Natural Order—Labiatae. Linnean System, Class 2, Diandria; Order 1st, Monogynia.
This plant grows to a height of about 12 inches; stems four-square, slightly hairy; leaves opposite, alternately; flowers labiate, of a red or purplish colour. It is generally cultivated, although it grows wild in some places. The whole plant is used in medicine. Its therapeutic principles are resin, resinoid, neutral, and alkaloid.
Medicinal Properties: Nervine, Tonic, Stomachic, Aromatic, Stimulant, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Mild Astringent, Aphrodisiac, Emmenagogue, Detergent.
It is useful for fevers of every kind, measles, sore throat, quinsy, laryngitis, diphtheria; obstructed menstruation (amenorrhoea), flooding (menorrhagia); colds, coughs, bronchitis, and inflammation of the lungs; constipation, indigestion, biliousness and liver complaints. Red Sage is the best single remedy we know for quinsy, diphtheria, and laryngitis. The infusion of one ounce to a pint of boiling water can be used in these conditions both as a medicine and as a gargle. The dose, internally, is from one wineglassful to half a teacupful as often as required, or according to the severity of the case to be treated.
It is used as a poultice for sore breasts or other inflamed gatherings. It allays nervous excitement, and is considered a useful medicine in typhoid fever given in small and frequently repeated doses. A cup of the strong infusion is good to relieve nervous headache, and when it is inveterate combine with Wood Betony and add a few drops of Tincture Avena if available.
Health from British Wild Herbs was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, N.A.M.H., in 1918.