Nature – “Holy Herb” Sage
by Ralph Kratzer
In Northern Cyprus seven species of sage grow naturally. One of these species is called “Salvia veneris” and it grows exclusively in Cyprus.
The name of the species “Salvia” has its origin in the Latin word “salvare” which means “to heal”. The plant is native to the Mediterranean and has been known almost as long as humans have existed. Its diverse healing properties were already being used before Christ and the Romans called it “the holy herb”. Nowadays the plant grows abundantly in Cyprus, even in the mountains up to an altitude of 1500 meters.
The essential oil extracted from the plant contains camphor, tannin and other aromatic substances. It is used for perfumes, in cosmetics and in the food industry for flavouring.
But sage is also an important medical plant. It is known for its disinfecting, antibiotic and astringent efficiency. The plant is said to combine all the healing abilities of thyme, dandelion, linden, mint and rosemary in one.
Used by Hippocrates as early as about 400 BC, with the Romans, sage gained a reputation as a universal remedy. An old Roman saying was: “Why should a man die whilst sage grows in his garden?”
The famous French Phytotherapist Maurice Messegue explains the healing capabilities of sage in his book “Health Secrets of Plants and Herbs”: “The sage has a stimulating effect for the blood circulation, assists the function of the nervous system, helps against tension, acts against anaemia, soothes anger and calms anxiety. It balances hormonal disorders both for women and men and is known to normalise a high blood sugar level.”
According to Messegue, sage is also a beauty herb: it helps to maintain a healthy skin, prevents hair loss, cleans the scalp, purifies from micro-organisms, strengthens thin hair and improves hair growth. When added to bath water, it relieves fatigue and has a stimulating effect.