The word Sage literally means ‘a profoundly wise (wo)man’ and after reading this piece one easily understands why this exact name was given to this specific herb. It is clever indeed! In this short piece I present some background information as well as a few easy to make medicinal ‘home apothecary style’ recipes. Enjoy!
To a multitude of ancient tribes, the significance of wise Sage, is unprecedented. The Native American Indians consider is most sacred and have been using it for thousands of years for both medicinal as well as ceremonial purposes. According to their lore Sage cleanses body, mind, spirit and home. The traditional way to do this is by use of a smudge stick, containing firmly pressed sage leaves. Burning this stick relieves ‘the smudger’ from worries. It opens their mind and clears negative thoughts and feelings. Sage smudge sticks are used to mark the transition from one period to another, for example when moving home, celebrating marriage or when a baby is born. Rituals like these bring awareness, gratitude, rootedness and actuality to our lives. They increase our ability to cope with loss and the emotions that come with that, like anxiety and grief. For those interested to try it out: here is a recipe for making your very own Sage smudge stick. Now, let’s add some Science to the Lore.
As we’ve just learned, Sage is a powerful tribal tool for rituals and ceremonies. But, as science proves, its medicinal benefits are just as unprecedented. The phenolic acid Sage contains, works as a natural disinfectant and kills bad bacteria and fungi. Adding Sage extract to water makes for a perfect hand wash or kitchen cleaning spray. Eating fresh or dried sage, or drinking its tea, can help those dealing with yeast overgrowth such as Candida.
Sage is high in tannin, a compound that has an astringent effect. Tannins make parts of your body contract and therefore prevent you from loosing too much fluid. This benefit may prove to be a live saver when dealing with (infantile) diarrhea. Sage reduces the symptoms of menopause and its volatile oils give mental clarity, better memory and enhanced sleep.
As you can see there’s a multitude of benefits to using this silver green leaf. But there’s one area that we haven’t discussed yet. This wise herb is perhaps best known for its healing effects on the mouth, throat and airways. Gargling or drinking the tea heals mouth ulcers, inflamed gums, throat infections and (dry tickling) coughs. Steam inhalation proves to be beneficial for asthma attacks and relieving mucous congestion.
I suggest not using this herb, as a tea, condiment or inhaler, while pregnant or breastfeeding, as Sage has been known to dry up milk supply. It is also not advised for those dealing with epilepsy. Using it as a natural cleaning product (hand wash, kitchen counter spray) for your home should be perfectly okay.
‘Rituals bring awareness, gratitude, rootedness and actuality to our lives.'
Natural cough, mouth and throat medicine.
Steep 1 tbsp (fresh or dried) Sage in 150ml hot water overnight. The next morning: add raw honey, stir and drink three cups per day. For mouth and throat problems: skip the honey and gargle multiple times per day.
Kitchen counter cleaner.
Buy Sage essential oil from an organic source. Grab an empty 250ml spray bottle and ‘fill’ with half water, half vinegar. Leave a bit of empty space at the top for the essential oil and shaking. Add 30 drops of sage essential oil. Shake. Use whenever desired.
Grab your Sage essential oil and an empty 250 ml spray bottle. Fill with water. Leave a bit of empty space at the top for the essential oil and shaking. Add 30 drops of sage essential oil. Shake. Use whenever desired.
Memory enhancer, for Alzheimer’s or forgetful people.
Eat 1 gram of fresh sage per day.
Cooking with Sage for health and happiness.
Try this amazing looking Italian dish called ‘Cappellacci in Aromatic Herb sauce‘ by Hortus Cuisine.
Enjoy this ‘Roasted Carrots with Honey Sage and Garlic’ dish by Canelle et Vanille. Customize to your desire. Options are: coconut yoghurt instead of dairy and rice syrup instead of honey.
Or what about this ‘Whole Sourdough Bread with Porcini Mushrooms and Sage’ lunch by Krautkopf?