As some of you may know, a dear friend and I have started an herbal medicine and body care company, something I’ve wanted to do since I was little and mixing potions in the kitchen. Medicinal and energetic properties of herbs is something that is very near and dear to my heart. More recently, I’ve come to find out it is also where my true nerd comes out. My background in medieval history and latin has meant that learning the scientific names of the herbs has been more exciting than it is for most normal people. So today we’re going to talk about one of my favorite herbs, sage.
The name sage comes from the latin word Salvare, meaning "to heal" or "to save". My first memory of working with herbs is picking them with my uncle from the garden my mom and I planted in our backyard. He was explaining to me how in the old days before there were medications, people would use plants they found or grew to heal themselves. I had a mini mortar and pestle given to me by my grandmother, which I came across during a recent move, in which I remember so clearly grinding up the herbs we picked that day. I loved to go out to our garden, especially when it was raining, just to listen, imagining I had fairies to guide me and plants to talk to. Crazy, huh? Not really. Kids know what’s up. I’d wear a red cloak that a family friend had made for me one Halloween (I was Little Red Riding Hood) that was far from waterproof, lean in and bury my face in each herb, taking in the peppery citrus of basil, heady pine of rosemary, and the soothing, warm aroma of sage. Sage was my favorite back then and is still at the top of my list today. Here are 6 reasons why you should love it too:
- Digestive problems – aids relaxation of digestive tract, as well as acting as a carminative, working to alleviate cramping, bloating, and gas.
- Memory & cognitive function – In part because of its grounding quality, sage improves concentration, especially for those who those nervous vata types who tend to jump from one thing to the next, as well as aides memory, and the ability to think clearly.
- Purification & clearing negative energy – to drive away sickness and bad vibes, clear the air, and purify spaces.
- Grounding – This is my favorite benefit of sage. For those of us over-thinkers, sage helps ground, relax, nourish, and restore your nervous system you when you get that feeling like you’ve had too much caffeine or your blood sugar is too low with symptoms like sweaty palms and heart palpitations.
- Pain relief & anti-inflammatory – As a poultice or in a salve, sage can be applied topically to cuts and scrapes to reduce inflammation, stop bleeding, and prevent infection. Sore throat.
- Prevent infection – An aid to the immune system, sage is particularly beneficial for the respiratory tract when it is burnt, steamed, inhaled, or ingested
Kiva sums it up best on her blog: “Sage is a remedy filled with common sense, down-home wisdom and practicality — it gracefully does what needs be done and gets on with life, all while tasting good and filling the kitchen with its savory scent.”