Sage (Salvia) is a very popular plant – a shrub grown not only to decorate flower beds but also for its fragrant foliage. The plant belongs to the Lamiaceae family, and the second name of the culture is also known – Salvia. It has both decorative and medicinal qualities. There are about 700 different varieties of sage in the world.
Sage has strong stems, the average height is 1.5 meters. Leaves mostly entire, sometimes ovate. The flowers are miniature, formed into spike-shaped inflorescences. The lower part of the plants has a persistent ethereal aroma. Culture is an excellent honey plant, often grown by beekeepers. Heat is a friend of salvia, but plants do not grow well in high humidity.
Salvia officinalis (Salvia officinalis)
Planting and caring for sage in the garden
Ideal places for planting sage in spring or summer are where onions used to grow, also cabbage, potatoes or legumes. After removing all the vegetables, they dig up the soil, add compost with humus or potassium-phosphorus top dressing.
You can also sow salvia directly into the soil in the fall (the later, the better), so that the seeds cannot germinate before the onset of frost, respectively, they will overwinter well, and new shoots will begin to sprout in early spring. It is necessary to sow in rows, the distance between which should be approximately 50 centimeters. Suggested planting locations are flower borders and flower beds, patios, containers, and garden beds.
The soil is enriched in advance with ammonia fertilizer. In the same place, the plant can feel good without replanting for about 7 years. Remember that the flower is able to cross-pollinate, so different varieties are planted far from each other.
Sage does not need special conditions, the most important thing is to weed weeds in time and loosen the soil. It is necessary to remember about shelter before frosts. With the advent of the warm season, it is required to remove dry stems, leaving about ten centimeters. The soil around the plant is mulched or covered with gravel. The culture does not tolerate excessive moisture.
In order to propagate salvia, a variety of methods are used:
- division of the bush;
- with the help of withdrawals.
To grow seedlings, seeds are sown in containers in early February and until March. After 10-15 days, sprouts appear, after three weeks the seedlings dive into individual pots. Deciding to start growing sage in the open field, this must be done in mid-April, in the absence of sharp temperature fluctuations. Seed material is prepared in advance by soaking in a growth stimulator.
Plants can tend to elongate over time, so it’s important to prune them annually to keep them bushy and full of flowers. Pruning after flowering helps maintain a better, fuller shape and stimulates the sage. Never prune old, brown, leafless stems or the plant will die. Old, abandoned plants are best replaced. Annual pruning is required.
Sage leaves can be harvested at any time. Preference is given to young leaves that have the best taste. Excess crop can be dried or frozen. Freezing is the best option to preserve foliage harvested in mid-summer.
The first year that sage is planted in the garden, harvest only lightly trimming a few leaves at a time. After the first growing season, harvest plants freely. Choose individual leaves or cut off 6 to 8 inches of green stem with leaves. It is better to collect leaves before flowering.
Plant diseases and treatment
Despite the fact that sage in the garden has insecticidal qualities, and is considered a medicinal plant, due to heavy watering, the plant can be damaged by mold. Affected areas must be treated with a liquid mixture of sulfur. Too compact planting can lead to the appearance of spider mites, slugs or thrips. A similar problem is combated by treatment with a solution of laundry soap and water (1:10).
Application in design and combination with other plants
Landscape designers often use sage in the garden as the plant is quite unpretentious. From salvia create unusual garden compositions. The most commonly used nutmeg variety of culture. However, to ennoble the spicy beds, tandems with mint or basil, rosemary or thyme, oregano and hyssop are mainly used
Blooming dark purple, salvia is a great companion for orange, red and yellow flowers.
Medicinal properties of sage
Sage is characterized by a large number of healing qualities. It has a soothing, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effect. It is used for viral infections, diseases of the liver, kidneys and stomach, since the components in the composition improve and normalize digestion, have a choleretic effect. Salvia helps with bloating and also increases appetite.
Types of sage
We list the most common types of sage:
- Salvia officinalis (Salvia officinalis) . Reaches a height of about 50-70 centimeters. Grayish-green leaves, the surface of which is covered with fluff, are thin and elongated in shape. It is used in medicine and cooking, also used in cosmetology.
- Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) . Perennial or annual crop. Despite the fact that the plant is medium-sized, sometimes there are instances of a meter size. Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)
Differs in lush buds of a dark purple color.
