Salvia officinalis

Parts Used: Leaves.

Pharmacy name: sage leaves – Salviae folium (formerly: Folia Salviae), sage oil – Salviae aetheroleum (formerly: Oleum Salviae).

Botanical description. First of all, it will be necessary to say that meadow sage (Salvia pratensis L.), which grows wild in our country, is not used for medicinal purposes, since the content of essential oil in it is much less than that of medicinal sage, which comes from the Mediterranean (it grows mainly in Dalmatia), and in Central Europe it is grown in cultivated plantations. This medicinal plant is a semi-shrub 20-60 cm in height, with a tetrahedral, felt-pubescent stem, woody in the lower part. Oppositely arranged, greenish-gray leaves are elliptical, oblong or ovate, petiolate or sessile, of various sizes. Light blue or lilac-blue flowers are collected in whorls at the end of the shoot in an infrequent spike-shaped inflorescence.

Collection and preparation. Since we cannot find medicinal sage in the wild, it is often grown in gardens. Sage can be sown, but it is better to propagate by dividing the bush. If you plant a sage bush in the garden in spring, you can already harvest in August. Next year, you won’t have to wait so long – starting in the spring, if necessary, collect the growing young twigs or leaves. For medicinal purposes, only the leaves are used. They are collected before flowering and dried quickly – but carefully and in a shady place.

Active ingredients: essential oil, tannins, bitterness, flavonoids.

Healing action and application. Sage as a medicinal plant and spice has a wide variety of uses. Sage tea helps with inflammatory processes in the mouth and throat, it has a calming effect, reduces sweating, and has a beneficial effect on the stomach and intestines. This is also confirmed by the German National Health Service. Essential oil has a disinfectant and anticonvulsant effect, tannins enhance this effect in intestinal disorders.

  • Sage tea: 1 teaspoon of the leaf is poured into 1/4 liter of boiling water and infused for 10 minutes. Take orally (2-3 cups every day) and externally.

My special advice. Sage is no doubt primarily used as an external remedy, as tea from it is very good for inflammation of the mouth and throat. Its action can be further enhanced by mixing chamomile with sage in equal parts. It is used for rinses, compresses on wounds, and wet dressings.

  • Mixed sage tea with chamomile: 2 teaspoons with the top of the mixture, pour 1/4 liter of boiling water, leave for 15 minutes. After straining, the tea is ready to drink. The action of sage tea against increased sweating, as a rule, does not give the desired result. If it is made stronger (3 teaspoons with the top of a sage leaf per cup), the action is more effective. Unfortunately, this dosage is not well tolerated by patients with sensitive stomachs.

Use in homeopathy. The homeopathic product Salvia officinalis is prepared from fresh leaves and is used primarily as a perspiration stopper. Dosage: dilution D 1 3-5 drops several times a day.

Use as a condiment. It is advisable to use fresh sage leaves if possible. Like all fragrant culinary herbs, it must be finely ground before adding to any soup or vegetable dish. Sage root is very appropriate as an additive to the sauce for roasts. Fish, lamb and liver cooked with sage are fragrant and healthy. Cottage cheese and soft cheese are excellent with the addition of sage, green onions and onions. In addition, sage root lengthens the shelf life of cooked food.

Application in folk medicine. Everything that was said above about sage indicates its special importance in folk medicine. To this we add that a decoction of sage is given to women during the period of weaning the baby from the breast: sage delays the secretion of milk. This action is not reliable, but it is often attempted and is said to be successful. Sage sweetened with honey is given as a tea to strengthen weak children. In the same way, they fight with an irritating cough.

Side effects. It is important not to overdose any vegetable raw materials with numerous essential oils, bitterness and tannins so as not to irritate the stomach. This also applies to sage. Side effects are not to be feared. It should not be used internally only during pregnancy.

Note. Along with the leaves of sage officinalis, the leaves of Salvia triloba L. (three-lobed sage, or Greek) are also accepted in the German Pharmacopoeia. Its use corresponds in general terms to the use of sage leaves, although the composition of the essential oil is somewhat different. Since this sage contains more cineole, its leaf tastes and smells like eucalyptus.

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