia officinalis)
Also see: Sage Varieties Chart

CAUTION! Avoid during pregnancy as essential oil contains thujone can induce abortion in large amounts.

CONTAINS: Thujone (antiseptic), camphor (antibacterial), phenolic acids (anti-bacterial), and tannins (astringent).

PROPAGATION: By seed, cuttings of new firm growth (or a slip with a heel) and layering. Perennial.
NEEDS: Full sun and moderately rich soil. Prune heavily in spring and keep dead leaves picked up for good aeration.
HARVEST: Late summer or before bloom.

Antiseptic, antibacterial, astringent, anti-inflammatory.
Acts directly through the tissue of the brain and eye to support memory and thinking.
Has estrogenic properties; lowers blood sugar; is anti-sudorific (checks sweating).
Estrogenic substances can help alleviate certain female disorders.
Infusion has been used as gargle for sore throat, mouth irritations and to strengthen gums.
Herbal bath aids stiff muscles and achy joints.
Has been used for liver and gall bladder complaints.
Has been used for problems associated with the female genitals.
Has been used for general weakness and hypotension
Has been used to settle stomach, reduce sweating, and to diminish milk flow when mother is weaning baby
Volatile oils in the plant soothe mucous membranes.
Relieves flatulence.
Has been used as an aid to mental alertness.
Has been used for acne.

INFUSION #1 = 1/2 oz. chopped fresh leaves, 1 oz. of sugar, juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tsp grated lemon rind; pour boiling water over and allow to steep for 30 minutes; strain.

INFUSION #2 = 1 pint boiling water poured over a handful of sage leaves; when moderately cool add a little vinegar and honey; take 1 tsp at a time and as a gargle.

Used as a poultry seasoning most notably.
Deep fry sprigs and use as a garnish.
As a tea: a little sage, a little balm, a slice of lemon, a bit of sugar, 1 glass white wine; pour on these 2 qts. of boiling water; cover and drink when thirsty (The New Art of Cookery - 1788 by Richard Brigg.

Sage stimulates skin. Used in skin lotions.
In herbal baths it is mixed with lavender for stimulation.
In the foot bath it stimulates and relieves aches.
A cellular stimlant.
Regulates seborrhea, eczema, wrinkles, oily hair and hair thinning.
A rinse for brunettes.
Aftershave and skin lotion.
In the steam facial for oily skin.
Used in soaps, perfumes and cosmetics.

AFTERSHAVE or ASTRINGENT = 1/4 oz. dry sage or 1/2 C. fresh, 1/4 oz dry lavender flowers, 1/2 C. witch hazel, 2 to 3 tsp cider vinegar. Place herbs in sterile jar; add witch hazel and vinegar; cap jar and shake; steep 1 week shaking daily; strain, bottle, label and refrigerate. For a more stimulating mix, substitute 1/4 oz dry rosemary for the lavender. For a milder mix substitute 1/4 oz. chamomile for the lavender. You might also wish to add clary sage to this for a perfume note.

Oil used for massage, bath, facial, mask, compress, lotion, and body wraps. Used as a nervous tonic aroma, for low energy, neurasthenia, and vertigo.

Used for herb wreaths and in potpourris and sachets.

Tops yield yellow-buff with alum mordant; yellow with chrome mordant; green-gray with iron mordant.

Fresh sage repels cabbage moths, carrot fly and ticks.

Has antibacterial properties and is combined with rosemary to act as a preservative.

Cabbage, carrots and rosemary.

Long life/Wisdom


Black Bush [C](Salvia mellifera)hardy perennial
Black Bush, Variegated [C](S. mellifera 'Variegata')hardy perennial
Broad-Leaf [C](Salvia off.'Berggartenii')hardy perennial
Clary Sage [M](S. sclarea)biennial (not reliably hardy in the north)
Clary, Turkestan [M](S. Sclarea turkestaniana)perennial
Divinorum aka Oaxacan Medicinal Sage [M] (Salvia divinorum)tender perennial
Fruit-scented [C](Salvia Dorisiana)tender perennial
Garden/Common [M,C](Salvia officinalis)hardy perennial
Garden, Dwarf [C](S. off. 'Nana')hardy perennial
Garden, Pink [C](S. off. ssp)hardy perennial
Garden, White [C](S. off. 'Alba')hardy perennial
Giant [M,C](S. off. 'Holt's Mammoth')hardy perennial
Golden Variegated [C](S. officinalis 'Icterina')half hardy perennial
Golden Variegated, Reverse color [C] (S. off. 'Icterina' ssp)half hardy perennial
Greek aka Triloba Sage [M](Salvia fruticosa)tender perennial
Lyreleaf aka Wild Meadow akaCancerweed [M](S. lyrata)perennial
Pineapple [C](Salvia elegans)tender perennial
Purple aka Red [M, C](S. off. 'Purpurascens')hardy perennial with protection
Silver-leaf [C](S. off. x Fruticosa)tender perennial
Tricolor [C] (S. off. 'Tricolor')tender perennial
Verbenaca [M](S. Verbenaca)tender perennial

(Salvia sclarea)

PROPAGATION: By seed and by division. Biennial which is not reliably hardy in the north.
NEEDS: Full sun and average soil. Does well in sandy loam.
HARVEST: Leaves and seeds. Grown commercially for the essential oil or for use as a flavoring, scent or fixative.

Tea from the leaves has been used to aid digestion.
EYE LOTION = Soak about 6 seeds in warm distilled water (or boiled water); let seeds swell till mucilaginous; carefully introduce into corner of eye on cotton tip; particles of grit adhere making them easy to remove.
COMPRESS for BOILS = Steep 2 oz. dried leaves in 1 pint of vinegar for 2 weeks; apply as compress for boils.

Leaves used as a seasoning same as sage. Flowers used as a garnish. Tea made from the leaves.

Infusion is used to freshen skin.

Scent resembles balsam (to some noses). Used in sachets and potpourri. Blends well with lavender and beebalm.

a.k.a Red Sage
(Salvia officinalis 'Purpurescens')

Considered by herbalists to be a superior medicinal sage. Same uses as Salvia officinalis.

a.k.a Cancerweed
(Salvia lyrata)

Used by Native Americans in the treatment of cancer.

©2001 by Ernestina Parziale, CH