Updated: Jun 27, 2020
Salvia is the largest genus of plants in the Lamiaceae (mint) family, with an estimated 700 to nearly 1,000 species. However, today we are only here to discuss two:
Salvia officinalis - Garden sage
Salvia apiana - White (sacred) sage
The history of sage is ancient and its medicinal properties are well documented. Many cultures around the world and throughout history consider sage a sacred herb. It was considered, by many, a cure-all.
While there are dozens of species of salvia, the most widely used and known are officinalis and apiana. In the United States, the former became a staple in the garden, the kitchen, and the apothecary. The latter, "sacred sage", also known as white sage and commonly used by Native Americans in ritual, became threatened and endangered. This is because, as non-native people began to appropriate Native traditions, including smudging, the demand for white sage grew.
For anyone who may need clarification, "smudging" is an ancient native/indigenous practice where dried herbs are burned. The smoke from the herbs is thought to either expel, attract, or put to rest body and soul, depending on which herbs are burned.
Over-harvesting of white sage has lead to a strain on wild, native populations forcing Native communities to push for regulations. Sage is a sacred herb, even while becoming inexplicably tied to the occult and dark magic.
Scientifically, sage is anti-bacterial and has the very real potential to cleanse your space of harmful germs. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and has the potential to soothe and calm irritated skin.
Hearty, healthy, and when used appropriately, spiritually beneficial. The scientific botanical name for sage comes from the Latin word "salvere," meaning "to be saved."
Sage is indeed a savior.
We use salvia officinalis in our Wellspring Oil and the Wellspring Collection line of products.