Types of sage plants


Sage Plants For Gardens: Learn About Different Types Of Sage

For some folks, the holidays just wouldn’t be right without the traditional sage stuffing. Although we are most familiar with culinary sage plants, there are many different types of sage. Some types of sage plants have medicinal properties as well, or are grown purely for ornamental purposes. All of these sage plants work well for gardens. Read on to find out about sage plant varieties and their uses.

Types of Sage Plants

There are many different types of sage or salvia plants available. They may be either perennial or annual, blooming to non-blooming, but pretty much each of these different types of sage is fairly hardy.

Foliage comes in sage green, variegated purple/green, or variegated gold and blossoms range from lavender to bright blue to cheery red. With so many varieties of sage, there’s bound to be a variety for your landscape.

Culinary Sage Plants

Garden or common sage (Salvia officinalis) is the most common type of sage used for cooking. You can also make tea from the leaves. It is very hardy and bounces back in the spring even after a severely cold winter. This particular sage has soft, silvery green leaves that can be used fresh or dried. It is also known to attract beneficial insects, which are attracted to its purple-blue flowers.

Although hardy, garden sage usually becomes too woody after a few years to produce many aromatic leaves, so it needs to be replaced every 3-4 years. That said, I had a very woody sage that was losing its vigor, so I dug it out last year. This year, I have brand new downy leaves peeping up from the soil. Hardy, indeed!

There are a number of these common garden sage plant varieties.

  • There is a smaller dwarf that doesn’t exceed a foot in height and blooms with purplish-blue flowers.
  • Purple garden sage, as the name suggests, has purple foliage when young. Not to be confused with the ornamental purple sage (or purple salvia), this variety doesn’t bloom often like other garden sages.
  • Golden sage is a creeping sage with gold and green variegated leaves that accentuates the color of other plants.
  • Tricolor garden sage looks a bit like purple sage, except the uneven variegation includes white accenting.
  • Lastly of the garden sages, is Berggarten sage, which is very similar to common sage except that it does not bloom, but it does have the lovely soft, silvery green leaves.

Ornamental Sage Plants for Gardens

Pineapple sage (Salvia elegans) is a perennial flowering sage with tubular red flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Today, this beauty is primarily grown as an ornamental, but it is said to have medicinal uses as well.

Grape scented sage doesn’t smell like grapes, but rather more like freesia. It can get quite tall (8 – 6 feet or 2 – 2.5 m.). It is a late blooming plant that attracts hummingbirds. The leaves and flowers can be steeped to make tea.

Another common salvia amongst gardeners is Salvia splendens or scarlet sage. This is an annual plant that thrives in full sun but withstands partial shade in well-draining soil with consistent irrigation. Blossoms are scarlet in color and last from late spring through the first frost.

Mealycup sage (Salvia farinacea) is generally an annual in most regions. It attains a height of 2-3 feet (0.5 – 1 m.) and is punctuated with blue, purple or white flower spikes. Some newer varieties to look for are ‘Empire Purple,’ ‘Strata’ and ‘Victoria Blue.’

Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha) grows to 3-4 feet (1 m.), is drought tolerant, but a tender perennial otherwise. This beautiful accent plant has purple or white flower spikes.

There are many other varieties of sage plants for the garden (far too many to name here), whether you want them for their aromatic foliage or as an ornamental or both. Sage plants are a hardy addition to the garden and with so many varieties, you are sure to find one to suit you.

Once upon a time, there were only three kinds of smudge sticks in most witchy shops: Small, medium, and large. These days, you can choose from a vast array of smudging herbs, each with a different energy, aroma, and cultural history.

In this article, I’ll walk you through the plants that are most commonly used for smudging. (We’ll limit it to smudges that are derived from woods and leaves. Resin incenses are divine—but that’s a topic for another article.)

The variety of smudging herbs is incredible. But you’ll also notice some similarities. First, most of them come from the leaf and stem parts of bushes and small trees. (Fruits and flowers make wonderful sachets, baths, and teas, but lose all their charm when burned.) Second, most smudging plants grow in desert and mountain regions, where the soil is poor. Plants in these climates tend to be short and shrubby, and they rely on fragrant oils as a way to keep insects and other animals from munching on them to get to their water and nutrients.

You’ll also notice that many excellent smudging plants come from the genus Salvia (true sages). There are several hundred distinct species of Salvia, but only the most aromatic varieties are used for smudging. Many other varieties grow wild, or are cultivated as hardy ornamentals. Sage’s reputation as a beneficial plant is ancient and well-deserved. The Romans named the plant Salvia after the Latin verb meaning to save, redeem, or heal.

So where can you find these delicious-smelling plants? Well, just about any New Age store will have smudges for sale. (White Sage, at least—you may have to search online for some of the more exotic varieties.) Also try health food grocers, yoga studios, artisan and farmer’s markets. You may even want to consider growing smudging plants in your garden, or gathering them in the wild.

A quick warning: The plants listed below are not harmful or dangerous under normal circumstances. Still, they can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some people. If you have asthma or respiratory problems, burning anything may not be great for your health. (Consult a doctor or herbalist if you have concerns.) Burn smudges in a well-ventilated area—coughing and choking on the smoke will not enhance their effects! Always be mindful of fire safety, especially indoors and in dry climates.

