Sage is considered a sacred herb since antiquity, a salvaging and saving herb. Its very name, Salvia, comes from the Latin “salvare”, to salvage, save. Different Sage species have been used all around the world since thousands of years. Still today, the North American Indians use it to fumigate their sweat huts, to purify and facilitate the communication with the divine powers. It removes negative energy and is associated with wisdom. In the Medieval, sage was considered a ‘panacea’, a ‘cure-all’, and it has been cultivated in monastery gardens. Sage also plays a part in Muslim rituals, at weddings, births and as an incense.
The fragrance, burned in an aroma lamp alerts the senses, is tonic to the mind, sharpens the memory and is useful to have around in cases of mental fatigue, exhaustion and depression. More an intellectual fragrance, it aids in times of emotional upheavals and crises, brings clarity of mind and strength. Actually in 2003, sage (S. officinalis) was found to be effective in the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease in a double blind, randomized and placebo controlled trial.
Greek sage oil has a more flowery, less pungent fragrance than common sage oil (Salvia officinalis).
Greek sage oil is generally more safe to use medicinally than common sage oil, because of a lesser concentration of ketones (thujones and camphor) in favor of a higher 1.8 cineole content. The reputation of the healing powers of sage is age old, who does not know the proverb ‘Cur moriatur homo, cui Salvia crescit in horto?’ Why should a man die, in whose garden sage is growing?..
A major pharmacological activity of sage is in the treatment of female disorders, in cases of painful menstruation, the oil diluted at 3% in a carrier oil and massaged in clockwise circles on the lower abdomen, as well as taken internally 1-2 drops in a small glass of alcohol brings rapid relief. Pregnant women should not use it, since it has abortive activity in higher doses, and nursing mothers should avoid it, unless they want to stop the flow of milk painlessly (same as above massaged on breasts and internally). Because it regulates excessive sweating, the oil is a great help for difficult menopause and can be complimented with baths (5 drops in a cupful of dairy cream added). As a washing (2 drops in 1 dl of warm water, used repeatedly) it helps in cases of vaginitis with white discharge.
Greek sage, because of its high 1.8 cineole (eucalyptol) content is also mucolytic, and can be used as a gargle (2 drops in a small amount of alcohol in a glass of water, gargle and spit out a few times) to treat sore throats and infectious catarrh. This gargle is also helpful in case of foul smelling breath. Greek sage has an overall beneficial activity for the throat, and has become a favorite among singers, to prepare their voices and throats before a performance.
Brushing one’s teeth with a drop of sage oil added to the toothpaste strengthens the gums. People have used sage leaves to rub onto their teeth and as a mouthwash for centuries.
We have seen quite some dentists surprised over the capability of Greek sage oil to reverse periodontitis, treat gingivitis and bleeding gums. However, the oil added to the toothbrush has such astringent action on the gums, that it is important, to have your teeth cleaned well by the dentist first. Otherwise, plaque might be en-capsuled in the periodontal pockets.
To relieve headache, a drop of oil mixed with 1 dl of vinegar and applied as a compress onto the forehead is helpful.
In cosmetic preparations, sage is excellent for the treatment of oily, impure skin, cleaning and astringent it helps to regulate excessive sebum production. Mainly to be used as a tonic (recipe under cypress), or masque, less in cremes. To make a masque for older, oily skin with poor blood circulation mix 2 tablespoons of honey with 2 drops of sage oil, beat the white of an egg until stiff, mix these ingredients well with a little flour to make a paste, apply to face and neck and leave 30 min. Remove with warm water and freshen skin with a tonic. In a tonic, sage is especially efficient for oily skin with enlarged pores. To treat foot sweat, one can mix 2 drops of sage and 2 drops of cypress oil in a small cup of milk or dairy cream and add to a foot bath.
A drop or two of sage essential oil can also be used in the kitchen, to flavor fatty meat dishes such as pork, sausages, sauces and marinades.