Friday, February 19, 2010

Plant Profile: Sage

By Nina Berryman

Salvia officinalis is in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Mint and basil are also in this family. Common characteristics of this family are a square stem and leaves which are opposite from one another. It is originally from the Mediterranean. It got its name from the Latin “salvare” meaning to save, which indicates it has many purposes. There is a Latin saying, “Cur moriatur homo cui Salvia crescit in horto?” which means, “Why should a man die when he has safe in his garden?” Sage is both great for cooking, and for healing. Try eating it on bread with butter. Or in soft cheddar cheese on eggs (see the recipe page). Sage and sea salt can remove tartar and whiten teeth. You can make a mouthwash out of sage, rosemary, peppermint and comfrey. Stuffing a turkey with sage also aids in preventing discomfort from indigestion. Sage leaves in the soil can deter nematodes which are common garden pests. Sage is antibiotic (kills bacteria), antifungal (kills fungus), astringent (constricts body tissues), antispasmodic (suppresses spasms), and a diaphoretic (promotes perspiration). Smudge sticks are commonly made out of dried sage that is wrapped together in a bundle. Burning a smudge stick like incense is supposed to purify a physical space.

No comments:

Post a Comment