Sage – Practical and Magical uses
Family: Mint Family
Where Found: Found in sandy soils and lawns
Uses: American Indians used root in salve for sores. Whole-plant tea used for colds, coughs, nervous debility; with honey for asthma; mildly laxative and diaphoretic. Folk remedy for cancer and warts.
Western Mugwort, White Sage, Cudweed:
Family: Composite Family
Where Found: Waste ground. Naturalized east to New England. A weed.
Uses: Much used by American Indians as an astringent, to induce sweating, curb pain and diarrhea. Weak tea used for stomachaches, menstrual disorders. Leaf Snuff used for sinus ailments, headaches, nosebleeds. Externally, wash used for itching, rashes, skin eruptions, swelling, boils, sores. Compress for fevers. Used in steam baths for rheumatism, fevers, colds, and flue. (WARNING: may cause allergies.)
Germander, Wood Sage, Wild Basil:
Family: Mint Family
Where Found: Woods, thickets.
Uses: Leaf tea traditionally used to induce menstruation, urination, and sweating. Used like the bugleweeds or water hourehounds (lycopus) for lung ailments, worms, piles; externally, as a gargle and antiseptic dressing. Sold as “Pink skullcap” it is a widespread adulterant to commercial supplies of true Skullcap (Scutellaria Lateriflora) (WARNING: some species of Teucrium have proven to be highly toxic to the liver. This species has not been studied.)
In magic, carry sage leaves in your wallet or purse to promote financial gain. Burn leaves to increase wisdom or gain guidance from your spirit guide (be warned – burning sage does smell similar to marijuana, so keep that in mind if you think the neighbors might be inquisitive). Make a wish and write it on a sage leaf, and then hide it beneath your pillow — if you dream about your wish over the next three nights, your wish will come true.
In addition to its medicinal and magical uses, sage makes a great addition to your kitchen pantry. Use it to season fish or chicken dishes, or toss fresh leaves into a green salad.
Other Names: Garden sage
Planetary Connection: Jupiter