Wise Women and the plants they love: Dawn Combs, Sage

As part of our series Wise Women and the Plants They Love, we talk to homestead herbalist and beekeeper Dawn Combs from herbal health farm Mockingbird Meadows about one of her favourite healing plants, Sage.

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For some time I had been suffering from a lipoma, a small benign fatty lump, in my back. I had searched for a natural solution with no success. Here I sat looking into my herb of the month and with a turn of the page, there was the answer!

A couple years ago I decided to develop a deeper relationship with some of the more common plants growing in my gardens. I really liked sage (Salvia officinalis) because of its antiseptic qualities and had used if for some time to relieve sore throats. It seemed like as good a place to start as any, so without further ado I pronounced it “sage” month in our home. I went through my library and gathered up anything that spoke of sage. I combed through a few antique book stores for old texts containing sage wisdom during my travels. I began to explore every recipe that put this unassuming plant in a star role. It didn’t take very long before I was in love with the whole sage genus. Salvia officinalis typically has dusky, olive green leaves, but I found that there were numerous variations in leaf pattern and color in plants that were still as useful as the original. I also learned a bit more about how plants tap into our inner intuition to lead us to health.

The first night I curled up with a book I thought I knew what there was to know about sage. It’s good for the nervous system, affecting memory and mood, and of course wonderful for mild infections. For some time I had been suffering from a lipoma, a small benign fatty lump, in my back. I had searched for a natural solution with no success. Here I sat looking into my herb of the month and with a turn of the page, there was the answer! Sage is a specific for lipoma. It is, in fact, a lymphatic and circulatory tonic with a propensity to break down fat and clotting in our bloodstream. I had been drawn to start this project with the very plant I needed at that moment! In gratitude, I keep a plant growing in all seasons somewhere on my property or in my home. I can’t imagine life without sage.

My favorite way to prepare this plant is taken from Adele Dawson’s Herbs Partners in Life:

Eggs Buerre Noir

Fry eggs gently in a buttered, covered skillet. Remove when done to a warm platter and place in a warm (200 degree) oven. Put a lump of butter for each egg in the skillet and cook until brown. Just as it reaches the desired color, add 1/4 tsp of cider vinegar for each egg. Mix and spoon over eggs; sprinkle with finely minced fresh or dry sage.

Thanks to the marvelous Dawn Combs for sharing with us today. Similar to Dawn, just last weekend I overhead a friend of a friend inquiring about a solution for lipoma, and today this landed in my lap. Intrigued, I decided to investigate further…

Sage: Lipoma and other conditions

Studies have shown sage to be an effective treament for mental performance, memory, mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease, cold sores, high cholestrol and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats.

While I couldn’t find any studies supporting sage as a treatment for lipoma, many practicing herbalists have sucessfully used it for this purpose.

According to herbalist Matthew Wood in “The Earthwise Herbal,” sage has a natural affinity to fat cells so that when its extract is applied directly over a lipoma it can help dissolve it. He also quotes Anthony Godfrey a practicing naturopathic doctor in Toronto as saying that “sage regulates virtually all fluids – blood, sweat, lymph, milk, urine – to maintain a healthy balance.” As many herbalists believe that lipoma is caused by an imbalance of fluids in the body, this is another reason why sage is indicated as a possible treatment.

Where to find sage extract

Commonly used in cooking, sage isn’t a tricky plant to come across. So if you want to make your own tincture or extract, check-out this post from the Mountain Rose Herbs blog.

Alternatively you can buy sage extract ready-made at Mountain Rose Herbs (for those in the US and Canada) or Amazon or Etsy for everyone else.

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