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sage - salvia officinalis - leaves

Sage, common, Salvia officinalis L.

Some plants are so versatile that you almost dread starting a monograph on it. Nettle is such a plant and today I am writing about another plant in this category: sage, aka Salvia officinalis. Of course, this broad spectrum of properties is plenty of reason to want to discuss sage, so I guess I’m just going to have to roll up my sleeves and give you the skinny on this fantastic plant. You probably know it from cooking. Especially since Mediterranean cuisine became popular all over the world, this herb has become an indispensable part of our spice rack.

Healing properties of sage, Salvia officinalis

Sage’s medicinal powers are considerable. This plant is a strong ally when it comes to helping the immune system fight acute threats from bacteria and viruses. It works well against fungal infections too. It tempers fevers and is your best friend should you sweat excessively.
But there is more: sage can be applied in a wide spectrum of digestive disorders and against gynaecological complaints of all kinds. Externally, it is extremely suitable for use on both acute and chronic wounds.

Magical effects of this fragrant herb

Sage is widely known for its cleansing and protective magical effects. Many people have at some point used the smoke of sage’s smouldering dried leaves to purify a room. However, not everyone knows that this plant can be used to magically bring about long-term health and healing. Employing sage promotes wisdom and insight. You can use its leaves to make wishes come true.
Good to know: according to tradition, it is bad luck to plant sage in your garden yourself and to leave it on its own. It might therefore be a good idea to ask someone to plant sage for you and make it at least two plants while they are at it.

Botanical description Sage, Salvia officinalis

Sage has a taproot. The plant branches strongly and can grow quite large, making it almost look like a shrub. The stem is square and ligneous towards the bottom, greyish and pannose towards the top of the plant.
The leaves are arranged decussately on the branches and stalked. They feel like felt. The leaves are elongated elliptical, reticulate and have a firm, almost leathery appearance. The colour varies from green to grey-green to almost white, depending on where on the plant they are located. At the bottom of the leaves, we find the oil glands that cause the characteristic smell and taste of sage.
The flowers are pink to purple and grow in verticillasters of three to ten flowers, which are two-lipped with a two-lobed upper lip and a three-lobed lower lip. The seeds are dark in colour and oval to round in shape.

Interesting facts

Sage is an excellent bee plant.
Like wormwood, it contains thujone.
Its leaves can be used to keep your teeth clean and your breath fresh.

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