Sage (Salvia Officinalis)
Sage, often referred to as the herb of longevity has been used for thousands of years medicinally. Although best known as a main ingredient in poultry stuffing, it has been used since the Middle Ages medicinally as it was thought to promote longevity. Its name comes from the Latin Salvare, which translates roughly as "to rescue" or "to heal."
Sage is a remedy often used for respiratory infections, congestion, cough, sore throats, mouth sores, mouth ulcers, appetite stimulant, indigestion and is also said to be beneficial for the liver. It is also sometimes given to help with fever, night sweats, and urinary problems. Some women have found that it also helps ease menopausal symptoms.
One of the reasons Sage is so good for sore throats, mouth sores and mouth ulcers, are because of the oils and tannins. These oils and tannins have astringent, antiseptic and irritant properties in them. For a sore throat mix a Sage tea with apple cider vinegar and salt for gargling. Another wonderful aspect of Sage is that it is reported to have moisture-drying properties and can be used as an antiperspirant. As an astringent it can be used as a refreshing after-shave and a Sage tea can be used to help digestive problems and flatulence.
Herbs can be very powerful medicines, whether used in a tincture, tea or capsule they hold an incredible and potent medicine quality. Some herbs such as Sage, when burnt offer various remedies for many physical, emotional, spiritual or mental imbalances.
Sage is held sacred by many Native American Indians and, I, myself as a kitchen witch cleanse my house frequently with sage. It heals by bringing the person back into balance and cleanses the body and mind of negative spirits and impurities and thus is wonderful to use to clean your home of unwanted negative energy. This would be called smudging. I personally use a bundle of white sage and light the end, let it flame for a while and then blow it out. With a feather I then direct the smoke throughout the house. Depending on my intention I sometimes I have a chant or blessing I say while doing this. After completion I am always amazed at how calm and balanced the air is.
Another method of smudging is to use a loose mixture, place it in a shell, piece of pottery or a stone bowl. In this mixture you could have the sage, cedar (for healing) sweet grass (brings positive energy) and juniper (for healing) and a feather (if you do not have a feather you can make a feather like object from a piece of paper). Use your hands to roll the dried leaves, crumbling them into your bowl or shell. Burn the mixture until it begins to smolder and give off clouds of smoke. Begin fanning the smoke with the feather, starting at your heart and working your way up to the head and continue this process all the way down the body and back up again. Pray to your spiritual deity and ask for good, positive energy. Offer the smoke to the 5 directions – North, South, East, West and Spirit asking them to rid the negativity that is attached to you and your life. At this time you can then move through your home and cleanse and also you family or friends.