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Natural Healing & Home Cleansing with Sage



By Andrea Candee

The wise gardener who planted salvia officinalis has an abundance of sage for valuable medicinal use. Prepared as an infusion (1 teaspoon of the herb steeped 15 to 30 minutes in a covered cup of boiled water), sage has a multitude of applications.

Dipping a cloth into the hot tea creates a sage compress which can be applied to the forehead to help relieve tension headaches. Breathe deeply to inhale as well as absorb sage’s aromatic benefits. A compress applied to the diaphragm or abdominal areas can help soothe stomach cramps, flatulence and general intestinal/digestive discomfort. Whenever a compress is applied, also consider sipping a cup of the sage tea (honey may be added for flavor).

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An herb of many talents

Known as a diaphoretic herb, sage tea will increase the flow of bodily fluids (such as perspiration and delayed periods) when taken hot and decrease the flow when taken cold. Colds, flu and bronchial afflictions benefit from hot sage’s ability to expectorate and increase sweating and elimination of toxins. Cold sage tea arrests diarrhea. Drink two to four cups a day, hot or cold, depending upon the desired benefit.

From the child-bearing years to menopause, sage provides valuable benefit. Cold sage tea is used to help stop night sweats during the menopausal years and can be used to assist in the weaning process when it is time to stem the flow of milk in a nursing mother. In both stages, women want those bodily fluids to stop flowing! Sage is to be avoided during pregnancy as it can stimulate uterine contractions. Do not use cold sage tea while nursing so as not to affect the flow of milk.

Rinse, gargle, inhale, shampoo, bathe

People sporting braces on their teeth can benefit from sage’s ability to astringe and heal irritated tissue. For inflamed gums, tongue or mouth ulcers, rinse with cool sage tea three times a day. As a gargle, sage’s antiseptic properties help heal a sore throat.

Aromatically, sage helps to clear the sinuses and lungs. Place the hot sage infusion in a glass bowl, use a towel to create a tented effect and inhale deeply. Strained sage tea can be used in the vaporizer and added to the bath water.

A cool sage compress speeds the healing of cuts, wounds, herpes sores, and varicose veins. Poured over the hair after shampooing, sage tea is most helpful in reducing dandruff.

Cleansing power

Sage was commonly used by Native Americans to clear the energy field. The dried leaves were rolled into cylinders and tied with string. The smoke from the ignited “smudge sticks” was credited with clearing negative vibrations.

Sage and cedar bundles may be found in health food stores and wellness or gift shops. Place the bundle in a ceramic dish and ignite it. The branches will smolder, releasing the cleansing smoke. This is a good way to clear out lingering “sick germs” after cold and flu, or “bad vibes” after an argument or unwelcome visitor!

Considering the varied medicinal uses of common garden sage, it is easy to understand the ancient proverb, “Why should a man die if he has sage flourishing in his garden?” The next time you cook a turkey, you may want to save some of the sage you use on the turkey for the digestive upset that’s sure to follow – especially if you wind up as stuffed as the turkey!

© Andrea Candee

Andrea Candee is a master herbalist, media expert, nationally known lecturer and author of the award-winning Gentle Healing for Baby and Child (Simon & Schuster), which received The National parenting Center’s Seal of Approval. Andrea is noted nationally for her unique and successful approach to Lyme Disease. She lives and maintains a consultation health practice in New York and shares much of her knowledge at www.AndreaCandee.com.

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