Latin Name: Artemisia Tridentata. Other Names: White Sage, Black Sage, Purple Sage, etc. (Not same plant as Sage) Where found: Common throughout Southwest, on desert hillsides and mountain foothills, usually up to 7,00 feet in elevation.; often found along roadsides. White Sage is the Sacred Sage of Native Americans. Description: Leaves are silvery, 1/4 to 1 inch long; plants are usually 2 to 3 or more feet high.
Action: bacteriostatic, astringent, antioxidant. Gathering: Best picked when flowering, tie in bundles and hang upside down to dry. Stable as long as characteristic scent is present. Substitution: May use domestically grown sage used for seasoning if necessary. It's a different plant (Salvia) but it has similar properties.
When gathered from wild plants, used as a tea. The leaves are gathered, and may be used fresh, or dried for use later. Best gathered in the spring, when green, and before plant blooms. The leaves are steeped in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. in a 1:6 or 8 ratio of herb to water, then strained. The flavor and odor is pleasant.
Sage is a relatively mild, safe, all purpose herb, with few if any side effects if used in reasonable proportions, unless allergies are present.
Be sure of the identity of the plant before you use it. If a preparation makes you sick or gives you a rash, don't use it, and throw it away! If your condition does not improve, see your doctor. Be sure to let your physician know EVERYTHING that you are taking!