Long prized by medicine men and mystics, Sage plays a starring role in healing the body and spirit.
Shamans and spiritual guides burn sage to rid buildings of negative energy. But the healing properties of this hardy shrub are more than a game of smoke-and-mirrors. Deriving its genus name, Salvia, from the Latin salvere, meaning 'to heal' sage has long been valued for its medicinal uses.
The camphor, tannins, and flavonoids in sage are antioxidants. Research has also confirmed that sage oil has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.
"Rosmarinic acid, found in sage, may help protect the brain" says Jason Bazilian, a specialist in nutrition, acupuncture, and oriental medicine. "Therefore, sage is receiving growing attention for it's potential role with Alzheimer's disease, as well as cognition and memory."
Growing wild in the Americas, southern Europe, and Asia Minor, sage has been tapped to treat conditions as disparate as warts, fevers, and the cessation of breastfeeding. It is also widely believed to effect healing on the spiritual and energetic level. At The Spa at Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico, sage is deployed throughout the spa to heal guests' bodies and spirits and to fragrance treatment rooms.
"By incorporating the healing powers of sage with elements of sight, sound, smell, and touch, we balance a guest's emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being" says Las Ventanas Spa Director Lea Cordon, a sage strategy indeed."
Feet Relief Massage Cream
(800) 282-7394, www.aubrey-organics.com
Italian White Sage, Geranium, and Yarrow Bar Soap
(877) 679-5854, www.pangeaorganics.com
Desert Sage Body Scrub
The Body Deli
(760) 340-3731, www.thebodydeli.com
Evening Eye CareRecipe courtesy of Lea Cordon, Spa Director at Las Ventanas al Paraiso
1 tsp. fresh sage
1/2 cup water
4 cotton or gauze pads
Combine sage and water. Bring to a boil on the stovetop, and steep for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture, then separate the liquid into two bowls. Soak two gauze or cotton pads in one bowl, and two in another. Put two of the gauze pads in the refrigerator to cool. Then, alternate application to eyes: ten minutes warm and twenty minutes cool.