- Sh. meadow (Salvia pratensis) . It reaches a height of 80 centimeters, the flowers are elongated, most often purple with a blue tint, but white specimens are also found.
- Oak sage (Salvia nemorosa) – begins to bloom from early summer until October. oak sage (Salvia nemorosa)
The flowers are purple with a blue tint in the form of an ear, reach a height of 70 centimeters.
Blue sage (Salvia azurea) . It has pale blue inflorescences, many small flowers. Blue sage (Salvia azurea)
Flowering starts in July, lasts until October. It is most popular with gardeners.
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For landscape design, the blue tones of many sage trees are valuable because they visually increase the distance between plants in mixborders. Their flowering continues until autumn and dilutes with its colors the plantings of late-flowering heliopsis, Japanese anemones, New Belgian and New English aster, contrasting yellow cuffs, rudbeckia, coreopsis, gaillardia, daylilies. It is combined with plants of a similar appearance – astilbes, veronicas and veronicastrums, as well as airy inflorescences of gypsophila and yarrow ptarmic.
Most sage plants are medium-sized plants, and tall meadow sage can be used for the background of flower beds. Silver sage and medicinal sage are foreground plants, they bring a “cooling” silver background for flowering plants into flower beds, like woolly stakhis, lavenders, wormwood, seaside cineraria. In addition, these species are suitable for a sheltered hillside, naturally combined with stone and ground cover plants
English gardeners consider oak sage and related lush and woodland sage to be the best plants for the garden. All of them give flower beds an ideal vertical, do not lie down. Very effective when planted in large arrays, combining several contrasting varieties. Sage is simply necessary in a fragrant garden, where many pollinating insects are attracted, they are good honey plants.
They are integral components of the “Udolfian” flower beds, which support the principle of naturalness promoted by the Dutch landscape designer Piet Oudolf. The drought resistance of sage allows you to combine them with many cereals and yarrows, a magnificent tandem is obtained with astrantia, while imitating the pretty simplicity of natural landscapes.
Another Dutch landscape architect, Mien Ruijs, who spearheaded the Perennial Reinvention movement in the 1990s, boldly combined sage with roses in her designs. She was influenced by the approaches of the English landscape architect Gertrude Jekyll, who is considered the inventor of mixborders and the rural garden style in general, and who introduced the concept of the “picture garden”, comparing it to the “intricate pattern of ancient embroidery”. She recommended planting plants in mixborders not in color spots, but in extended groups. And this recommendation is very handy in relation to sage.
The miraculous features of sage have been known to man for several millennia. Pharaohs drank sage infusions to keep their youth. The ancient Romans gave them to women to drink so that children were born strong. During the plague period of medieval Europe, the strength of the sick was supported by a healing potion.
According to Wikipedia, sage ( Latin name – Salvia) is a herbaceous perennial shrub of the Lamiaceae family. Medicinal species have found recognition in scientific and traditional medicine, cosmetology, cooking, perfumery, and decorative ones – in landscape design.
In addition to the traditional name , sage is called noble, cross, royal or, tracing from Latin, salvia. In the everyday speech of different localities, you can hear: honey, blue initial letter, kokish, samosey, lettuce, salvia. On English packaging, they are referred to as garden (common) sage.
Where and how does it grow
The range of wild salvia is the Mediterranean, especially Italy, Serbia, Albania. The shrub is actively cultivated in the southern steppe regions of Russia, in the territories of Slovakia, the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Moldova, and Ukraine.
Cultures are thermophilic, resistant to drought, but defenseless against frost. Propagated by dividing the bush or seeds. If planted in the spring, then from the end of August you can harvest the first crop.
What does it look like
The average height of the sage half-bush is 70-75 cm.
Salvia is valued for its content:
- vitamins (A, group B, C, E, K, PP);
- essential oil containing cineole, thujone, borneol, other terpenes;
- flavonoids (plant polyphenols that activate enzymes);
- organic acids (ursolic, oleanolic, chlorogenic);
- micro-, macroelements (potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron).
There is a species of sage that causes a hallucinogenic state. The ancient Gauls used it in rituals to communicate with spirits.
The plant itself does not emit a strong aroma. But if you rub the leaves between your fingers, a sharp specific smell appears . Reminds me of something between lavender and tobacco with a hint of camphor.
