sage - Salvia officinalis
garden sage

Botanical: Salvia officinalis
Family: Lamiaceae
energetics: warming, drying
parts used: leaf

actions: rich in essential oils, antioxidant,antiseptic,antimicrobial, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, anti-catarrhal, anti-inflammatory,dries up mucus, estrogenic, reduces sweating

Salvia and “sage” are derived from the Latin salvere (to save), referring to the healing properties long attributed to the various Salvia species. Garden sage is a member of the healing Salvias genus, which includes white sage (Salvia apiana) and Red Root Sage/Dan Shen (Salvia miltiorrhiza).

Using Sage for Wellness

Herbalists use sage’s drying and warming properties to bring comfort to irritated and sore mouths and throats, especially in conditions where fluid and mucus are excessive.

Why should a man die if sage grows in his garden?”
~ Midievil Medical Manuscript

Used for canker sores, inflamed tonsils, laryngitis, and pharyngitis, and any inflamed condition of the throat or mouth. Can be used as a steam, a gargle, and as a mouthwash to sooth oral and dental inflammation.

Sage is also used as a bitter to help expel bloating.

Interestingly, Salvia officinalis extract was shown in one double-blind, randomized and placebo-controlled clinical trial to produce significantly better outcomes in cognitive function when compared with placebo in studies on Alzheimer’s patients. Another study showed that one of sage’s active ingredients, rosmarinic acid, provided neuroprotective effects.

Salvia pupurea

Video!Learn about the medicinal uses of sage – it’s not just for cooking! Taught by herbalists David Hoffmann, Matthew Wood and Mary Bove.


  • Only use for culinary purposes in pregnancy, and do not use long-term.

“He that would live for aye, Must eat Sage in May.”
~ English Proverb


  • Kintzios, Spiridon E. (2000). Sage: The Genus Salvia. CRC Press. pp. 10-11. ISBN 978-90-5823-005-8.
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