Finally, please don’t rely on herbal remedies as a substitute for medical treatment. When I describe an herb as healing, I mean only that it will contribute to your general well-being—not that it will cure cancer, toenail fungus, or anything in between. I always recommend that you store herbs in labeled packages, out of the reach of children and pets.

White Sage (Salvia apiana—also known as Bee Sage, California Sage, Sacred Sage)

For many people, “smudging” means one thing only—White Sage. (Its Latin name refers to its main pollinator, the honeybee.) White Sage is the bread and butter of any smudging kit. Versatile and effective, it’s suitable for most any smudging ritual—cleansing, healing, protection, meditation, and so on. When mixed with other herbs, it makes a wonderful base for a custom smudging blend.

White Sage grows wild across the American Southwest in bushy clumps. (The strongest-smelling product comes from the western fringes of the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.) The plant has been gathered for thousands of years by Native Americans, particularly the Chumash. It is regarded as a sacred plant—an important source of food, medicine, and benevolent Spirit.

White Sage is herbaceous, sweet, and slightly astringent. It’s rather similar to Eucalyptus, but more complex. Some people say it smells like Marijuana when burned. (To me, burning White Sage just smells like burning White Sage—but the similarity is something to keep in mind if you’re going to use it in public.) The smell of White Sage is so strong that just rubbing its fuzzy leaves between your fingers is enough to release the scent.

Almost all of the White Sage on the market comes from California. Most of it is wild-gathered and hand-tied by producers large and small. There really isn’t much difference in quality between brands. However, if it matters to you, you may want to seek out a producer who gathers Sage with the proper prayers and observances. It’s even possible to buy White Sage that is harvested by American Indians according to traditional practices, just as they have done for centuries.

Because it is the most widely available smudge, you can buy White Sage in many sizes and formats. Small Sage wands (3-4 inches) are ideal for small spaces, solitary practice, or to keep handy in a ritual kit. The big boys (8 inches and up) are best reserved for outdoor use and large group rituals—unless a wailing smoke detector is part of your space-clearing strategy! You can also buy the loose leaves and stems by the ounce or pound. This lets you control the amount you use, and allows for blending with other herbs.

White Sage is affected by periodic droughts, meaning it has years in which the harvest is smaller. The price and quality fluctuate accordingly. Still, there’s no need to pester your local New Age emporium about the vintage year of their stock. Freshness isn’t a huge consideration, either. The volatile oils in dried Sage will dissipate somewhat over time—but I’ve used Sage sticks that were hiding in my altar cupboard for years and no one was the wiser. Buy it, it’ll burn just fine.

Common Sage (Salvia officianalis—also known as Garden Sage, Common Sage, Green Sage, or Kitchen Sage)

Many a hard-up Witch has wondered if it’s okay to use culinary Sage—the kind that goes in turkey stuffing and breakfast sausage—for smudging. The answer is yes! Common Sage is a close relative of White Sage, and has many of the same beneficial properties as its superstar cousin, White Sage. Common Sage originates in Europe, and its medicinal and folkloric uses date back to the Middle Ages. For those involved in the European traditions of Witchcraft, it may make more sense to smudge with Common Sage than one of the North American varieties.

Besides, not everybody has a metaphysical store that they can rush to for supplies, and a good Witch knows how to improvise. The main advantage of Common Sage is that it grows in many climates, and is readily available in fresh and dried form at most supermarkets. Will Sage ward off bad vibes when used in food? I don’t know, but I’ll take another slice of Sage Derby while I mull it over.

Not everyone agrees that the smell of burning Common Sage is pleasant. A little goes a long way. Also, the herb must be quite dry to smolder effectively. If burning Sage doesn’t work for you, remember that you can still use the plant to cleanse and bless your space. Add the essential oil to sprays and washes, or put the leaves in sachets, witch bottles, or mojo bags.

Blue Sage (Salvia clevelandii or Artemisia tridentata—also known as New Mexico Sage, Desert Sage, Grandmother Sage)

Blue Sage is a hardy bush found in the deserts of the Southwest. It’s named for its abundant blue flowers, but the leaves also have a blue-ish cast. It has thin leaves and a fragrance that is both herbaceous and floral, similar to Lavender.

A close relative of White Sage, Blue Sage is also good for healing and cleansing rituals. Its soothing, relaxing smell can be used to aid meditation, or burned simply for enjoyment. It’s not as pungent as White Sage, and is more agreeable to some folks who find the strong, bracing scent of White Sage overpowering. You can find Blue Sage in smudge sticks and in loose-leaf form.

Another pale sagebrush, Artemisia tridentata, is pictured above. It goes by the trade name “Blue Sage,” but is not a member of the Salvia clan.

