Also known as Sonja, Sange, Salvere.
Parts used: Leaves, roots.
Restaurants use Russian Sage to garnish dishes. Some chefs use the small purple flowers in salads and desserts. They have a delicate, slightly sweet flavor. Unlike other sage varieties, Russian sage leaves are not edible. It is highly pungent and goes well with rich fatty foods such as duck and pork. Sage is used as a herb for flavouring soups, vegetables and roasts and for stuffing poultry.
Natural healers use Russian sage in alternative medicinal practices to bring down high fevers. No major studies confirm this, but it’s commonly used for this purpose in India. It is an anti inflammatory and antimicrobial and is often used as a mouthwash and gargle for gum and throat disorders. It is useful to treat night sweats associated with menopause. It improves memory, concentration and mood and can help Alzheimer’s. Clinical trials indicate that it can help treat high blood pressure and angina. It protects the liver. Do not use if pregnant or breast feeding.
Sage is used in homeopathy as an antiperspirant. Leaf tea is used as an antiseptic nerve and blood tonic, for colds, flu and fevers as it decreases secretions of the mucous membranes. It resolves mucous and damp conditions. It has been known to cure intestinal worms in sheep. A poultice applied to the forehead can relieve migraine and headaches. It is a powerful master healer, tonifying the chi and restoring the endocrine, nervous and immune systems. It tonifies reproductive chi.
Historical / Myths & Legends:
A clue to the uses lies in the name. Salvia is derived from the Latin meaning “safe,” and “well.” Sage was associated with immortality and longevity by the ancients. “The desire for sage is to render man immortal.” It was strewn in homes in the Middle Ages as it was pungent and had a fresh aroma. It was also credited with increasing mental capacity. Eat the fresh leaves (in moderation) for these purposes. Today, Sage is believed to be a purifier and a healing herb. It can be made into a tea to promote healing, and can be burned to rid a room of negative energy.
The name Salvia derives from the Latin ‘salveo’, which means to heal. Indeed this herb is highly regarded for its healing qualities. An ancient proverb states, ‘Why should a man die who has sage in his garden?’. The ancient Greeks used it to treat consumption, ulcers and snake bites. The Romans considered sage to be a sacred herb and concocted a whole elaborate ceremony just to pick it. A sage gatherer would have to use a special knife (not made of iron as it reacts with the sage), to have clean clothes and clean feet and a sacrifice of food would have to be made before he could begin. The Romans would use it for toothpaste and they thought it was good for the brain, senses and for the memory.
Holistic / Spiritual Properties:
Sage is the herb of virtue, consecration, purification, inspiration, immortality and salvation. Sage is bound to Jupiter and Air. It is believed that if you place some Sage (or burn it) near an object belonging to someone in need of healing, that healing will take place more quickly. It is also said that the condition of the Sage plant itself in your garden is an indication of your prosperity. It was associated with immortality and longevity by the ancients. It was also credited with increasing mental capacity. Eat the fresh leaves (in moderation) for both these purposes. Today, Sage is believed to be a purifier and a healing herb. It can be made into a tea to promote healing, and American Indians burned it (smudging), to remove negative energy. It resolves mucous and damp conditions. Spiritually it opens the mental body and helps us to communicate with the spiritual realms. It can be used in healing and prosperity rites. It protects us on a psychic level and so is related to the brow or third eye chakra. Taureans have good luck using sage. Ritual bathing cleanses and purifies.