Ah, sage. The word conjures images of knowledge and wisdom. And medicinally, sage is just as wise. Sage is a wonderful herb that has many medicinal uses.

It should be no surprise that I love sage. It’s one of the many herbs that I believe everyone should have in their herb garden.

Today, for the Self Reliant Skill of the Week, I made a sage oxymel for the first time. Herbal oxymels are a traditional herbal preparation that are so easy to make. They are pleasantly sweet and sour at the same time. You may even be able to get your kids to take an oxymel!

You can see my video on making a sage oxymel here:

The Latin name for sage is Salvia officinalis.

It is a member of the mint family, or Laminacea.

Sage is typically known as a culinary herb, but it has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries.

Let’s go over some of the many medicinal uses for sage.

Sage is carminative

Sage is a wonderful carminative herb. This means it helps your body digest heavy meals. It aids in healthy digestion.

That is why sage is used on many traditional heavy meals. Sage is often used on turkey and sausage, as well as many other heavy meats.

It helps prevent and dispel gas in the intestinal tract as it helps break down these foods. A beneficial aromatic herb, sage soothes and settles the gut wall, resulting in less stomach pains.

The carminative action of sage makes it a great herb to add to digestive bitters. 

Sage boosts the immune system

Sage is antimicrobial and antiseptic, which means it helps prevent bacteria and viruses. It is also astringent, which signifies that it helps tighten and tone internal tissues.

Sage is safe enough to use as a tonic herb for prevention of colds and flu, although pregnant or nursing women shouldn’t use sage as medicine.

If you use sage consistently, you should notice a reduction in the amount of colds, flus, and tummy troubles that you get. You can read my post for other immune-boosting herbs.

Sage can aid recovery from colds and flu

Since sage helps boost your immune system, and is antimicrobial, antiviral, and antibacterial, it is a powerful ally in recovering from colds and flu. It helps soothe mucus membranes and helps relieve sore throat.

Since it is also an expectorant, sage is a wonderful herb to take for coughs and congestion. It will help loosen phlegm and help you expel it.

In addition, sage is a antispasmodic, which means that it will help ease and control cough spasms.

Sage is a diuretic and diaphoretic, which means it can make you sweat. Sweating is the body’s natural defense in lowering fevers. It also expels toxins that could be causing your sickness.

Burning sage has traditionally been used to cleanse the air, release negative energy, and bless a home or person.

Burning sage has been used for centuries as a spiritual ritual.

Sage boosts mood and relieves anxiety

Sage is a natural “feel good” herb. This is one of the best medicinal uses for sage. The flavonoids (antioxidants) in sage are believed to activate CB1 receptors that alleviate stress and ease nervousness, anxiety, and even depression. CB1 receptors are also known as cannabinoid receptors.

Sage helps calm the nervous system, which is helpful for anxiety. It may also help improve focus and memory in some people. It has even been shown to help improve Alzheimer’s conditions.

Sage is great for some women’s conditions

Sage can be extremely beneficial in helping relieve hot flashes and night sweats in menopausal women. It also helps relieve menstrual pain and inflammation. Since sage is drying, it may even lighten heavy menstrual flow.

Sage is an emmanogogue, so it can help bring on your period if you’re late and know you’re not pregnant. It can act like estrogen, so don’t use if you have hormone-dependent cancers.

Again, pregnant or nursing women should not use sage as medicine. It can cause uterine contractions and dry up milk supply.

Taking sage as a tea for colds and flu is one of the best uses for sage.

Best ways to use sage medicinally

Sage is great as a tea for immune support or for colds and flu. I have used it many many times for a bad cough, with great success. Simply brew fresh or dried sage in hot water for 3-5 minutes.

A decoction is more of a medicinal tea, and takes more time to brew. To make a decoction, add hot water to fresh or dried sage and allow to steep, covered, for 15-20 minutes.

If you don’t have a problem with alcohol, it also makes a great tincture. I’ve never tinctured sage, but it is very powerful medicine. The dosage of a tincture is very small, usually a teaspoonful.

This time, I made a sage oxymel. Oxymels are just herbs, vinegar, and honey that are allowed to steep for 2 weeks. It’s not as powerful as a tincture, so you need to take more. I recommend 2 tablespoons up to 5 times daily when you’re sick.



  1. Thanks for the information. I have some sage drying now. I’ll enjoy the having the tea, I might add a little honey to also.

    1. Sage is so good for you! Make sure you use raw honey in your tea. 🙂

  2. I’m going to try making this. So how much sage and Mullen would you suggest since I’m using 2 herbs? I love what I’m learning as I receive all these different emails regarding herbs. You guys are a true blessing. Bobbie

    1. Hi Bobbie, I’m so glad you’ve found it helpful! I suggest filling the jar about half full, and I would do pretty much equal parts of both sage and mullein. But you can change this up however you like! You could also do 2 different oxymels, one with just sage and one with just mullein, and take them separately or together. Herbalism is more of an art than a science.

      1. I have fresh Mullein in my yard and green house. I do dry some, however I was wondering if using fresh is a benefit or detriment. Sometimes, drying an herb changes the chemical composition sometimes enhancing it.

        1. I use both fresh and dried. I think drying does enhance it, you can normally use smaller amounts of dried herbs than fresh. But really, you can do either way! BTW, I LOVE that you have mullein in your greenhouse!

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