Lavender Sage (Salvia leucophylla or Salvia mellifera)—also know as Gray Sage, Purple Sage, Wild Lavender)

Yet another far-flung member of the Salvia family, Lavender Sage is a sun-loving plant that grows in southern coastal California. It’s named for its clusters of purple flowers—the leaves are rounded, green, and fuzzy like Common Sage. (They darken to gray when dried.)
Lavender Sage is unrelated to the flower Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). However, it physically resembles Lavender (especially when in bloom) and has a similar clean, flowery fragrance. As if that wasn’t screwy enough, some artisan producers do use true Lavender as an ingredient in smudges, and they don’t always make it clear which plant is meant.
Lavender Sage is known for its calming, peaceful, and sedating effects. It inspires love and relieves anxiety. Because of its irresistible scent and natural beauty, a Lavender Sage smudge is a great choice for your spells of attraction. Lavender Sage is often combined with White Sage for a killer duo. Like a 2-in-1 shampoo, this pair will cleanse and condition in a single step!
Black Sage (Salvia mellifera, Artemisia nova, Artemisia douglasiana and others—also known as Mugwort, Magical Sage, Black Sagebrush, Dream Weed)

Used to encourage dreams and visions, Black Sage is an herb of introspection and inner healing. When burned before bedtime, it aids in restful sleep and pleasant dreams. Black Sage is used for astral travel, shamanic journeying, and for protection during such excursions. One Pagan priest I know begins group trance workings by smudging the participants with Black Sage.
Black Sage is like the mystical, shifty-acting cousin of the Sage clan—so shifty, in fact, that people can’t even agree on what plant it is! There are a few different products sold under the name “Black Sage.” I found this out when I noticed that the Black Sage I ordered for the store looked different from month to month. I called my supplier, and he confessed that the exact composition of the smudge changes based on availability.
A true Sage, Salvia mellifera has long leaves that are dark green on top and silver underneath. It is found in the mountains of the West Coast from California north through British Columbia. The plant can be difficult to identify because it resembles other species. The leaves only darken dramatically in times of drought. To add to the confusion, there are several cultivars, and Black Sage readily hybridizes with Purple Sage and Blue Sage plants.
Other Black Sage products come from shrubs in the genus Artemisia. They are commonly called sagebrushes, but these dark-green plants are more closely related to the Daisy than to true Sage. When dried, Artemisia tridentata has a lighter, straw-brown color, and may also have small crowded blossoms on its stalks. But Artemisia douglasiana (shown in the photo above) is leafier and easy to mistake for dark Sage such as Salvia mellifera.
Why does it matter? The metaphysical properties of both plants are similar, but Artemisia-based smudges may also contain small amounts of thujone. This mildly trance-inducing compound is best-known as the active ingredient in traditional absinthe liqueur. Black Sage contains less thujone than the common herbs Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) and Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). Black Sage won’t cause you to “trip” or wildly hallucinate. At most, it may intensify your efforts at visualization and vivify your dreams. Even so, some people (like pregnant women and straight-edgers) should avoid using Black Sage.
Desert Sage (Artemisia tridentata or Artemisia californica —Desert Magic, Mountain Sage, Grey Sage, New Mexico Sage, Sagebrush Smudge)

This aromatic shrub thrives in the windswept deserts of the Santa Fe/Taos area. It has skinny, branched leaves and a light brown color. Desert Sage shares some common nicknames with Blue Sage, and the two plants are sometimes sold interchangeably. (Are you noticing a pattern here?)
Desert Sage has a warm herbaceous aroma that is a bit peppery (think Bay leaves or Mint tea). It is used for cleansing and purifying, protection, and inner strength. It is said to bring pleasant thoughts and relieve headaches and anxiety.
Desert Sage is available both loose and in smudge sticks. It blends well with most other smudging herbs. Desert Sage produces a dense, straw-like bundle that is sometimes sprinkled with resin incenses for an especially rich combination. Desert Sage laced with Dragon’s Blood or Copal is just delicious!
Dakota Sage (Artemisia ludoviciana—Badlands Sage, Silver Wormwood, Old Man Sage, Silver King, Western Mugwort, Dakota White Sage)

Another Artemisia smudge, this one grows all over the badlands of South Dakota stretching all the way south to Louisiana. Dakota Sage is rarely found in commercial Sage products, but I’ve included it because it’s easily gathered in many places across the United States. The aroma and appearance of Dakota Sage is very similar to that of Desert Sage. However, the fragrance is usually less intense.
Piñon Pine (Pinus edulis and others—also known as Pinyon Pine)

The Piñon Pine is a generous evergreen tree from the foothills of the American Southwest. The nuts were an important food source for early Americans–these days, the tree is best known for stocking chimineas (Southwestern patio stoves). Piñon has a smooth, woodsy scent that’s especially powerful, thanks to its high concentration of pine resin.
Piñon is an excellent all-purpose smudge, and a capable stand-in for White Sage, if you prefer to avoid the latter. Its energy is cleansing, healing, and strengthening. Oh, and it repels insects, too.
Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens , and many other species)

Cedar is an ancient tree, one of the oldest beings still thriving on the Earth. Cedar trees look much the same as they did when dinosaurs roamed the land. Back when other trees were trying out those newfangled “leaves,” Cedar said “I’m good” and stayed with the tried and true.
The smell of Cedar is woodsy and fresh. It recalls ancient forests, and invokes their protection and wisdom. Both the wood (in the form of chips or shavings) and the foliage make effective smudges.

