|Salvia officinalis Labiatae/Lamiaceae
SAGE, PURPLE SAGE
Botanical Description Perennial evergreen shrub, grows up to 1 metre. The plant has grey green or purple green foliage, with spikes of flowers extending above the foliage. These are normally violet-blue, but there are cultivars in all shades of blue and purple, as well as white and pink. The stems are square. Other ornamental cultivars with variegated leaves, are not true sage. It is indigenous to the Mediterranean, although cultivated throughout the world and therefore needs sun. The grey/green form can be grown from seed or cuttings; Purple sage (Salvia officinalis purpureum) is considered superior for medicinal use and needs to be raised from cuttings. There are two related native species; Salvia pratensis has been used to reduce sweating and Salvia sclarea mainly used in the form of an essential oil although the leaves are used to make fritters, and in brewing to make beers more euphoric. The oil is used to regulate hormones, as a euphoric and antispasmodic. Salvia elegans or Pineapple sage is a native of Mexico which is often grown as an ornamental; it is used as an antidpresant, anxiolytic and nerve tonic as well as for hearburn and indigestion.
Part used Leaves. The flowers are delicious added to salads.
Harvesting Time July to September.
History/Folklore/Taste/Energetics The species name from the Latin root salvere (salvation, healing) attests to the high regard given to this plant. It is deemed to be an adaptogen by Julian Barker and is definitely valuable for restoring neuroendocrine balance after periods of stress on any level. The common name sage reflects its ability to work on memory and wisdom; it can be seen as an ally that embodies the medicine person energy. It is, however, a strong ally that is normally only used in small doses and for no more than 6 weeks at a time at medicinal doses due to its thujone content. It is particularly useful for women stepping into their crone energy, but also for younger women to balance their fertility.. Cretan sage (Salvia triloba) contains far less thujone and can therefore be used for longer periods of time. Aromatic and bitter, cooling and drying.
Essential oil, about 50% thujone, Flavonoids, Tannins, Diterpene bitters, Phenolic acids
Astringent, Antiseptic, Aromatic, Carminative, Hormonal balancing action, Antihydrotic, Tonic, Spasmolytic
Traditional and current uses
Flatulent dyspepsia and mild diarrhoea
Pharyngitis, laryngitis, uvulitis, gingivitis, glossitis, both internally and as a mouthwash or gargle
Excessive sweating, including night sweats and hot flushes of menopause
Nerve tonic, can calm or stimulate the central nervous system, depending on what is needed
Depression and extreme fatigue following illness
May promote fertility
Helps improve the memory
Irregular and scanty periods
Reduces milk production
Thujone is a potential neurotoxin and abortifacient. Therefore should be avoided in pregnancy and lactation
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
1 red pepper diced
Boullion powder to taste
5-6 sprigs fresh sage chopped
1 tin cannelini beans, drained
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Handful of olives (optional)
Black pepper to taste
Sweat the onions in the olive oil until transparent, add the garlic and red pepper and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add all the other ingredients and simmer for 10-30 minutes.