This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAME. Garden Sage.
MEDICINAL PART. The leaves.
Description. -- Sage is a plant with a pubescent stem, erect branches, hoary with down, leafy at the base, about a foot or foot and a half long. The leaves are opposite, entire petioled, ovate-lanceolate, the lowermost white, with wool beneath. The flowers are blue and in whorls.
History. -- Sage is a native of Southern Europe, and has been naturalized for very many years in this country as a garden plant. The leaves and tops should be carefully gathered and dried during its flowering season, which is in June and July. They have a peculiar, strong, aromatic, camphorous odor, and a sharp, warm, slightly bitter taste, which properties are owing to its volatile oil, which may be obtained by distilling the plant with water. It imparts its virtues to boiling water in infusion, but more especially to alcohol.
Properties and Uses. -- It is feebly tonic, and astringent, expectorant, diaphoretic, and having properties common to aromatics. The infusion is much valued in cases of gastric debility, checking flatulency with speed and certainty.
The warm infusion will cause active diuresis by checking its diaphoretic tendency. It is called by some a most capital remedy for spermatorrhoea, and for excessive venereal desire, and I am one of those who know from experience in my practice that it is grand for what is termed sexual debility when its use is indicated. The infusion is much used as a gargle for inflammation and ulceration of the throat and relaxed uvula, either alone or combined with vinegar, honey, or sumach.