The name Salvia derives from the Latin word Salveo, “to heal” or “to save” (more like, to salve, as in, apply a salve).
It has long been used in healing. An old proverb says “why should a man die who has sage in his garden?”. It was used in the Middle Ages to treat fevers, liver disease and epilepsy. In England, the tea drunk as a healthful tonic. It was also believed to strengthen the memory. An old English custom states that eating Sage every day in May will grant immortality. It was also said that a woman who ate sage cooked in wine would never be able to conceive and its fresh leaves were said to cure warts.
It is said that where sage grows well in the garden, the wife rules and that sage will flourish or not depending on the success of the business of the household.
During the Middle Ages, sage was used to mask the taste of rancid meat. Perhaps its antibacterial action also protected people from dying of rancid meat.
The Romans regarded sage quite highly and much sacrifice and ceremony was associated with its harvest. They believed it stimulated the brain and memory and used it to clean their teeth.
The Dutch in the 17th century traded Sage for tea with the Chinese.
Sage is masculine in nature and associated the the element of air and the planet Jupiter.
Sage is sacred to the Greek Zeus and Roman Jupiter. It is also a symbol of the Virgin Mary.
White sage Salvia apiana is sacred in many Shamanic and Native American belief systems and is used in smudging, and other, ceremonies to purify the body. This plant is difficult to grow in captivity and is largely wildcrafted which threatens native populations. Garden sage is a suitable substitute. Indeed, most Salvia species can be used for smudging.
Sage is used in magical workings for immortality, longevity, wisdom, protection and the granting of wishes.
Sage is also believed to help alleviate sorrow of the death of a loved one.
To make a wish, write your wish on a sage leaf and sleep with it under your pillow for three days and then bury it.
Add sage to mojo bags to promote wisdom and to overcome grief.
Burn sage at funeral and remembrance ceremonies to help relieve the grief of the mourners.
Sage tea has antiseptic qualities and makes a good gargle for sore throats.
Sage may boost insulin action, and therefore, a daily cup of tea may be helpful for those with diabetes. Use one or two teaspoons of dried sage leaves to one cup of boiling water.