Cedar smudges carry a medicine of protection. Cedar is often used to cleanse a home or apartment when first moving in, inviting unwanted spirits to leave and protecting a person, place or object from unwanted influences.
Along with Rosemary and White Sage, Cedar is one of the most aggressively cleansing smudges you can choose.
Juniper (Juniperus communis)

Juniper has a sweet and spicy “Christmas tree” fragrance and abundant blue berries. Like Cedar, Juniper is probably one of the most ancient plants. Juniper is said to have a masculine, protective energy, and is used in spells of cleansing and prosperity.
Juniper berries are popular in good luck charms, while the leaves are often used for smudging. Juniper is best used for blessing a new venture or dwelling, and inviting in abundance.
Bearberry (Uva ursi)

Bearberry is a low-growing North American shrub in the Heather family. As its name suggests, it is a favorite of foraging bears. It is used for smudging, animal magic, shape-shifting, and other shamanic work. Native Americans traditionally mix it with Tobacco leaf to create a ritual smoke blend (called kinnikinnick), said to carry prayers and bring visions. Sometimes the leaves come mixed with peppercorn-sized berries. Don’t throw these out—the Bear spirit is said to appreciate the offering.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalus)

A culinary herb with an assertive fragrance, this woody perennial may also be used for smudging. It clears negativity, inspires confidence, and invigorates the mind and body.

Some people prefer to avoid herbs associated with Native American cultures out of concerns about cultural appropriation. Rosemary is an Old World herb with a long history of use in incenses, and so makes a guilt-free alternative for Western practitioners.
Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata or Anthoxanthum nitens—also known as Seneca Grass, Holy Grass, Vanilla Grass, Mary’s Grass, Bison Grass)

Sweetgrass is a long, fragrant grass that grows wild across portions of the American Great Plains. It’s frequently braided or tied in bundles, then dried.

Sweetgrass is sacred to several Plains tribes. They have traditionally burned it to drive out evil and harm, and allow benevolent spirits to approach. Ancient lore states that Sweetgrass is the hair of the Earth Mother, and invokes love, kindness, and honesty.

A relative of American Sweetgrass was known in medieval Europe. Sheaves of the sweet-smelling grass were strewn across thresholds, especially of churches, where it would release a gentle aroma when trod upon.

Sweetgrass smells of fresh hay with hints of warm vanilla. It induces a mellow, almost soporific state when burned. (It contains coumarin, which is thought to be mildly psychoactive.) Some say the proper way to burn Sweetgrass braids is to shave small portions off with a knife, allowing them to fall on hot coals.
Yerba Santa (Eriodictyon glutinosum and Eriodictyon californicum—also known as Holy Herb, Mountain Balm, Consumptive’s Weed, Bear Weed)

Yerba Santa (“holy herb”) is a sweet-smelling plant that grows in the arid hills of the Southwest. It got its common name from Spanish monks who were impressed with its healing properties. Yerba Santa is burned to honor ancestors, increase psychic powers, and bring healing and protection. It is also a traditional remedy against coughing and many other ailments.
Yerba Santa grows wild only in certain areas of California and Northern Mexico—a true regional treasure.
Tobacco (Genus Nicotiana)

The health hazards of Tobacco are well-known, so much that its sacred uses have fallen by the wayside. Wild-growing and cultivated Tobacco had a place in the rituals of many Native American tribes. Aleister Crowley considered Tobacco a consummate herb of Mars. And it is said that Faeries particularly enjoy offerings of the stuff. (Along with other human vices, like whiskey and sweets!)
Commercially packaged cigarettes are full of reconstituted crud, chemicals and additives that make them unsuitable for magickal use. If you’re going to burn tobacco ritually, the best option is loose tobacco leaves, but they aren’t easy to find. The next best thing might be a shredded pipe tobacco that is additive-free.
Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens—also known as Holy Wood)

Palo Santo (or “Holy Wood”) is a sweet-smelling tropical wood that is a natural incense. Palo Santo is said to clear out negative spirits and energies, increase relaxation, and bring joy and harmony to the home. It is in the family of trees that produces Frankincense and Myrrh, but is native only to Ecuador, Peru, and the Galapagos Islands. Its aroma is smooth, aromatic and spicy. (I think it smells a bit like gingerbread!)
The holy reputation of Palo Santo dates back to the time of the Incas, who used it in their ceremonies of healing and cleansing. When the Spaniards arrived in South America, they couldn’t easily obtain their preferred church incenses, so they substituted the local equivalent. To this day, Palo Santo is used there for Catholic holy days and processions.
Palo Santo comes from a slow-growing tree that is in danger of over-harvesting. Both Ecuador and Peru have laws on the books designed to protect this rare species. Reputable importers use only fallen limbs and strive to minimize waste. Sticks, chips and even sawdust are sold by the ounce, with the scraps being compressed into incense cones or distilled for their essential oil.
Sticks of Palo Santo can be lit on one end and burned just like any other smudge stick, but in humid conditions charcoal may be required. The chips and powder are best burned over charcoal.