Benefit and danger
Salvia has a whole range of useful actions:
It is used to treat diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory organs, for colds, to combat gynecological and reproductive problems. Read more about the positive impact on the human body in the following sections.
Among the many varieties there are toxic plants . Therefore, with a lack of experience and knowledge, one should refrain from self-procurement of raw materials in order to avoid possible poisoning.
Together with garden and ornamental varieties , there are about 900 species of salvia . Let’s take a look at the most popular ones.
Honey plant. In the wild, it is found in Mediterranean countries, grows on mountain slopes, forest edges. Domesticated in temperate zones. The size reaches 90 cm, the length of the leaf plate is 10 cm, the stem is densely leafy, the flowers are blue, lilac, light purple. Flowering from June, fruiting from mid-August. Unpretentious in care.
English Sage oakwood/lat. Salvia nemoros
Distributed in the Caucasus, Central and Western Asia, South and Central Europe. Biennial and perennial varieties are cultivated. Grows up to 1 meter. The stem is erect, the leaves are oval-cordate, the inflorescences are paniculate, the flowers come in various colors (pale purple, light lilac, white-pink). It is not picky about the soil, loose chernozem, loamy, sandy loamy areas are suitable. Blooms in June. It is actively used in winemaking, perfumery.
English Clary sage/lat. Salvia sclarea
70 cm perennial. The rhizome is woody, the stem is pubescent, straight, the leaves are sharp or obtuse, oblong, wrinkled, have a silvery tint (5–8 cm), the flowers are large, often blue-violet. Prefers warm mountainous areas, moderately moist soil. Asia Minor is considered the birthplace of the pharmacy honey.
English Sage officinalis/lat. Salvia officinalis
Tall plant (up to 80 cm) with a straight hairy stem, opposite lanceolate leaves. The inflorescences are long, located at a noticeable distance from the greenery, the corollas are bright purple with blue. Places of natural growth – fields, rocky, grassy slopes, forest edges.
eng. Meadow sage/lat. Salvia pratensis
A species of oak sage ( in Latin caradonna ). A thin candle-shaped bush with bluish pubescent leaves, with 20-30 cm ink-violet inflorescences. Decorative, drought-resistant, easy to grow. If the drainage is organized correctly, it safely tolerates wintering. The flowering period is June-September.
eng. Caradonna sage/lat. Salvia caradonna
General name for ornamental crops. Distributed in temperate and tropical climatic zones of all continents except Australia. Upright semi-bush up to 1.2 meters high. The leaves are oblong, sometimes pinnately dissected, dark green on the front side, whitish on the inside. The flowers are small, purple, purple, pink or white.
eng. Perennial sage/lat. Salvia perennial
Medicinal properties and contraindications
After salvia, both positive and negative dynamics can be observed. Pregnant women, nursing mothers, people with thyroid diseases, hypotension, epileptics should refuse sage-containing preparations, infusions and other forms. In a healthy person, their excessive use causes intoxication, causing nausea, weakness, and migraines. Therefore, it is necessary to follow the instructions for use .
More on useful features below.
Pharmaceutical grade leaves:
- restore protective functions;
- relieve insomnia;
- increase resistance to stress;
- stimulate expectoration of sputum;
- improve peristalsis, remove bile;
- remove influenza intoxication.
Indications for external use are wounds, burns, frostbite, acne, throat congestion, baldness.
Traditionally, for a decoction, a mixture of a tablespoon of dried chopped herbs and 250 milliliters of pure water is kept for 15 minutes in a water bath. Cool, filter, if necessary, add boiled water to restore the original volume of liquid. Store no longer than 12 hours.
In addition to the previous section, blooming honeydew:
- stabilizes nervous activity;
- increases efficiency, concentration;
- removes toxins, heals the digestive organs;
- stops bleeding.
Rinsing with a decoction reduces inflammation of the gums , relieves toothache.
Useful properties of salvia for men’s health:
- stimulates the production of testosterone;
- makes spermatozoa more mobile, viable;
- resists infertility;
- enhances the effect of drugs that stimulate conception;
- supports the functioning of the prostate gland;
- eliminates the effects of stress, overwork;
- enhances potency, promotes sexual desire.
Can men drink an infusion of sage leaves all the time? No, continuous use should not exceed a month, then a three-week pause should be made.
