What is sage incense used for?

Natural medicinal ingredient sage

In a nutshell!

The name alone reveals the meaning of this popular herb and medicinal plant: "Sage" and "Salvia" are derived from the Latin word salvare for healing, saving. The real sage was valued as a medicinal plant in early antiquity. Its hemostatic, antiperspirant, germ-inhibiting and digestive properties were known.

What is the difference between meadow sage and real sage used medicinally?

Sage species are found all over the world. Many of them are used as spices, medicinal herbs or as food. Here in Central Europe, meadow sage (Salvia pratensis) is relatively widespread. This pretty plant can be found on local meadows and dry slopes. It becomes about 60 cm high, flowers from May to August and can live for several years. The inflorescence is erect and has many individual light to strong blue lip-shaped flowers. Many children know the plant from school. In biology lessons, the large lip flowers are used as visual aids for adapting the shape of the flowers to pollination by insects - especially bumblebees.

However, the type used medicinally is not meadow sage, but real sage. This is common in the Mediterranean area. Originally it is probably only at home in Dalmatia. Hence the name Dalmatian sage. The scientific name of this plant species, also known as noble sage, is Salvia officinalis. Officinalis means: used in the pharmacy. The species of a plant family that are used medicinally - i.e. as medicinal products or for their production - are usually referred to as officinal or official.

Salvia officinalis is the basis for many breeds. The garden sage, which many hobby gardeners know, is therefore usually a cultivated form of the medicinal sage and can be used accordingly.

What are the ingredients of sage and how do they work?

The medicinal effect of this aromatic medicinal herb is due to 2 essential active principles - that of the essential oil and that of the tannins.

The essential oil consists of about 60% thujone. But it also contains cineole, camphor and thujyl alcohol. Above all, it has a germicidal effect (antiseptic and fungicidal).

The contained ingredients from the groups of tannins and flavonoids are largely responsible for the anti-inflammatory and astringent, i.e. astringent, sealing effect.

Both components can best be removed by extraction with alcohol. Accordingly, the full range of effects of the sage can best unfold in alcoholic extracts. In the case of self-made sage tea, on the other hand, the tanning effect is predominantly used.

What is sage used for?

Sage is anti-inflammatory and germicidal, i.e. disinfecting. It also has an astringent effect. Astrinction leads to the sealing of the vessels and tissues, which promotes the healing process. For these reasons, it is suitable as an anti-inflammatory gargle solution.

In addition, it has an antiperspirant effect in the event of excessive sweating. It is therefore suitable for people who are prone to night sweats, but also psychosomatic or hormonally-related increased perspiration.

Sage leaves also contain bitter substances. Sage is also suitable for the treatment of gastrointestinal complaints, both because of its anti-inflammatory effect and because of the stimulation of the digestive juices through these bitter substances.

What is clary sage?

In recent years a very special type of sage has found its way into our gardens: the muscat sage (Salvia sclarea). This plant has a particularly high content of the characteristic essential oils of sage. That is why the muscatel sage is mainly used to extract the oil that is used in fragrance lamps, perfumes, massage oils or bath additives.

What is the Greek sage?

It is definitely worth bringing the so-called mountain tea with you from a vacation in Greece. It is the dried herb of the species Salvia triloba. You can also find the names Salvia fructinosa or Salvia lavandulifolia. The mountain tea smells beguiling. Some of the scent reminds of incense, others of eucalyptus. The different composition of the essential oil is responsible for this special aroma: Salvia triloba contains almost no thujone, but much more cineole. That is why it is not used medicinally, but is used to make a very tasty tea.

What does chia have to do with sage?

Chia seeds have only been on the shelves of health food stores for a few years, but increasingly also in discount stores. They are used, for example, as a substitute for flour or grain in pasta and muesli. Chia seeds contain many important proteins, easily digestible fatty acids and various vitamins, minerals and trace elements. This makes them a valuable source of nutrients and a good alternative for people sensitive to gluten. Few people know, however, that chia is neither the seeds of an exotic fruit nor the grains of a previously unfamiliar grain. The so-called chia seeds are strictly speaking the Klausen of 2 other representatives of the genus Salvia. Klausen are nutty small fruits that are typical of the Lamiaceaen family. Chia is obtained from the sage species Salvia hispanica and Salvia columbariae, which are widespread in Central America, i.e. the Mexican chia and the Californian chia.

Can you use sage during pregnancy and while breastfeeding?

During pregnancy one should not use alcoholic extracts or the essential oil of sage. The reason is the active ingredient thujone. Folk medicine is supposed to increase the willingness to conceive, but the oil is not recommended during pregnancy. Tea in moderate amounts and gargle solutions, on the other hand, are not a problem, as the thujone is hardly dissolved out in these forms of application.

Sage is said to inhibit milk secretion. That is why it was used in folk medicine as an aid to weaning.

Tips on using sage

In the kitchen

Here the dried sage leaves are used as spices for lamb, veal and pork. Tomato sauces and pasta dishes also taste good with sage. You can also fry the leaves directly or bake them in omelette batter: delicious!

As a tea and gargle solution

Both the fresh herb and the dried sage leaves are suitable for making teas: simply pour hot water over them and let them steep for at least 15 minutes. Only then drink in small sips. As a gargle solution, it can then be used for sore throats and inflammation of the mouth and throat mucous membrane. As a tea, it is used for colds and digestive disorders as well as for increased perspiration.

Chewing fresh sage leaves

Traditionally, chewing has been recommended in order to strengthen the gums and to become more resistant to infections.

The talking compass of active ingredients

Find out more about sage in a short clip with doctor and pharmacist Dr. Peter Reinhard.

Homeopathic use of sage

the versatile one supports:

  • Harmonization of perspiration
  • Calming hypersensitive nerves
  • for gastrointestinal mucosal inflammation and loss of appetite