Mixed smudges

Sometimes you may want to use a smudge with multiple ingredients, combining the aromas and properties of two or more plants. Mixed smudges come in a huge array of combinations, some laced with resins or flowers—far too many to list. A Black and White Sage smudge (pictured) combines the psychic openness granted by Black Sage with the protective qualities of White Sage. However, it’s worth noting that in some Native American traditions, the Four Sacred Medicines (White Sage, Cedar, Tobacco, and Sweetgrass) are never mixed.

Hope you’ve found this tour of smudging herbs useful and enlightening. Happy smudging—and for godsakes, open a window!

Read more articles here, or shop our selection of smudging products here.


Explore Debbie Lewis’s board “Sage flower pictures”, followed by people on Trees/Plants that do well in Oklahoma Mediterranean Garden, Natural .. Free Pattern and Video Tutorial – Having your children look like royalty won’t be as. What does sage look like? Fresh herbs like mint, basil, and tarragon have long been prized throughout the . What does cilantro look like?.

The pictures are for enjoyment, but they may also help you to identify something. Its flowers, which grow on spikes like those of the other plant, are white . A few garlic plants growing in a rose bed really do seem to keep.

We planted it, and what came up does not smell like sage or look like any Sage photos I see. It’s now flowering and I have no idea what this. Garden or common sage (Salvia officinalis) is the most common type of Tricolor garden sage looks a bit like purple sage, except the uneven. Sage Description Sage (Salvia officinalis) is native to the Mediterranean and has long, light-green leaf stalks that bear simple opposite lance- or oval-shaped leaves. The strong and pliable leaves are veined, with a velvet-like somewhat It is the preferred beverage tea in many cultures, particularly in China, where the.

Garden sage is easy to grow—and a wonderful culinary herb that flavors meat and bean dishes (including that Thanksgiving stuffing). See how .. They do not resemble eggs or bugs and honestly look like flecks of soil. The Editors’s picture.

Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a hardy perennial (in zones 5 to 9) that tastes aromatic It looks pleasant in the garden and grows pretty purple, pink, blue or white flowers in summer. If mildew does develop on you plant, try spritzing it with a (like pyrethrum) or an insecticidal soap to keep them under control. However, the two look similar, although black sage tends to be shorter and more grey than White sage does not like cold weather conditions. Pictures and descriptions of all the Salvias (Sages) native to California. This compact white sage looks a lot like regular white sage but it is smaller and neater . rocky slopes that look like an old B western, or like Afghanistan does now.

Sage’s pronounced pine-like aroma capitalizes on our most memory-evoking sense: smell. Growing sage makes the slacker gardener look good. If your sage does begin to slow down in production or lose flavor, just.

Prune sage plants in the spring to ensure their healthy growth. If you want to dry sage, hang up the stems or lay the leaves out on a paper towel to If it’s container-grown, rotating it would make it look a little more uniform.

“Did they find any evidence that he survived?” “No “Think about it,” Sage said. “Please print his picture and remind people that he’s still missing. It’s not very noticeable, but if you look closely, it almost looks like he has two eardrums.” “Do. And my two cousins did just that. But I didn’t feel like taking her picture because she didn’t look herself. (Anonymous, , personal communication) These. Who knew good old common sage (Salvia officinalis and cvs., USDA Hardiness Zones ) could look this good? Besides being a must-have herb for cooks.

The trained eye would never mistake a 4-foot tall Russian sage This lavender hydrangea picture may give beginners a look different . Its columbine-like leaves give it its name and make it attractive even when not in bloom. Again David explained that studying these pictures would deepen their understanding (Dewey, ). The pupils (Pause-looking at pictures). In this respect it was very like Dewey’s ‘high organisation based on ideas’ in that the lesson had. Salvia divinorum is a plant species with transient psychoactive properties when its leaves are consumed by chewing, smoking or as a tea. The leaves contain opioid-like compounds that induce hallucinations. . Salvia divinorum produces few viable seeds even when it does flower—no seeds have ever been observed on.

When choosing sage plants to grow, be sure to look for those from Bonnie Plants ®, climes of zones 9 and farther south, sage is usually an annual, as it does not One easy way to plant it in a water-based (aka hydroponic) system like the.

Pineapple sage is primarily used fresh. Cuttings are easy to root if you want more plants, or would like to keep a plant indoors for replanting in spring.

White sage (Salvia apiana) with Vitis californica in the background. It’s true, it does look like that in this picture, but actually there’s not so.

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This article provides 12 surprising health benefits of sage. It belongs to the mint family, alongside other herbs like oregano, rosemary, basil and thyme (1Trusted Source). Sage has a . Does It Have Side Effects? Sage is.

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May 21, 2019 — Acupuncturist Claretha Yeager frequently uses smudging — or burning sage — to help rid her patients of negative emotions.

Yeager, a doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine, and a reiki master/teacher, says the sage smoke unburdens people of their negative energy and makes them feel better. “I see patients start to relax and go into a more neutral state within minutes,” says Yeager, who works at Jade Path Acupuncture in Chicago.

Native Americans and other indigenous peoples have burned sage for centuries as part of a spiritual ritual to cleanse a person or space, and to promote healing and wisdom. It’s been used since the time of the ancient Egyptians and Romans to treat digestive issues, memory problems, and sore throats. The name sage comes from the Latin “salvia,” which means, “to feel healthy.”