Thanks to phytoestrogens, similar in structure to female hormones, salvia:
- stabilizes the hormonal background;
- helps to more easily endure menopausal hot flashes;
- eliminates frigidity;
- reduces the level of irritability, stops mood swings;
- relieves gynecological inflammation;
- increases the chance of conception.
Salvia will also help when a nursing mother needs to stop lactating. After individual selection, tea, ordinary or alcoholic infusion, extract, pharmacological tablets are dosed.
For children, sage preparations are usually prescribed for lesions of the gums, oral mucosa, and angina. They have an anti-inflammatory effect, inhibit pathogenic bacteria, and relieve coughing. Ingestion, inhalation, baths are practiced. The latter are acceptable for infants when it is necessary to accelerate the healing of the umbilical zone, eliminate prickly heat, diathesis, and normalize the baby’s sleep.
Application of sage
Sage is used as a medicine, as a cosmetic product for the face and hair, as a seasoning , as a base for aromatherapy procedures.
A tart, spicy-astringent spice with a slight bitterness is added everywhere : to soups, fish, meat dishes, vegetable stews, casseroles, sauces, salads, canned food, drinks, tea compositions.
It is believed that seasoning balances fat content, promotes better absorption of high-calorie dishes. Plus, it increases the shelf life of cooked foods, as it prevents the development of bacteria.
The main thing is not to overdo it, not to interrupt the taste of spices with the taste of the main ingredients.
What to replace ? Suitable marjoram, thyme, savory, rosemary.
Care cosmetics with the addition of salvia are used to improve hair structure, prevent early gray hair, and get rid of dandruff. Phyto-decoction rinses hair, essential oil enhances the effect of industrial shampoos, balms, conditioners (a couple of drops per single dose).
Quick hair mask : take a raw yolk, mix two drops of honey oil into it, rub at the roots, soak under a towel for half an hour, rinse.
Favorably, the herb affects problematic, aging and dry skin . The rejuvenating effect is achieved by wiping the face with ice from herbal infusion. Homemade lotion with cream will relieve dryness. Steam baths will eliminate acne, acne on the face , heal small wounds. In combination with base oil, sage ether increases the effectiveness of facial massage: it refreshes, reduces swelling, puffiness, and smoothes out unevenness.
Anti -wrinkle mask : combine the cooled decoction (2 tablespoons of herbs per cup of boiling water) with powdered milk until the consistency of sour cream. Apply to the skin, wait 10-15 minutes, rinse with lukewarm water.
In folk medicine
Leaves and flowers are used in alternative medicine . They often act as a component of breast, gastric mixtures. Infusions, decoctions are good for compresses, lotions, douching, enemas, baths. Gargling with sage is recommended for inflammation in the throat , inhalation – for coughing . Sage tea produces a tonic effect.
What exactly is treated with salvia, read below.
The range of operation is wide: from superficial lesions, mechanical damage to serious illnesses.
Sage-containing products are indicated for:
- diseases of the oral cavity, throat ( toothache , stomatitis, tonsillitis);
- problems with the gastrointestinal tract (ulcer, gastritis );
- diseases of the respiratory system ( bronchitis , pneumonia);
- a cold;
- the initial stage of diabetes;
- skin rashes (dermatitis, acne, psoriasis);
- cuts, frostbite, burns;
- reduced immunity;
- chronic fatigue;
With a strong cough, a glass of milk boiled for five minutes with a teaspoon of grass will help. A slightly cooled drink is drunk in small sips at a time.
Thanks to several properties at once, sage is recommended for getting rid of excess weight. It dulls the feeling of hunger, while energizing, removes toxins, blocks free radicals, speeds up metabolism, regulates stools, relieves flatulence, and helps reduce cellulite.
Dried or fresh plant is seasoned with diet food, smoothies. But a more tangible result will be from the decoction drunk by the course (no longer than 3 months in a row).
To do this, pour a tablespoon of dry collection or a handful of fresh leaves with a glass (250 ml) of clean water, heat for 15 minutes in a water bath. Then insist for another 20 minutes under the lid, strain. Drink half a glass before the main meals. It is allowed to occasionally diversify the drink with a slice of lemon, honey, a piece of ginger. Before taking a sage “elixir” for a long time , it is advisable to consult a doctor.
Now you know what benefits and sometimes harm Salvia officinalis can bring.