American Herbal Medicine ⑨ Sage Fume Could Kill Bacteria In The Air And Suppressing Propagation.

△Sage is a strong antioxidant and helps control glucose levels and recover gut function. Pictureⓒ shutterstock_Mira Drozdowski

It Has A Long History For Using Various Benefits

By Dae Sun Hong, L.Ac.

Sage (botanical name: Silvia spp) originated from the Mediterranean coast. Sage is from salvus in Latin, meaning healthy and curing. Currently, there are 500 species of sage found.

Sage is beloved as a decorative plant in American gardens, and the plant attacks more hummingbirds. Sage is also beloved as an herb for food to enhance meat flavor or suppress fish’s unpleasant smells.



Dr. Varro E. Tyloer, an expert on herbal medicine and nutritional supplements, praised, “All known diseases to mankind could be cured by sage.” The herb has been known as an herb that treats most diseases.

In the Greek and Roman eras, people used sage to preserve meats and sage to enhance memory. Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/24 – 79), called Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher who used sage for snake bites, epilepsy, and parasites in the gut and applied it as an emmenagogue. Pedanius Dioscorides (40~90 AD), “the father of pharmacognosy,” was a Greek physician, pharmacologist, and botanist who also prescribed the sage as a diuretic and emmenagogue.

China also has a long history of using sage. In Chinese medicine, sage was considered an herb to help insomnia, depression, dementia, and irregular menstruation. India also used the herb to cure piles, gonorrhea, vaginitis, and various eye-related symptoms.



There are many benefits to taking sage. First, sage is a strong antioxidant to protect cells from oxidation stresses. Second, sage helps maintain normal gut function. Third, it controls the immune system to suppress asthma, stress, and pains from the common cold. Lastly, sage benefits in maintaining and regulating menstrual periods and hot flashes due to menopause.

According to Web MD, taking the sage extract for two months reduces LDL and increases HDL. And Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). Taking sage by mouth seems to improve memory and thinking skills in healthy adults. But it’s not clear if sage aromatherapy helps.

Sage also reduces excessive sweating. And it could be used externally for bug bites, burns, edema, preventing infection, and muscle aches.

Sage has beloved as a food preservative and digestive medicine.


Purifying air by killing bacteria

Sage has antimicrobial properties to kill infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi. White prairie sage (a mugwort species, Artemisia ludoviciana) is antimicrobial and antibacterial. White sage (Salvia apiana) is also antimicrobial. And both have been shown to repel insects.

Burning sage is a native American Indian ritual to purify the air of their village to expel evil spirits and calm their mind. The ritual is now scientifically proven its benefit to purifying air from microbes. Still, the burning sage ritual could easily be seen in Arizona and New Mexico.

Burning sage is also called smudging. There was scientific research that studied sage’s antibacterial effect by smudging. The result showed that 94% of bacteria in a closed room were killed, and for 24 hours, the air maintained bacteria-free status. Also, the air quality lasted for 30 days.

Smudging also expels fries and mosquitos. If I had to spend time writing something during a summer night, I would usually burn sage to expel mosquitos and enhance concentration.


Asian Medicinal point of view

Sage is bitter and spicy. Its characteristic is cold. Only used leaves to reduce phlegm and suppress coughing. Indications are constipation and preventing infection. The herb could be understood as reducing heat, regulating phlegm, and stopping coughing or asthma.



It should not be used by pregnant women and cause a miscarriage. Mothers who are breastfeeding their babies should not take sage.

Spanish sage (Salvia lavandulaefolia) should not be applied to patients who are sensitive to estrogen levels and always required to maintain low estrogen levels, for example, breast cancer, uterine cancer, and uterine fibroids patients.

Common sage could lower blood pressure and glucose level, and it could not be safe for one on blood pressure medicine or a diabetic medicine.