The practice of “smudging” has more recently become popular in other cultures, too. In April, a young girl burned a sage stick at a makeshift memorial to slain rapper Nipsey Hussle.

“It is seen to metaphysically un-cling the things that cling to us that are no longer needed — spiritually, mentally, and physically. … Almost the way a sponge can cleanse things from you that are stuck to you,” says Anthony Fleg, MD, an assistant professor of family and community medicine at the University of New Mexico.

While sage burning might offer a kind of metaphysical or spiritual cleansing, its medical virtues haven’t been well-studied. Very little research has been done on burning sage in general, and there isn’t much evidence to confirm what it might do for your health.

Here’s what you need to know about sage burning.

About Sacred Herbs and Smudging Ceremonies

Sacred & Blessing Herbs & Smudging

View our selection of Sacred Herbs and Incense Resins

With the discovery of fire, early humans began to notice that aromatic smoke was produced by burning dried plants. As herbs, roots, resins and barks are changed from their physical form (of this world), they are changed by the element of fire into smoke (spirit world form). This transformation is evidence of the spirit within substances. Throughout human history aromatic plants have been used in the daily activities of people from every culture. In Catholicism the use of incense is likened to one’s prayer being kindled by fire in the heart, spoken by the lips resulting in the odor of Christ on the breath.
As time has passed, this connection between people and plants is being forgotten. We are drifting further and further away from the ways that connect us to the plant and animal spirits we share the earth with. We are losing our understanding of the physical things around us connect us to the spirit of life. People native to Turtle Island (The Americas) understand that the influence of plant medicine is very real in their daily lives.


The act of smudging is done with a smudge bowl or Abalone Shell with the appropriate herbs directly lit or burned on a coal or Charcoal Tablet. When using charcoal tablets, the bowl or shell should be filled with sand or a flat stone to prevent overheating the container. Smudging is also done with herbs tied in bundles called Smudge Sticks. In either case the smoke is ‘washed’ over the person or object with a Feather or by fanning the smoke with one’s hand.
To do a blessing of a person, begin by looking into the eyes of the person for a moment to ‘greet’ them, fan the smoke first at their heart and then up to the right side (your left) of the person’s head, moving around clockwise (sun-wise), gently washing them with the smoke. Continue brushing smoke down over their left shoulder and the length of their arm and back up again to the shoulder. Wash the smoke down the left side of the torso, left leg and foot. Now smudge the right foot, up the left leg, torso and down the length of the right arm and back up to the shoulder. Now turn the person around, turning to their right (sun-wise again) and repeat these movements as you smudge and bless the person’s back. For objects, bless them moving sun-wise around them also.

Smudging in the Seven Directions

  • Facing East – I welcome the energy of the beginning way, the rising sun at the beginning of the day and the light of illumination. Welcome Eagle, flying nearest the heavens, with the clearest of vision. I welcome the energies and spirits of the East. HO!
  • Facing South – I welcome the energy of service to all my relatives, the heat of the noonday sun and the spirit of action in the world. Welcome Coyote spirit. I welcome the energies and spirits of the South. HO!
  • Facing West – I welcome the energy of looking within to find the gifts of healing. Welcome Bear spirit going deep within to seek the gift of renewal. I welcome the energies and spirits of the West. HO!
  • Facing North – I welcome the energy of wisdom and blessing and the Grandmothers and Grandfathers who teach me. Welcome Buffalo and the spirit of giveaway, teach me to be generous and honor all that I receive. I welcome the energies and spirits of the North. HO!
  • Looking up – I welcome the energy and spirit of Above. Father Sky, Star people, and Cloud people. Welcome all that is masculine, grandfathers, fathers, brothers, uncles and sons. And that masculine energy that also exists within the feminine. I welcome the energies and spirits of Father Sky. HO!
  • Looking down (touching the ground) – I welcome the energy of Mother Earth, the feminine principle, the energy and spirit of Below. I welcome the energy and the spirit of our grandmothers, our mothers, sisters, aunties and daughters. And that feminine energy that exists within the Masculine. I welcome the energies and spirits of Mother Earth. HO!
  • Looking within (holding your hands over your heart) – I welcome the energy of Within, the principle of being connected, the energy and spirit of Within. I welcome the gifts of balance, oneness, and the connection with all things, for all things are one and all things are related. HO!

