Derived from the Latin word salvere, meaning “to be saved,” sage is an herb used for both it’s culinary properties, aroma and used in spiritual practices. Often picked before budding, sage produces blue to purple flowers.
Some believed sage was the key to long life. Greeks and Romans used sage to preserve meat. The tradition remained until the invention of refrigerators. Native Americans use said to ward off bad luck and Hungarian gypsies believed it dispelled evil. Egyptians used sage for fertility while a Greek physician used sage to stop bleeding, treat sprains.
“Sage is good for head and brain, it makes the senses and memory more alert, strengthens the nerves, repairs the health of the disabled and cures limbs,” herbalist Gerard wrote.
Externally sage has been used to treat sprains, swelling, ulcers and bleeding. Also used in culinary dishes as a spice and also an aid to digestion. Cosmetically, sage can be used to darken hair.
Internally sage has been used as a tea to treat sore throats, cough and also menstrual bleeding.
Because of its antibiotic properties, sage can make an effective mouth wash (add a few drops of essential oil to salty water) and is an ingredient in many herbal toothpastes.
Today sage is used for meals, cosmetics, tea – but is also still used spiritually.
Dried sage is commonly used for “smudging” or purifying with herbs. Smudging can be used to purify a room or an object or just for aromatherapy. Those who practice metaphysics often smudge crystals and gems to wash away negative energy.
Sage spiritual cleansing ritual
This practice is used to remove negative energy from a space.
- A sage smudge stick can be purchased at a natural food store, metaphysical shop or online.
- Light a sage smudge stick on fire allowing a thick smoke to flow from the stick.
- Say a cleansing prayer
- Open doors, windows and cabinets – allowing smoke to flow in tight corners and blocked space, then allowing the negativity to empty out of the house
- As smoke drifts and dissipated, imagine negative energy being released, neutralizing the space around you
How to grow sage:
- In sandy, loamy soil, grow sage with full sun exposure
- The best way to grow sage is from cuttings from an established plant
- Plant 24 to 30 inches apart near rosemary, cabbage and carrots – keep sage away from cucumbers, the herb will negatively affect the taste of the fruit
- Keep the soil dry and weed-free
How to dry sage:
- Pick sage right before it is about to flower, when the leaves have the most oil
- Cut when leaves are dry in the morning or evening
- Remove insects and dead leaves then rinse in cold water – dry to prevent mold
- Tie in a bunch and hang upside down, leave for two weeks, checking for mold periodically