Shrub up to 70 cm. Several tomentous, gray stems. Leaves peciolate ,oblong or lanceolate , downy below. Flowers violet , blue or white- pink in quite loose spikes till 10 flowers each. Corolla 3 cm, with the upper lip,contrary to the rest of the "Salvias", flat . No sticky calyx and twice shorter than the corolla.
Picking and storing sage
Leaves should be collected before the bloom in spring. They must be dried in the shade and be kept in a dry airtight container.
MEDICINAL PROPERTIES OF SAGE
Sage, medicinal plant
Sage, together with rosemary, thyme and lavender have formed what it is traditionally known as "The four thieves vinegar".
It is told that four thieves are caught in Toulouse while they were looting the neighbors' houses affected by the Plague. They are condemned to death, but they are given the possibility of saving their lives if they discover what their secret is for having survived the Plague without being infected. Their secret was to macerate the four mentioned plants in vinegar and rub their body with it afterwards.
This story proves the main properties of all the Salvia: Their bactericide and vulnerary properties.
In general, sage has the same properties than Salvia verbenaca and Salvia pratensis, but with stronger values. This is the reason why, as we can see from its name, this is the one that has been mainly used as medicinal.
It can be good for the treatment of food poisoning (Infusion of a teaspoon of dry plant per cup of water. 3 cups per day)
- Cicatrizant and bactericidal: ( ulcers and wounds) To heal the ulcers, cuts, scratches, chafing, or any wounds, supporting the cicatrization and preventing wounds to become infected. Compresses with the maceration of dry leaves in white wine or the green plant applied directly on the wound. For mouth ulcers , dental caries or gingivitis infusion of half a tablespoon of dried herb for mouthwash. It is very useful for herpes treatment.
Because of its bactericidal and cicatrizant properties, it can prevent scabies sores to become infected (Wash the affected areas with the infusion of the dried plant.) This preparation can be use to treat eczema.
-Bad breath: for its bactericidal properties, it is adequate to kill bacteria that cause halitosis (Mouthwashes. Make an infusion of a spoonful of dried plant per cup of water)
-Irritable colon: It can be used to diminish the spasms and to reduce pain. (Infusion of about 15 grams of the root of the plant that is let to rest overnight)
- Diabetes :Using it decreases the level of sugar .So it should be taken by the diabetic people. To do so, a little glass should be drunken every day of the maceration for 10 days of 100 gr.of dry leaves in a litter of Sherry.
- Diuretic: Useful to treat cellulite or obesity (Infusion of a spoonful of dried plant per cup of water. 4 cups per day.)
- Amenorrhea: For amenorrhea or lack of temporary menstruation (Infusion of a spoonful of flowering tops. 2 daily cups during one week before the menstruation)
- Dysmenorrhea: In order to alleviate the pain produced by dismenorrhea or irregular menstruations it is advisable to prepare mixed infusions to equal parts of Sage, Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) and chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) Take three cups per day until the pain diminishes
- Gum fortifier: With the wine maceration previously mentioned, we can rinse our mouth in order to fortify our gums. We can also use the green leaves to rub our teeth and gums to the same aim.
- Hair Lotion: To prevent dandruff or stop baldness, the infusion of this plant, together with those of rosemary and thyme invigorates your hair and makes it shine. Sage can be used to prepare natural shampoos.
- Anti-perspirant: It has anti-perspirant properties, so it reduces excessive perspiration (Infusion of a teaspoon of dry plant per water glass. Take a pair from glasses per day) This can be useful for ingrownails remedies, too
- Sedative: It can be used to treat insomnia (Add to bath water the infusion of 3 tablespoons of dried plant in a liter of water. Take a bath for 15 to 20 minutes)
- Backache or pain in the neck: Very useful as muscle relaxants in pain caused by stretching or straining too hard without prior preparation. (Rub the back or the cervicals with a mixture of 10 drops of essential oil in two tablespoons of olive oil. (Add 20 drops to bath water. Take a bath for 15 or 20 minutes) (Add to bath water the infusion of 3 tablespoons of dried plant in a liter of water. Take a bath for 15 to 20 minutes)
- Alzheimer disease: In addition to its antioxidant properties, sage helps maintain acetylcholine. (Infusion of a spoonful of dried leaf per cup of water. A couple of cups a day)
- Fibromyalgia : Very useful as muscle relaxants (Rub the painful area with a mixture of 10 drops of their essential oils in two tablespoons of olive oil) (Add to bath water Infusion of 3 tablespoons of dried plant in a liter of water. Take a bath for 15 or 20 minutes)
Cosmetic uses of sage
Sage leaves are used as an aromatic herb
Putting some dry leaves in the warm water of our bath, tones up our skin and energizes all our body. Sage can be used to make interesting skin masks for acne and its manifestations, such as oily skin.
Cookery: Sage in the kitchen
It is very interesting to add some fresh leaves to our menus, specially on vegetables. apart from being more tasty, we take profit of the properties.