My white sage plant. It’s doing pretty well in its pot, but I really wish I could plant it out and give it free range. I just don’t want it to die during the winter (I doubt it would survive in Ohio!), so I’ll have to bring it in when it starts getting cold.
Sage has become hugely popular in witchcraft today due to its use in smoke cleansing, as it is very effective in this purpose. However, due to its popularity it is now considered at least a threatened species, possibly endangered. What can you do to help?
The answer is simple: Grow your own! You can grow from seeds, but the easiest way is from cuttings. You can even find the whole plant in stores like Lowes or at the Farmer’s Market and grow it from there, which is much easier than seeds or cuttings!
It doesn’t actually matter which one you choose, while White Sage is used by several different Native American groups in smudging both can be used for smoke cleansing, the benefit of regular sage is that it is a common garden spice used in cooking, so you can harvest it for that!
Sage grows well in areas that aren’t too humid and that have good drainage and light, which make them great container plants, particularly for clay pots. The soil can be allowed to dry between waterings. It does better in non-clay soil, so if the soil is clay it needs to be mixed with sand and other soil. Plants should be pruned in early spring, prune back the older growth to allow for new growth. In a few years the plant may become woody, properly pruning back the woody parts in early spring will help with this.
Sage matures in its second year, so it should not be harvested until then, dead leaves should be removed routinely if they appear - they often do near the bottom of the plant. After the second year you may harvest year round, and in fact you should thin the plant occasionally in order to prevent mildew, which becomes a problem for sage in humid climates. Using small pebbles around the base of the plant instead of mulch may help with this problem.
Growing sage yourself instead of consuming already-endangered sage insures this wonderful plant will be around for future generations to use! Remember to buy heirloom and save your seeds!
Flowering from May to November Salvia ‘Amistad’ (sage) puts on a dramatic display and is easy to grow in a container or border. It is a bushy, upright perennial with aromatic, bright green leaves and profuse, large deep purple tubular flowers which prove popular with bees. In a sheltered place with a free-draining soil plants may survive the winter otherwise it is best to take cuttings of this tender perennial or over winter in a cool, dry glasshouse. In these containers it was contrasting with the grey foliage of Salix exigua (coyote willow) and Centaurea cineraria 'Colchester White’.
I have so many plants. So. Many. Plants. Some of them are beginning to put out seed pods (datura, I’m looking at you!!), and while the seeds themselves are still a few months away, I need to start planning.
I will have seeds from
Thornapple/Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium)
Black henbane (Hyoscyamus niger)
Garden sage (Salvia officinalis)
White sage (Salvia apiana) - possibly; it’s a pretty finicky plant, but it’s doing well so far
Morning glory (Ipomoea tricolor)
Possibly a few other things, depends on how lazy I get
Here’s the question: how many of you would be interested in purchasing seeds from my plants? Is that something I should attempt to explore? Because otherwise, most of these seeds will go to waste. Let me know what you think!
White sage, Salvia apiana, is sacred in many Shamanic and Native American belief systems and is used in smudging, and other ceremonies to purify the body. This plant is difficult to grow in captivity and is largely wildcrafted which threatens native populations. Garden sage is a suitable substitute. Indeed, most Salvia species can be used for smudging.
Sage is used in magical workings for immortality, longevity, wisdom, protection and the granting of wishes.
Sage is also believed to help alleviate sorrow of the death of a loved one.
Add sage to mojo bags to promote wisdom and to overcome grief, or burn sage at funeral and remembrance ceremonies to help relieve the grief of the mourners.
Carried to improve mental ability and bring wisdom. Used in healing sachets & incense. Promotes spiritual, mental, emotional & physical health and longevity. Removes negative energy. Place near a personal object of a person who is ailing when performing healing spells or rituals. Write a wish on a sage leaf and place it under your pillow for 3 nights – if you dream of your wish, it will come true; if not, bury the leaf in the ground so that no bad will come to you.
History and Folklore
The name Salvia derives from the Latin word Salveo, “to heal” or “to save” (more like, to salve, as in, apply a salve).
It has long been used in healing. An old proverb says “why should a man die who has sage in his garden?” It was used in the Middle Ages to treat fevers, liver disease and epilepsy. In England, the tea drunk as a healthful tonic. It was also believed to strengthen the memory. An old English custom states that eating Sage every day in May will grant immortality. It was also said that a woman who ate sage cooked in wine would never be able to conceive and its fresh leaves were said to cure warts.
It is said that where sage grows well in the garden, the wife rules and that sage will flourish or not depending on the success of the business of the household.
During the Middle Ages, sage was used to mask the taste of rancid meat. Perhaps its antibacterial action also protected people from dying of rancid meat…
The Romans regarded sage quite highly and much sacrifice and ceremony was associated with its harvest. They believed it stimulated the brain and memory and used it to clean their teeth.
The Dutch in the 17th century traded Sage for tea with the Chinese.
Sage can be used for all types of sore throats. This is because of the fact that sage has antiseptic and astringents as well as certain relaxing properties, and this is one of the main reasons why sage is used rather frequently in gargles. It is also used for treating and bringing relief to sore gums and canker sores. Sage is often described as a digestive tonic, and as a stimulant, and in Chinese medicine, sage enjoys a good reputation as a versatile nerve tonic, as it is used as a yin tonic for helping to calm and stimulate the nervous system. Sage is also an excellent remedy for treating irregular and light menstruation, and this is achieved by encouraging a better flow of blood. Sage is excellent for handling the various symptoms of menopause, as the herb is effective for reducing sweating, a primary indication of menopause. Sage, because it has a combination of tonic and estrogenic effects, is deemed as an excellent remedy for reducing hot flashes while at the same time helping the body to adapt to the hormonal changes involved. Sage has also been used traditionally to treat asthma, while the dried leaves of the herb can be included in herbal smoking mixtures for treating asthma.
