Sage

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Disclaimer: This data is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to prescribe or treat specific problems. As with any herb or medication, please consult your Doctor of Naturopath or your Medical Doctor before trying anything new.

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"Salvia officinalis"

Sage, an herb most people think is just for cooking. But Sage has excellent medicinal properties as well.

Sage has Astringent, Vulnerary, Antispasmodic, Aromatic, & Anthelmintic properties as affects the sinuses, mucus membranes, bladder, nerves, & bowels.

The leaves are the part of this herb that is used.

If you have a sore throat or have sores in your mouth, an infusion of Sage tea just must be for you. You can make it into a gargle by adding honey or a squirt of lemon juice. Sage is known to reduce secretions of the sinuses, throat, & mucous membranes.

Sage is also good for diarrhea, gas, colds and flu, and some stomach problems.

If you are running fever, you could take a cup of hot sage tea while taking a hot bath and this will promote sweating to break the fever.

As an external wash, sage is good for slow healing wounds and skin inflictions.

Sage Tea is an old time hair rinse to bring the shine back into dark hair. However, it is also used to rid dandruff and stimulate hair growth.

When the tea is taken cold, it is said to help dry up breast milk while the mother is weaning.

Combined with peppermint & rosemary in equal proportions, it is a good headache remedy.

So you see, sage is not just found in stuffing and sausage! :-)

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"Why should a man die when sage grows in his garden?" This was an old time saying in ancient lore during the Middle Ages. As you can tell, this herb was held in the highest regards by ancient people. The name is derived from the Latin verb "salvare", meaning to save.

The leaves of plants in their second to fourth year of growth are considered the best for healing purposes, because of the concentration of healing properties and strength. After the fourth year, it is considered that the plant loses quite a bit of its potency (even though it would still be good for cooking with).

The English Herbalist Gerard had this to say about Sage:

"Sage is singularly good for the head and brain, it quickeneth the senses and memory, strentheneth the sinews, restoreth health to those that have the palsy, and taketh away shakey trembling of the members."

Sage tea makes a good addition to an herbal bath. Sage is said to be generally stimulating and cleansing to the skin and scalp, soothing to sore muscles, and restorative to aging skin and hair. These claims have not actually been proven scientifically.

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Sage & Lavender After Shave Lotion

2 cups witch hazel extract
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 ounce dried sage leaves, crumbled
1 ounce lavender buds

Add all ingredients into a large canning jar with a tight sealing lid. Let steep for 10 days, shaking daily. Strain off and bottle.

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In The Morning Wake Up After Shave Lotion

3 Ounces dried Sage leaves, crumbled
1 Ounce dried Yarrow Flowers
1/2 Ounce Peppermint leaves
1/2 Ounce Eucalyptus Leaves
1/2 Ounce Lavender Buds
Grain alcohol to cover.

Place all of this in large glass crock (one that seal with a lid or saran wrap with newspapers over it). Be sure the alcohol covers all the herbs and that none are above alcohol level. Steep for 2 weeks shaking daily and then strain and bottle. If you have sensitive skin, dilute with water until it suits you. If you have dry skin you can add vitam E or 2 tablespoons of glycerine or almond oil to the strained mixture. You can also use this recipe (without the oil) as a refreshing alcohol rub. different uses and ways to use Sage for different problems.

Decoction: One ounce of sage leaves to One pint of water. Steep 15 minutes. Use this as a mouthwash, as a vaginal douche, or as the liquid for a compress for skin ulcers, eczema, sores, etc.

An old fashioned treatment for Alopecia (losing of hair) was to tack the tincutre of sage and add it to equal parts of rum and use it as a friction rub.

Chopped fresh sage leaves applied to insect bites and wasp stings was believed to take away the itch and sting.

A salve can be made by steeping sage leaves in vegetable oil until the properties are extracted and then adding a small amount of beeswax. This works good on skin ulcers, sores, wounds, etc.

An infusion is also good when added to bath water to treat sore muscles, skin problems, and general debility.

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Sage Tonic Wine

Fill a pint jar with sage leaves and cover with your favorite red or white wine. Let steep for 2 weeks, shaking daily. One Tablespoon was taken after meals in the old days as a tonic.

Throwing Sage leaves over a fire was said to disinfect the room, but I feel one must be careful doing this so as not to inhale too much of the smoke. This was also believed to help asthma sufferers.

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Sage Fritter Recipe

20 medium sized sage leaves, washed and patted dry.
olive oil for frying
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup all purpose flour
pinch of salt (opt)
1 Egg white
1/8 cup warm water
2 tbspn olive oil

Make a batter out of the flours, wheat germ, & salt. In a seperate jar, mix the water and the oil and then add to the dry batter ingredients. Stir until well blended. Allow to sit and cool for approx. 1/2 hour. Meanwhile, whisk egg white until it just starts to stiffen. Fold into batter carefully.

Dip the leaves into the batter to coat and fry in the heated oil in frying pan, until golden brown (a couple of minutes). Drain on paper toweling and keep warm in your oven until all leaves have been fried.

Serve these immediately. They go great with a sage infused white wine!

Just a note: One should not consume abnormal amounts of sage on a continual basis, but these are great every once in a while. These will definitely raise the eyebrows of your guests! :-)

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Marcia Wilson
Journeywoman Herbalist
The Allways Natural Herb Farm
10/21/98

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© 1998- Linda Coffin

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