Sage is wisdom. Sage is wise.
Protecting your space with ancestral allies.
Salvia officinalis is bitter and savory.
Use leaf, root, and flower – their really quite tasty.
Sage lives in the house of the mint Family,
and it grows in most gardens quite aggressively.
White sage is quite sacred to Turtle Island natives,
so use garden sage for smudge and magic creatives.
Shenreg is quite helpful for all sorts of things;
mental wellness, muscle tension, and most wound healing.
Sage is quite worldly, coming from Northern Mediterranean,
also Asia, Africa, Europe, Central and South American.
Full sun to partial shade in Zones zero-four through ten.
So grow it yourself – it grows again and again.
The bees and the butterflies, even some hummingbirds too,
will love you for planting this herb, saying, “Thank You!”
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Their flowers are camphor-scented and bluish-lavender to pink-lavender in color. Each flower has two lips and is present in whorls on short, upright flower spikes.
Many use sage around this time of year (Thanksgiving) in the US, as a key ingredient in their stuffing and as seasoning for the turkey. Personally, in addition to using the dried spice, I pluck a couple of branches off one of my sage plants in my garden and tuck it into the wings of the turkey for added flair. When it comes time to make soup, I pluck off a fresh branch and throw it into the pot.
- The genus name Salvia derives from the Latin word salveo which means “salvation”, “to be in good health”, “to save”, or “to heal”.
- Sage has a strong odor or flavor that repels mice naturally.
- Sage was used in the Roman era as part of sacred ceremonies because the people believed that it is able to bring prosperity and longevity.
- Sage was one of the ingredients in the famous Four Thieves Vinegar!
- Sage can be used in your oral health
Harvesting and Drying
While most of the plants we’ve discussed have fauna-attracting qualities, sage works as a rodent repellant. Rats in particular hate the smell, so if you have a rodent problem near or in your house, plant sage around it to keep them outdoors where they belong.
Sage is beneficial for bees, butterflies, and some hummingbirds, so if you grow sage to use, please leave some to go to flower for your beneficial pollinating neighbors.
I would be remiss if I did not stress the dire situation of white sage. Salvia apiana, Ramona polystachya is a highly aromatic shrub that has been medicinally and ceremonially significant to Indigenous peoples in California and Mexico for thousands of years. Most of the white sage is poached – the whole plant is taken, often killing the sage plant. If you feel compelled to use white sage, then either grow it yourself or buy it from an indigenous tribe that ethically sources it. If you aren’t sure of its source, don’t buy it. Chances are, it’s been poached.
Herbal Actions & Medicinal Uses
Below is some basic herbal information based on Western Herbalism and Chinese Medicine (TCM).
With any herbs and supplements, always consult with a licensed health professional before use.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Leaves
Primary Organs: Lungs, Heart, Urinary Bladder, Kidneys, Liver
- Disperses Cold
- Clears Heat
- Clears Damp
- Disperses Wind
- Resolves Phlegm
- Tonifies Qi
Sage is native to the Mediterranean region, but naturalized in North America.
This is a full to partial sun loving plant that thrives in well-drained soil.
Sage is easy to germinate and grow, but the seedlings are not frost tolerant. Seeds generally take 2-3 weeks to germinate after sowing. If starting seeds in a tray, you can transplant them when they have 2 sets of true leaves and stand about 4 inches high. Plant them about 18 inches apart in the garden. They can also be grown from cuttings.
New USDA Hardiness Zone(s), as of 2023: 4-10
Sage is used to foster wisdom, for healing and money spells, for protection and for energy cleansing.
It is used in work around the attraction of money and prosperity, as well as protection from evil and illness, self-purification and dealing with grief and loss. It is also used to promote wisdom.
- Use in court case spells to encourage wisdom.
- Include in money sachets for prosperity.
- Place on the altar for mental clarity.
- Get someone else to plant sage in your yard to avoid bad luck – don’t do it yourself.
- “Whoever cultivates sage in his garden, will have no reason to die.” – Medieval Legend
Garden sage is used in kitchen witchery, smudging, and cleaning. Add to your broom to boost its spirit cleansing properties.
Desert sage is used for smudging ceremonies.
Blue sage is known for its calming and relaxing properties.
Clary sage has a more musky scent and is used for its therapeutic and aphrodisiac properties.
Spanish sage is used for spiritual and healing purposes, given its strong aroma.
Below is some of the symbolism associated with Sage.
|♃ Jupiter||♉️ Taurus|
|🜁 Air||◉ Throat Chakra|
| Welsh: Rhiannon
| Major Arcana: V The High Priest
(The Herbal Tarot)