Herb: White Sage

Latin name: Salvia apiana

Family: Labiatae

Medicinal use of White Sage:

An infusion of the leaves is used as a blood tonic and as a treatment for coughs and colds. The leaves can be eaten, or used as a sweat bath, in the treatment of colds. The seeds have been used as eye cleaners. No more information is given here, but in other instances the seed has been placed in the eye, it then forms a gelatinous covering to which any foreign matter in the eye adheres. The seed is washed out of the eye by the eyes own tears.

Description of the plant:


3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

to July

Habitat of the herb:

Dry benches and slopes below 1500 metres.

Edible parts of White Sage:

Seed - raw or cooked. It can be ground into a powder and used as a mush. The seed has been mixed with cereals such as oats or wheat, toasted then ground into a fine powder and eaten dry. The seed can also be soaked overnight and used as a drink in water or fruit juice or eaten with cereals. The seed is also used as a spice. The leaves are used in cooking. They can be used as a flavouring in seed mushes. Stem tops. The young stalks can be eaten raw. Ripe stem tops can be peeled and eaten raw.

Other uses of the herb:

The leaves have been crushed in water and used as a hair shampoo, dye and hair straightener. A poultice of the freshly crushed leaves can be applied to the armpits to treat body odours. The leaves have been burnt as an incense to fumigate a house after a case of contagious disease such as measles.

Propagation of White Sage:

Seed - sow March/April in a greenhouse. Germination usually takes place within 2 weeks. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out in early summer. In areas where the plant is towards the limits of its hardiness, it is best to grow the plants on in a greenhouse for their first winter and plant them out in late spring of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood succeed at almost any time in the growing season.

Cultivation of the herb:

Dry benches and slopes below 1500 metres.

Known hazards of Salvia apiana:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.