Healing Herbs: Sage

    Sage is a very common plant in much of the world.  There are actual several varieties with different uses.  
    One type (Salvia officinalis ) called common sage or purple sage, is a common spice used to flavor foods, particularly, turkey and sausages.  It is a highly aromatic herb.  When I visit Redrock Sanctuary, I love the smell of the sage that grows wild there.  For healing, sage is used to reduce sweating caused by illness.  It is also used as a mouthwash to aid sore gums and sore throat.  Sage tea is used for stomach cramps, gas, and other common digestive problems.  Mixed with vinegar, it can be used as a compress for bruises, insect bites, and snake bite.  It can treat skin rashes, skin ulcers and dandruff.  It is effective at repelling some insects such as flies.
    In health food and natural food stores, you find sage in the form of clary sage (Salvia sclarea) oil.  Clary sage is a variety of sage found in Europe and has many of the same healing properties as officinalis.  Clary sage oil is used for treating depression, stress and nervousness.  Sprinkle a few drops in bath water as an aid for muscle pain, depression, cramps, menstrual problems and insomnia (clary sage is very relaxing so do this before bed, not in the morning).  Clary sage boosts intuition and creativity.

Sage in Myths, Legends, Magic and Religion:

White broad leaf sage is dried to make the smudge sticks used in many Native American rituals and religious ceremonies.

Sage is reputed to bring prosperity, good health, protection, fertility and business success.

One legend says that when Mary & Joseph were fleeing from Herod’s troops with Jesus, Mary hid Jesus from them in a sage plant(Read the detailed story here).

A few drops of clary sage oil on your pillow is believed to help you have vivid dreams and to remember the dreams.


Keeping a Dream Journal

    For those interested in studying the meaning of dreams, keeping a dream journal is essential.  Keep it near your bed so when you wake up with dream memories, you can quickly record them.  When you do record your dreams, try to remember as many details as you can.  Sometimes, just recording helps bring back some of the details.  Small details often have importance in the proper interpretation of dreams.  You can use a written journal or, as I prefer these days, an electronic one, namely, a digital recorder.  I keep a tiny sixty-minute digital recorder next to my bed that can record many separate messages.  I prefer it to writing because I found that when I wrote down dreams in the dark, what I wrote was often unreadable in the morning and I didn’t want to turn on a light which would wake me up fully so I couldn’t go back to sleep.  If you prefer to write in a notepad or journal book, that’s fine.   
    These journals are useful for other things as well.  Very often, people get great ideas at night but forget them by morning.  If you have a bedside journal you can record those ideas.  Yes, some of them will sound stupid in the light of day, but other won’t and can be good ideas to pursue.  Sometimes, when you have a problem at work that you are having difficulty solving, a solution will pop into your head while your in bed relaxed (which is why Thomas Edison took his famous naps when he had problems).  If you record the solution in your journal, you won’t have to worry about forgetting it and, once you’ve recorded the solution, you will probably be able to sleep better.


Dance In the Sun

I dance in the sun with a stray beam of light
and welcome the dawn as to push back the night.

I dance with a stream as it flows through the wood,
light plays on the waves in the way that it should.

I dance to the songs of the birds in the trees,
the rustling leaves and the fat bumble bees.

I dance with all life because life is a dance
so I open my mind and just take a chance.


Know Yourself

    In order to advance spiritually, we all have to know ourselves.  By that I mean we all have to know where we currently are on that path and what may be slowing down or preventing out spiritual growth.  To do that, we have to do some self analysis on a regular basis and we have to be honest with ourselfs when we do.  
    Usually, the best time to do this is at night just before we go to sleep.  Go over events of the day and how you reacted to them.  Did you behave as the spiritually advanced person you want to be?  Did you respond as Gandhi or St. Francis would have?
    Did you get angry at somebody?  If so, try to figure out why.  Were you impatient?  Were you intolerant of another person for some reason?  Examine your motivation.  Not just the obvious ones, but the real ones behind the obvious one.  Did I get mad at the guy who changed lanes without signaling because it’s unsafe behavior or did I get mad because he failed to acknowledge my importance by showing me the courtesy of signaling?  
    A few days ago, I saw part of a Dr. Phil show and he was talking to a woman who is always getting angry at people for the slightest reason.  Too slow tacking off when the light turns green,  taking too much time in the line at the bank, spending too much time in the bathroom, etc.  Dr. Phil eventually revealed that the primary cause of her behavior went back some twenty years or so when the woman was raped and the rapist got off because the judge felt she wasn’t beat up enough to prove rape.  So now, she has subconsciously decided that she is going to take the offensive role to prevent someone else from hurting her again.
    Now we can’t all go on Dr. Phil and, for most of us, what problems we have are not serious enough to justify seeing a therapist, but we still need to work out those issues for ourselves and try to get rid of them because they do prevent spiritual progress in many cases.