Sage (Dan Shen, Shenreg)
Botanical Name: Western: Salvia officinalis. Eastern: Salvia miltiorrhizae.
Sage has been considered one of the top medicinal and culinary herbs for centuries. This herb is easy to cultivate and has spirit cleansing properties. It is a mainstay in many herb gardens.
Below is an overview of sage, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of sage.
Western Name: Sage
Also Known As: N/A
Organs/Systems: Stomach, Sinus, Immunity, Female Disorders
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Diuretic, Hemostatic, Emmenagogue, Tonic, Digestive, Antispasmodic (aid stomach and menstrual cramping), colds and flus, stop sweating, aid menses, dry up mothers milk post nursing, mouth sores, skin rashes bruises, and ulcers.
Pin Yin: Dan Shen (Salvia miltiorrhizae), Shenreg (Salvia officinalis)
Also Known As: Cinnabar Root, Red Sage Root
Meridians: Heart, Pericardium, Liver
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Dan Shen (Salvia miltiorrhizae): Invigorate Blood/Break up Blood Stasis: dysmenorrhea, palpable masses, amenorrhea, pain due to blood stasis. Clear Heat/Sooth Irritablity: palps, restlessness, insomnia due to heat entering nutritive level. Shenreg (Salvia Officinalis): Increase Qi: enhance immunity. Resolve Phlegm: loose mucousy stools, colds, sinus, stimulate lungs, asthma, coughs. Restore Uterus: scanty delayed menses, cramps, tremors. Aid skin repair: rashes, bruises, ulcers, sores.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Leaves and Roots
Flavors: Bitter, Slightly Cool, Astringent
Caution: None noted.
History/Folklore: Considered in Britain to be one of the essential herbs, along with parsley, rosemary, and thyme. Recipes for sage pancakes date back to the 5th century BC. It is both a digestive aid and appetite stimulant. The Middle Ages generated many sayings referring to the plants healing properties and value, like “why should anyone die who has sage in their garden?” Sometimes called Salvia salvatrix, meaning “sage the savior,” since it was one of the ingredients of Four Thieves Vinegar, a blend of herbs that was supposed to ward off plague. Used as a hair rinse to help treat dandruff, as well as promote hair shine and growth. Sage has been used since ancient times to ward off evil and snakebites, as well as to increase female fertility.
Essential oil (cineole, borneol and thujone). Leaf contains: tannic acid, oleic acid, ursonic acid, ursolic acid, carnosol, carnosic acid, fumaric acid, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, niacin, nicotinamide, flavones, flavonoids, glycosides, and estrogenic substances.
Charlemagne recommended the plant for cultivation in monastery gardens.
The “officinalis” in the plant’s name refers to sage’s medicinal roots. The officinal was the traditional storeroom of a monastery where these herbs and medicines were kept.
As sage is similar to rosemary in its ability to improve brain function and memory, it is being studied for constituents that could be used in treating Alzheimer’s.
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