Smudging and Blessing Herbs

  • Sage
    The use of sage is for healing. The smoke is used to bless, cleanse and heal the person or object being smudged. Sage is used to ‘wash off’ the outside world when one enters ceremony or other sacred space. Objects are likewise washed off with sage medicine smoke to rid them of unwanted influences.The plants that are called sage can come from very different families of plants. True sages are in the genus of Salvia; this includes Salvia Officinalis (garden sage) and Salvia Apiana (White Sage), also called California White Sage and Sacred Sage. Many of the herbs called sage come from a completely different family of plants, the Asteracea family. This family brings us the genus of Artemisia from which come New Mexico Sage (Artemisia tridentada), and the sage from the Dakotas (Artemisia ludoviciana), also called Grey sage, Prairie sage, Dakota sage, Lakota Sage and mistakenly sometimes called White sage. All of these sages (Salvia and Artemisia) are used for healing and cleansing. More can be learned from the book Sacred Sage, How It Heals.
  • Cedar
    Cedar is a medicine of protection. Cedar trees are very old, wise and powerful spirits. Cedar is often used to cleanse a home or apartment when first moving in, inviting unwanted spirits to leave and protecting a person, place or object from unwanted influences. Cedar is used as a name for a number of different genuses of trees and shrubs. The primary ones are Cedrus, Thuja, Libdocedrus and Juniperus. The Junipers are not truly Cedars (scientifically) but are used as such by many people. Keep in mind that these scientific names have little meaning to the people using them as medicine in traditional ways.
  • Sweetgrass
    Also called Seneca grass, holy grass and vanilla grass. This very special herb’s sweet vanilla-like scent is the breath of the Earth mother, bringing the blessing of Mother Earth’s love. Sweetgrass is burned to remind us of essence of the feminine and that the earth provides us with everything we need. Sweetgrass can also be be unbraided or trimmed with a scissors into small pieces and sprinkled on hot Charcoal Tablets. Allow the sacred smoke that follows to wash over the subject of the blessing. The sacredness of the sweetgrass herb then sustains the smudging process. Use a smudging feather if you need to douse the flame or promote more smoke.
  • Lavender
    This native of Europe is often used for invitation of the spirits. The name may be derived from the Latin lavare (to wash) or livendula (meaning bluish). In ancient times lavender was an important herb used in mummification. There is a legend that the clothing of baby Jesus was laid upon a lavender bush and acquired the fragrance. Some Christians still regard the scent of lavender as a safeguard against evil. Burning Lavender is best done on Charcoal Tablets.
  • Copal
    This is tree sap from Mexico that is similar to Frankincense. When burned it has a crisp, clean, sharp scent that is almost citrus-like. Copal is sacred to the native peoples of Mexico, as it is a gift ‘pleasing to the gods.’ Because copal is the blood of trees, it is offered to honor the enormous gift given to us by all of the tree people of our planet. Burning Copal is best done on Charcoal Tablets.
  • Frankincense
    At one time both Frankincense and Myrrh were considered to be more valuable than gold. Used to embalm the bodies of the Egyptian Pharaohs, this tree resin is considered to cleanse and protect the soul. Frankincense became important to most every major religion in the world and is still used in Muslim, Jewish and Catholic rituals. Frankincense is said to ease depression and promote clairvoyance. Burning Frankincense is best done on Charcoal Tablets.
  • Myrrh
    This tree resin is said to help one maintain a state of enlightenment. It also connects one to the spirit of youth and clears the path of debris that stands in the way of one’s truth. Burning Myrrh is best done on Charcoal Tablets.
  • Smudging Feather
    It is traditional to use a bird’s feather to brush the smoke over the person or object being blessed. It is important to use the underside of the feather to wash the smoke over the object of blessing. It is the underside of the bird and its wings that face the Mother Earth as it flies and it is this surface of the feather that offers the blessing medicine of the bird.

Blessing Collection

If you are eager to begin using these wonderful smudging materials but don’t know where to start, consider our Premium Blessing Collection. This gift box contains both kinds of smudge sticks (White sage and New Mexico sage), one braid of Sweetgrass, one ounce each of Frankincense, Myrrh and Copal resins, a roll of 10 charcoal tablets and an abalone shell with smudging feather.

Other Important Herbs

  • Mullein
    An herb that has been used in smoking blends for the sacred pipe, also used as a tea for lung inflammation. Mullein is also called Yerba del lobo, velvet plant and miner’s candlestick.
  • Red Willow Bark
    This is another traditional ingredient for smoking in the pipe. It is not really a willow, but a dogwood. Sioux people call this bark Chanshasha.
  • Osha Root
    This is one of the roots called Bear Root. This plant grows mainly in the Rocky mountains and is used to invite the bear spirit medicine. Osha is an important medicine for people from northern Mexico to Canada, often used for infections.
  • Uva Ursi
    Called Kinnikinnik by many people, this is another plant used in pipe smoking mixtures. Uva ursi is commonly used as tea for bladder infections.
  • The material you have just read is ©2010 by the Taos Herb Company. If you wish to make a copy for your personal use in using Sacred & Blessing Herbs, you may do so. Any other copy, duplication or use of this material will be in violation of the copyright. Please be respectful. Thank you.

Herbs To Use For Your Homemade Smudge Sticks

My kids and I recently made smudge sticks with the herbs and flowers from our garden. I wrote about how to make smudge sticks, and as promised, wanted to write a bit about smudging herbs and some of the best plants to use.

This year we made most of ours out of sweet Annie, sage, and cosmos. They are pretty and smell wonderful. Whenever we want to freshen the house this winter we’ll burn one and remember our summer bounty.

Don’t know how to burn smudge sticks? Read this article for more information.

This list of common smudging herbs will get you on the path to making your own.

Common Smudging Herbs

Note: DIY Natural encourages you to freshen the air with your smudge sticks. The uses listed below are cultural and historical, not necessarily representative of any beliefs we have or are promoting.

Cedar (Thuja spp.)

