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Healthy Home Gardening
 
White Sage
Lamiaceae
Salvia apiana


Thunder
Thunder
Type Categories Useful Parts

Shrub


Lamiaceae Family

Salvia Genus
Other Names for this Plant

Bee Sage, Sacred Sage, Man Sage


Location

Native to the Southwest

Physical Description
lanceolate, with a tapered base and minute teeth. The leaves are simple, with dense hairs and a distinctive fragrance. The inflorescence is many-flowered raceme with white to pale lavender blossoms. The fruits are light brown, shiny nutlets.


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Lamiaceae
Lamiales
Lamiales
Tounge Order (Mints)
Euasterids I
Euasterids I
Real Stars Group One
Asteridae
Asteridae
Class of Stars (Daisies)
Core Eudicots
Core Eudicots
Main, Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Eudicots
Eudicots
Real, Two First-Leaves (Dicots)
Mesangiospermae
Mesangiospermae
Half Capsule Seed Division
Magnoliophyta
Magnoliophyta
Magnolia Division
Spermatophytes
Spermatophytes
Seed Plants
Euphyllophytina
Real Land Plants
Polysporangiates
Multiple Spore Sub-Kingdom
Stomatophytes
Stomatophytes
Air Pores Sub-Kingdom
Embryophytes
Embryophytes
Multicellular Land Plants
Streptobionta
Streptobionta
Multicellular Plants
Plantae
Plantae
Plants
Eukaryota
Eukaryota
Cells with a Nucleus


General Information

Today the leaves and stems of Salvia apiana are gathered, dried, and used for smudging by many tribes around the country. The Chumash and other California Indian people are concerned about over-harvesting and disrespect of this plant for commercial purposes.

Medicinal Uses: The Cahuilla, Costanoan, Diegeño, Kawaiisu, and Maidu tribes of California used white sage or chia seeds to clean and heal their eyes (Strike 1994). One method was to place a few Salvia seeds in their eyes at bedtime. During the night, the seeds would swell and become gelatinous. Moving around under the eyelids during sleep, the seeds collected any foreign substances on the eyeballs. In the morning the seeds were removed, leaving the eyes clear and free of contaminants. Cahuilla women drank an infusion of white sage roots after giving birth to remove the afterbirth and promote internal healing. White sage seeds were eaten by the Cahuilla to cure colds. The Diegueño used white sage tea for this purpose. Leaves of white sage were smoked, made into a tea, and used in sweathouses to cure colds. White sage leaves were also used by the Diegueño as a shampoo to clean their hair and to keep it from turning gray. Crushed leaves were rubbed on the body to eliminate body odor; this was often done by Cahuilla men before they went hunting. The smoke from burning white sage is used widely by many Native groups as part of their purification ceremonies. White sage is widely valued and cherished among many Indians and other cultures today, prized for its soft feminine qualities

Food Uses: White sage seeds were one component in pinole, which was a staple food of the Indians of the Pacific coast (Barrows 1977). Seeds were collected with a seed beater basket and flat basket, and were parched and ground into meal. The Cahuillas of southern California used this meal to create a mix with one part meal, three parts wheat flour, and a little sugar. This mixture was eaten dry, mixed with water to form gruel, or baked into little cakes or biscuits. The seeds were harvested in quantity and stored in baskets in the home. The tribes, north of Santa Barbara, kept small baskets of seeds and other foodstuffs on hand, with some stored for the winter. The Chumash and other California tribes also ate leaves and stems of white sage.



White Sage


Comment: White Sage, Salvia apiana

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