Sage is considered to be one of the most valued herbs right through the ages. It is used by herbalists to treat a wide variety of conditions ranging from colds and fevers and other similar infections, and it is generally advised that sage must be taken at the first signs of any respiratory infections, like for example, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis and catarrh. Sage also relieves tonsillitis. Since the herb possesses astringent and expectorant properties, these help expel phlegm from the chest and reduce catarrh. The airways can be disinfected by a simple process of inhaling the tea prepared with sage. Sage generally enhances the immune system and provides help in thwarting and preventing infections and auto-immune problems in an individual.
Sage has volatile oils which have the capacity to induce a relaxant effect on the smooth muscle of the digestive tract, and this is the reason why sage is known as a digestive remedy too. The volatile oils of sage, in conjunction with the bitters, prove to stimulate the appetite and improve weak digestion. Sage successfully encourages the flow of bile and digestive enzymes, and settles one’s stomach, sage relieves flatulence, colic, colitis, indigestion, and nausea. It also proves extremely useful in treating and relieving liver complaints, and worms. Antiseptic properties of sage are helpful in infections such as gastroenteritis. The herb is a tonic to the nervous system and has often been used to enhance strength and vitality in an individual. As mentioned earlier, sage has a stimulating effect upon the female reproductive tract, and is often recommended by herbalists for treating female disorders such as delayed or scanty menses, menstrual cramps, infertility and lack of periods. The estrogenic properties of the herb become very useful for treating menopausal problems, especially for night sweats and hot flashes. Since it is a fact that sage stimulates the uterus, it is no surprise that it can be very useful during childbirth, and for expelling the placenta after childbirth. Sage can also stop the flow of breast milk and therefore, it is excellent for weaning.
Sage possesses potent antioxidant properties, and this proves to be helpful in bringing about a delay in the aging process and in reducing the harmful effects of free radicals.
Sage may boost insulin action, and therefore, a daily cup of tea may be helpful for those with diabetes. Use one or two teaspoons of dried sage leaves to one cup of boiling water.
To smudge is to cleanse a person, area or item using smoke, to sort of "wash” them in smoke or perhaps burn away unwanted influence. Smudging is usually done with a bundle of dried herbs, usually sage or sweet grass or incense. Occasionally, specific herbs may be used for specific purpose. Thyme has also been used to smudge a sick room to drive away illness.
When smudging a person, the smudge stick is usually passed all around the person’s body while the person meditates or chants or simply stands quietly, usually with his arms and legs spread to allow the smoke access to all parts of the body. The smoke may be directed using a fan or a feather or the breath of the practitioner. Smudging an individual is said to cleanse the aura and drive away negativity.
Smudging an object or location is done similarly and serves similar purpose.
Smudging is a method borrowed from Native American traditions though in many cases it has been altered somewhat by the European descended practitioners who have borrowed it. Many “traditional” components of smudge sticks, like white sage, are actually prohibited for sale by some tribes (indeed this particular herb has been over-collected in the wild and is very difficult to grow outside of its natural habitat) though remain legal according to US law.
Other traditions have methods similar to smudging. For example, Hellenic tradition calls for fumigation with incense.
The smudge stick or incense can represent the elements of fire and air for those traditions that like to incorporate them.
Sage, scientifically named Salvia Officinalis is one of the oldest known herbs in history. It has had many uses before. It is more commonly used today in much more practical ways such as sharpening the senses, soothing a sore throat by gargling, aiding excessive menstrual bleeding or dry up milk after nursing. It is believed to strengthen memory and the nervous system.
It can be brewed in a tea to help soothe your sore throat or even excessive sweating whether from fever or otherwise.
The name Salvia comes from the Latin word Salveo, which means to heal or save. It’s well known magical property is that it is commonly used for protection by pushing out negative energy. It is masculine in nature and related with the element air and the planet Jupiter. Sage is also used for granting wishes. To make a wish, you first write said wish on a sage leaf then place it under your pillow for 3 nights. After the third night, bury the leaf and wait.
Fun fact - Sage was once used in the middle ages to mask the smell and taste of rancid meat.
Hi I live in an apartment, but I'd like to grow some plants. Any good magical herbs or plants that do well indoors?
Mint, rosemary, and sage all do phenomenally indoors (rosemary especially).
Just make sure you’ve got the right size containers, and the right specifications for the plants.
partial shade, but sun in the morning
being away from heating elements such as radiators - it’ll dry out otherwise
being well-drained, yet not dry. Don’t over-water!
tip: don’t plant mint with anything else, give it its own pot. It’s invasive.
being watered regularly and thoroughly, but let it dry out between waterings
moderate temperatures, around 70°F or 21°C
lots of space - it can grow rather large, it’s a strong little plant
tip: However, if you find it’s not growing to your liking, take the rosemary to a pot just slightly too small. This will cause the root system to push out and the woody branches to grow upwards. The same goes for mint, actually. But NOT sage. -Don’t do this more than once, though, and don’t keep it strained tight for too long: it stresses the poor rosemary out! Patience is more effective, if you have the time to wait.
good air circulation
well-drained soil. Don’t over water!
tip: if you’re using it for magical puposes, don’t get a veriegated leaved cooking variety (this means the sage has green and yellow in its leaves). Go for the white sage (Salvia apiana), or common sage (Salvia officinalis).
As you can see, they’re all very specific plants, and take a lot more care than one might think.
One more thing: unless you want your plants to die early, always cut off the flowers when they start to mature. Flowering is a sign for the plants to soon end their life cycle. The longer you keep them in “adolescence”, the longer your plants will last.