Botanicals

Sage

Onto another aromatic herb native to the Mediterranean, and now commonly grown in the garden; common Sage. The name of this plant’s genus ‘Salvia’ comes from the Latin ‘Salvare’ meaning ‘to save, or to heal.’ The plant has long been used medicinally with examples from Ancient Greece and Rome and throughout the Middle Ages where it was commonly grown around monasteries for its healing properties.

Even its culinary uses; teaming sage with rich foods (in particular meats) hint at its medicinal properties. Helping the digestion of rich foods, Sage is a tonic for the liver and aids with indigestion, bloating and flatulence.

Rich with antioxidants, the anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties of a Sage tea or gargle can be soothing for sore gums, mouth ulcers and sore throats. Its antibacterial properties have been shown to be effective at reducing plaque build up too. Teamed with Rosemary and/or Thyme they can be supportive allies for coughs and colds and make a clearing steam for airways.

Modern research has found Sage to be stimulating for cognitive function too. Compounds within common Sage have been shown to inhibit enzymes that breakdown neurotransmitters in the brain and research is ongoing into the support this may provide for individuals with Alzheimer’s.

Traditionally sage has been used to help alleviate some menopausal symptoms such as excess sweating and hot flushes.


Ways to enjoy Sage

  1. As a culinary herb Sage can be added to meals to support the digestion of rich foods.
  2. Sage tea is an easy way to enjoy its many benefits. Steep a teaspoon of dried Sage or a few fresh leaves in boiling water, cover and enjoy after around 10 minutes. Team with Rosemary for memory and Thyme for soothing sore throats.
  3. Cooled tea can be used as a gargle for sore throats, mouth ulcers or gum problems. You may also wish to add a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar into your gargle too for extra support. A fresh leaf can also be rubbed directly onto a sore tooth or gum.
  4. Dried Sage is an excellent herb to burn for its cleansing properties. Using either single leaves in a fireproof dish or combing the leaves into a stick, burning Sage has long been a popular method for receiving its antimicrobial benefits.

We always love to hear your favourite uses for herbs too, please feel free to leave us a comment.

When working with any plants it is important to do your own research to ensure they work for you. Sage is not recommended during pregnancy or for individuals with epilepsy. It is also toxic in very high doses.

Foraging

Elderberry Oxymel

On these damp and cloudy days, I feel Autumn’s presence strongly. These days feel just right for concocting healing oxymels for the winter months ahead.

The name oxymel comes from the Greek word ‘oxymeli’ meaning acid and honey. It is a traditional herbal extraction, using a vinegar and honey to extract and preserve the potent goodness from an array of plants, that can then be taken as a medicine.

Not only do you get the goodness of the plants you are infusing, but you also get the healing properties of apple cider vinegar and the honey themselves. I have seen the honey substituted for maple syrup for a vegan recipe too.

Our first oxymel of the year was made with some very early but ripe foraged elderberries. They are packed full of vitamin C and have a wealth of properties that support the immune system, helping ease coughs throughout the winter months. We also teamed our elderberries with anti-viral herbs and spices, including fresh thyme, sage, grated ginger and dried elderflowers, tumeric and cloves, but these could be substituted for what herbs and spices you have available.

We simmered about 3 cups of elderberries with a cup of water and our herbs and spices gently to release the juice from the berries. After around 5 – 10 minutes we strained the juice through a sieve, ensuring that we pressed all of the pulp to get as much juice as possible out of the berries, before allowing it to cool. We then mixed 1 part juice with roughly 1 part raw apple cider vinegar and 1 part raw honey and bottled. The ratio of honey can be adjusted if you would prefer a sweeter taste.


Botanicals

Solstice Smudge Sticks

We have been busy harvesting our herbs and crafting smudge sticks during the Solstice period. We found it to be the perfect time as many of our herbs and flowers were peaking in tune with the sun.

We made another batch of our popular Herbal Garden Smudge sticks; a fragrant blend of Sage, Bay, Rosemary, Lavender and Rose. These will be back in our Etsy shop once dried in a couple of weeks time.

We also crafted some beautiful Solar smudge sticks blending flowering Feverfew & Nasturtium paired with Bay, Lemon balm, Lavender & golden Marjoram. Holding the essence of the summer solstice & solar energy these plants are thought to ease tension & worry and promote peace & lightness.

Mugwort was combined with Lavender, Sage and wild Chamomile for a small batch of sleep & dream smudge sticks that will also be in our shop over the next few weeks.

*As of 20/08/20 we have changed the name of our sticks to ‘Smoulder sticks.’ You can read more about our decision regarding this here.

Botanicals

Smudge Stick Crafting

I love this time of year. Our herbs are bursting with life, energy and aroma. We have a new addition to our herb garden this year – a beautiful purple Sage. Tonight, I have been crafting up some fresh smudge sticks ready to dry out for orders. They include fresh and dried Lavender that is scenting the whole house. Bay leaves, the divine purple Sage and wild Rose petals dried from last year. These Smudge Sticks are intended to offer peace of mind and clarity. You can find out more about purchasing them here.

*As of 20/08/20 we have changed the name of our sticks to ‘Smoulder sticks.’ You can read more about our decision regarding this here.