Herb: Purple Sage

Latin name: Salvia carnosa

Synonyms: Salvia dorrii carnosa, Salvia dorrii incana

Family: Labiatae

Medicinal use of Purple Sage:

A decoction of the seeds and stems is used to treat colds. A decoction or infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of fevers, coughs, colds and stomach aches. A poultice of the crushed leaves has been applied tot he chest to treat congestion. A decoction of the leaves and stems can be drunk, used as a wash or as a steam bath in the treatment of headaches. A decoction of the flowering stems has been used as a poultice and a wash to treat swollen leg veins. The plant is much valued as a treatment for an epileptic or faint person, either administered as a drink or prepared like tobacco and the smoke blown into the patients face.

Description of the plant:


75 cm
(2 feet)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Dry slopes and flats, 1000 - 1500 metres in California.

Edible parts of Purple Sage:

Seed - cooked. Ground into a powder and used to thicken soups etc or added to cereal flours when making bread etc.

Propagation of the herb:

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 Purple Sage:

Dry slopes and flats, 1000 - 1500 metres in California.

Known hazards of Salvia carnosa:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.