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Sage types.

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There are four, no five types of sage. Six, you say? Seven?

Sages are Salvia spp., as the Artemisia spp. are better called artemisias. Or perhaps mugworts.

First, there's the scented anti-inflammatory salvias that are good for the lungs. The type example of that is garden sage (Salvia officinalis), but you can use these as well:
- the various clary sages: sticky clary (Salvia glutinosa), meadow clary (Salvia pratensis), Balkan clary (Salvia sylvestris), verbena sage (Salvia verbenaca), whorled clary (Salvia verticillata), and real clary sage (Salvia sclarea). I've tried to grow real clary a few times, but it's a biennial and dies during our winters: it has never gotten to the flowering stage in my garden. I rarely see it, and a visit to Kew gardens last September had me going hmmm: I had remembered its scent as being nice, not catpissy.
I'm growing a very nice perennial clary-sage type with small off-white flowers, but I don't know which Salvia it is.
- autumn sage (Salvia greggii), with its exquisite scent - I do hope it'll survive the winter in my garden (... it didn't.).
- Cleveland sage (Salvia clevelandii).
There are others: try any of them as an anti-inflammatory lung herb if they're scented, except if they're pineapple sage.

There's the pretty sages with no scent. I don't know if they can be used for anything: blood sage (Salvia coccinea), scarlet sage (Salvia splendens), mealy-cup sage (Salvia farinacea), and many more.

There's the chia sages, used for their mucilaginous seeds: chia sage (Salvia columbariae), the gorgeous gentian sage (Salvia patens), named for the color more than the taste or scent, and Salvia polystachya, another chia. There are more of these, too.

There's divining sage, Salvia divinorum. I haven't used it, nor am I planning to.

The Chinese use the root of Chinese sage (Salvia miltiorrhiza) for something or other, quite unlike other sages; though I don't know how many westerners have used the roots of their sages. It's possible that we'd get the same effect from the roots of one or the other local salvia, and just haven't been using them.

Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) is herbally more like the scented geraniums than the sages: use the scent as a mood lifter (rub a leaf and inhale the scent), and use the leaf to make tasty teas.

Whitesage (Salvia apiana) is simply divine. I use the dried leaf for smudging and the tincture as a perfume, and I use whitesage as a very strong garden sage -- but only when I have no other garden-sage-type salvias left in my cupboard.

That's seven. Have I forgotten any?

Related entries: Lung grunges - YAMFAIs


What about Salvia Divinorum? It's not really too well known in the U.S., I guess, it does has very notable properties though.

It's exotic, I can't grow it in my garden (... no greenhouse), it's on the restricted list, and it's psychoactive. That's 4 counts against, which is why I'm not all that interested in it.

What about Salvia reflexa, I'd be interested to know where it falls in these categories... I've been using it as a nerve tonic, but I've found very little research on it. M. Moore calls it Chán. Traditionally used as a stomach remedy and occasionally for nervousness, I believe. Thanks.

King's mentions it in passing, as does the USDisp. I got that from my plant name search ...


Thanks for your response. Perhaps I'm blind but I don't see s. reflexa specifically mentioned in either of those links (I also did a text search with my browser). Extensive online research shows that it has recently been used by some people looking for an analogue to S. divinorum, which it's not of course, but did seem to cause some sleepiness, relaxation and some visuals at high doses. I'm just interested in it's powerful nerve relaxant properties, not least because it's a common weed here (Saliz Mountains of southwestern NM) and we don't have many of the common nervines (at least not at this elevation in this area: 6000 feet) such as skullcap, catnip, motherwort, bugleweed etc. Anyhow, I was just wondering if you had any personal experience (it's been spread as an invasive alien to parts of Europe and Australia) or had heard anything about it. Thanks for taking the time to answer the previous post. And for your extensive knowledge that you so freely share.

From my plant name search:
Salvia reflexa Hornem., Lamiaceae. ... Bot. syn.: Salvia lanceolata Brouss., Salvia lancifolia Poir.

Both King's and the US Disp mention it by one or the other of those synonyms. Of course, now I'll have to dig into "Brouss." vs "Willd." - the botanical authors of Salvia lanceolata.

Gee H I am surprised you mention the Chinese Salvia as "good for something". In Asian traditional it is one of the biggest of the big up there with ginsing (Ren Shen/ (Hu)man root). It makes blood strong, moves it quickly thru the body and breaks up pooled or clotted blood. This of course is very good news for the elderly anemic clot throwers...and many others as well...
I can't seem to reconcile this with the anti inflam lung herb...vibe...but if anyone wants to use their W. Salvia roots to try and melt clots...let me know how it goes!!

All of that is very nice, but it's TCM uses, and I'm a western herbalist out on the edge of western herbalism. Chinese salvia is not something I can lay my hands on, and I've haven't heard any of my western herbalist pals use it. Perhaps because most of my pals, like me, want to pick their own herbs wherever possible?

Aha, Thank you!!!

Somehow I had not clicked that Salvia reflexa equaled Salvia lanceolata or Salvia lancifolia... Sorry if I was a bother and thanks for taking the time to respond.

i found a plant that smells like sage yet i do not recognise it , it looks almost like almost like a maple leaf but ruff feeling it smells like sage when you rubb in your hands when it has seeds it looks like weat at the end could it posibaly be a type ofg sage?

That's nice.

just a quick qustion.... would sage help with a cold/fever?

I don't know, I don't use sage. Salvia officinalis, that is.

Hi, i was wondering, if you ingest any types of sage (besides salvia divinorum) found in southern california, could they cause any bodily harm?