Sage has long been burned to purify and cleanse a space. The ancients burned dried sprigs of sage in temples and during religious rituals. The Greeks and Romans wrote that the smoke imparted wisdom and mental acuity. In the tenth century, Arab physicians said that sage brought about immortality, or at the very least, a long and healthy life. In England, seventeenth-century servants of the royal family scattered a blend of sage and lavender on the floors at court to help disguise the aroma of day to day life.
Medicinally, Dioscorides says a decoction made from sage leaves and branches helps with urination and hair regrowth. He adds that it can help prevent ulcers and sores from festering, as well. In the essential herbal Back to Eden, Jethro Kloss tells us that sage is "one of the best remedies for stomach troubles, dyspepsia, gas in the stomach and bowels... will expel worms in adults and children. Will stop bleeding of wounds, very cleansing to old ulcers and sores... Also in liver and kidney troubles." He also recommends it in treatment of sexual disorders -- either excessive sexual desire or a decreased libido. In other words, sage is pretty much the go-to herb for a number of ailments.
In magic, carry sage leaves in your wallet or purse to promote financial gain. Burn leaves to increase wisdom or gain guidance from your spirit guide (be warned - burning sage does smell similar to marijuana, so keep that in mind if you think the neighbors might be inquisitive). Make a wish and write it on a sage leaf, and then hide it beneath your pillow -- if you dream about your wish over the next three nights, your wish will come true.
In addition to its medicinal and magical uses, sage makes a great addition to your kitchen pantry. Use it to season fish or chicken dishes, or toss fresh leaves into a green salad.
Other Names: Garden sage
Planetary Connection: Jupiter