By Liliana Usvat
Sage is a shrubby, evergreen perennial shrub with pale green leaves. Flowers are borne in summer.
Sage originally comes from the area around the Mediterranean Sea. Sage is a very fragrant bush that has a light purple flower. Sometimes a white or pink flower can be found, but it is rare. The dried leaves are very spicy tasting and very aromatic making them a perfect kitchen herb.
The name Salvia derives from the Latin salvere (“to feel well and healthy, health, heal”), the verb related to salus (health, well-being, prosperity or salvation); referring to the herb’s healing properties.
Salvia officinalis (sage, also called garden sage, or common sage) is a perennial, evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. It is a member of the family Lamiaceae and is native to the Mediterranean region, though it has naturalized in many places throughout the world. It has a long history of medicinal and culinary use, and in modern times as an ornamental garden plant.
There have been as many as 2,000 named species and subspecies. Over time, the number has been reduced to less than a thousand. A modern and comprehensive study of Salvia species was done by Gabriel Alziar, in his Catalogue Synonymique des Salvia du Monde (1989) (World Catalog of Salvia Synonyms). He found that the number of distinct species and subspecies could be reduced to less than 700.
Salvia officinalis has been used since ancient times for warding off evil, snakebites, increasing women’s fertility, and more. Theophrastus wrote about two different sages, a wild undershrub he called sphakos, and a similar cultivated plant he called elelisphakos.
Pliny the Elder said the latter plant was called salvia by the Romans, and used as a diuretic, a local anesthetic for the skin, a styptic, and for other uses.
Charlemagne recommended the plant for cultivation in the early Middle Ages, and during the Carolingian Empire, it was cultivated in monastery gardens.
Walafrid Strabo described it in his poem Hortulus as having a sweet scent and being useful for many human ailments—he went back to the Greek root for the name and called it lelifagus.
The plant had a high reputation throughout the Middle Ages, with many sayings referring to its healing properties and value.It was sometimes called S. salvatrix (sage the savior), and was one of the ingredients of Four Thieves Vinegar, a blend of herbs which was supposed to ward off the plague. Dioscorides, Pliny, and Galen all recommended sage as a diuretic, hemostatic, emmenagogue, and tonic.
Sage smudging is the an ancient cleansing ritual used by Native American and Shamanic cultures to remove negative energy from a space.
The strongest active constituents of sage are within its essential oil, which contains cineole, borneol, and thujone. Sage leaf contains tannic acid, oleic acid, ursonic acid, ursolic acid, cornsole, cornsolic acid, fumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, niacin, nicotinamide, flavones, flavonoid glycosides, and estrogenic substances
In the traditional Austrian medicine Salvia officinalis herb has been used internally (as tea or directly chewed) for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, mouth, gastrointestinal tract, and skin.
Investigations have taken place into using sage as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease patients. Sage leaf extract may be effective and safe in the treatment of hyperlipidemia.
- Internal use
- Sage is used internally to treat indigestion and flatulence.
- It is also used to reduce excessive lactation in nursing mothers and night sweats (especially in menopause), excessive salivation, profuse perspiration, anxiety, depression, female sterility and menopausal problems.
- It also has supportive properties for the liver and is used to boost the functionality of the liver.
- External use
- Externally, it can be used for insect bites, throat, mouth, gum and skin infections, as well as vaginal discharge.
- It contains rosmarinic acid that has good antioxidant properties, which are reinforced by the picrosalvin also found in sage.
- Furthermore it has antimicrobial and antiviral effects and is often used in hair care to combat greasy and oily hair by regulating the sebum production of the scalp. It is used to treat various skin problems, such as acne.
- Aromatherapy and essential oil use
- Using small amounts, it lightens a tired mind and fights depression and grief. It must be used with great care, since high amounts can cause problems.
- It is useful to the digestive system, increasing appetitive, balancing the female hormone estrogen and easing dull aches and pains.
- Very useful for regulating the menstrual cycle, as well as reducing night sweats during menopause.
- On the skin, it is useful to refine the texture, for wound healing, as well as to clear up sores, ulcers and dermatitis.
- It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, febrifuge, Hypertensive, laxative, stomachic and tonic properties.
Deforestation affects also the bushes of the forest so implicit the sage bushes.
Deforestation is clearing Earth’s forests on a large scale, often resulting in damage to the quality of the land. Forests are cut down for many reasons, but most of them are related to money.
The most important drivers of deforestation are agriculture and logging operations. Loggers also build roads to access more and more remote forests—which leads to further deforestation.
Forests are also cut as a result of growing urban sprawl. Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment. The most dramatic impact is a loss of habitat for millions of species.
Moreover deforestation has a strong impact on climate change: direct and indirect effects. The indirect effects are related with the CO2 emission: deforestation is the second largest anthropogenic source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The direct effects are related with a land-use change, a change in the albedo and in the Earth’s energy budget.
Blog 81 -365
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- Ask Alys: your gardening questions answered (theguardian.com)
- Fun Flower Facts: Salvia (Sage) (funflowerfacts.com)
- Drought-tolerant pineapple sage colorful, fragrant (sfgate.com)
- A garden for lazy gardeners at Filoli (tended.wordpress.com)
- Is Salvia Like Weed? The Craziest Salvia Trips That Will Make You Never Confuse The Two Again (elitedaily.com)
- British Isles Legal Highs Linked Content (legalelegalweed.wordpress.com)
- Review: REN Clearcalm 3 Clarifying Clay Cleanser (fabulousnerd.wordpress.com)