Red Sage

Salvia officinalis var. rubia


Names: Garden Sage

Habitat: Native to Mediterranean region, cultivated worldwide.

Collection: The leaves should be gathered shortly before or just atthe beginning of flowering in dry sunny weather in May or June. Dry in theshade or not above 35 degrees C.

Part Used: Leaves.

Constituents: * Volatile oil, containing [[alpha]] and[[beta]]-thujone as the major components, with cineole,

borneol, camphor, 2-methyl-3-methylene-5-heptene and others

* Diterpene bitters; picrosalvin (= carnosol), carnosolic acid and others

* Flavonoids; salvigenin, genkwanin, 6-methoxygendwanin, hispidulin, luteolina

* Phenolic acids; rosmarinic, caffeic, labiatic etc.

* Salviatannin, a condensed catechin.

Actions: Carminative, anti-spasmodic, anti-microbial, astringent,anti-inflammatory.

Indications: Red Sage is the classic remedy for inflammations of the mouth, throat and tonsils, its volatile oils soothing the mucous membranes. Itmay be used internally and as a mouth wash for inflamed and bleeding gums(gingivitis), inflamed tongue (glossitis) or generalized mouth inflammation (stomatitis). It is an excellent remedy in mouthulcers (apthae). As a gargle it will aid in the treatment of laryngitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and quinsy. It is a valuable carminative used in dyspepsia. It reduces sweating when taken internally and may be used to reduce the production of breast milk. As acompress it promotes the healing of wounds. Red Sage stimulates the muscles of the uterus and so should be avoided during pregnancy.

Priest & Priest tell us that it is a “carminative, stimulatingastringent – especially suitable for weak, pale, atonic patients. Cold preparations check excessive perspiration from circulatory debility.” They give the following specific indications: gastric debility and flatulence, nightsweats, sore ulcerated throat.

CAUTION: Avoid during pregnancy.

Combinations: As a gargle for throat conditions it combines well with Tormentil and Balm of Gilead. In dyspepsia it can be combined with Meadowsweetand Chamomile.

Preparation and dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l-2teaspoonfuls of the leaves and let infuse for l0 minutes. This should be drunkthree times a day. Mouthwash: put 2 teaspoonfuls of the leaves in half a litre( one pint) of water, bring to the boil and let stand, covered, for l5 minutes.Gargle deeply with the hot tea for 5-l0 minutes several times a day. Tincture:take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.

© David L. Hoffman, M.N.I.M.H.

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Written by David L. Hoffmann BSc Hons MNIMH

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