In many cultures cedar is a sacred plant. People have used it to drive out negative energy, bring in good influences, and even to bless a new house when people are moving in. Did I mention it smells great?! (Grow your own or find cedar smudge sticks here.)

Sage (Salvia spp.)

The best known ceremonial smudge plant is sage. Some claim it can change the mood and energy of a room so it is commonly burned after a fight or when someone is upset. It is also used for meditation, cleansing, and purification. (Dry your own sage or find sage smudge sticks here.)

Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata)

This is one of the most sacred plants of the Native Americans. Sweetgrass is the grass that you find braided at the store. When burnt it is sweet and light. Burning sweetgrass often follows burning sage. (Make your own or find sweetgrass braids here.)

Frankincense (Boswellia spp.)

Frankincense is the dried resin of the African olibanum tree. You may have heard about it at Christmas-time with myrrh and gold. It has a long history of association with meditation, healing, cleansing, and protecting the soul. I have burnt it in a sick room to help ease the transition into death when it is necessary for someone to let go. (Find frankincense resin here.)

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)

Myrrh is a bit more common, you may find it in your toothpaste these days, and is a resin from a nearly leafless middle eastern shrub. Ancient Egyptians used it for healing and to embalm bodies. These days many use it for meditation, spirituality, happiness, transformation, strength, confidence, and stability. (Find myrrh resin here.)

Bayberry (Myrica pensylvanica)

Bayberry is another plant we associate with Christmas. The wax from the bayberry shrub releases a delicious smell when burnt. Bayberry candles are good luck, so why not add a smudge to your end of year celebrations to ring in a clean slate? (Make your own or find bayberry for smudge here.)

Rose (Rosa spp.)

Being a rose farm, we don’t lack for these. Many people associate rose petals with love and romance. They have also been used for meditation and peace. (Grow and dry your own or find dried rose petals here.)

Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)

The dried flower buds of lavender release a light, refreshing scent when burned. They have been used to bring peace, restful sleep, and happiness. You may like to burn lavender to combat insomnia, depression, grief, sorrow and anxiety. (Make your own or find lavender bundles here.)

Juniper (Juniperus monosperma)

In some places Juniper was burned for ritual purification of temples, and to avoid illness during plague outbreaks. In modern times it is used to invigorate the mind and body when tired. (Make your own or find juniper smudge sticks here.)

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)

Used traditionally to cleanse energies and get rid of negativity, mugwort also has a reputation for stimulating dreams. Therefore, many burn it before bedtime. We have several members of this family growing on our farm, so I used sweet Annie for the same purpose. (Make your own or find mugwort smudge sticks here.)

Do you make smudge sticks in your house? What smudging herbs do you use?


Shades of green have had a resurgence recently in the interiors world. Last year, we had Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2017 Greenery, a lush shade that stormed into our homes and combined with the growth of indoor foliage (both real and fake), from succulents to cacti, ferns to giant palms.

For this summer though, there’s a softer green on the scene, which is easy to live with and just as easy to use – sage.

This green-grey colour is calming and almost a near-neutral shade. Team with blush pink for a pretty scheme or add more zing by pairing sage with lime and apple green.

MORE: Budget bedroom ideas that are smart and oh-so simple

If you’re looking to update your walls, then a soft sage works really well in a kitchen, teamed with plenty of cream and natural wood for a country look, while sage used on leaf, floral or even fauna-inspired prints gives soft furnishings a crispness you’ll love.

Tips for using sage green

– Combine a sage sofa with natural finishes such as a wooden table, woven rug and rope-hung mirror (as in the top picture)

Credits: Hudson chair in Crete Green, from £399, Aragon 2-seater sofa in green linen, from £1,399, Sanford coffee table, £299, Margot chandelier, £229, and various accessories, all marksandspencer.com

– Sage green is the perfect backdrop for both warm and cool colours. Try with earthy tones like terracotta (another on-trend shade for 2018), cream and dark green, or go cool with grey, blush pink and pale blue.

MORE: Kitchen trends 2018 – the stunning and surprising new looks you need to see

– Swap your neutral walls for a soft sage green. In a room that’s predominantly white or cream, it adds a touch of warmth, which can be enhanced by tactile textures like sheepskins and knits alongside warm metallics like brass and copper.

– Choose sage green for your kitchen – it’s a great choice for painted Shaker-style units or Metro wall tiles. This shade is soft and inviting, and pairs well with oak.

Above: Upper wall in Aquamarine Pale 282; lower wall in Aquamarine Mid 284; both £47 for 2.5 litres Absolute matt emulsion; island in Aquamarine 138, £59 for 2.5 litres Intelligent eggshell, all littlegreene.com

– Look for ferns, palms, roses or even butterflies and insects that tie-in with the trend – you’ll find them on plenty of soft furnishings this summer

– Boost the nature angle, with a fabric or wallpaper with a botanical design

– Soothing green is said to help you relax and unwind, so use it in your bedroom – it works brilliantly with white or oak furniture.

Above: Holly double bed, £599; Holly bedside table, £179; linen

– Pick out green glassware accessories and group together for impact, then add a few stems of foliage.

– Look for candles in soft sage for an easy way of working the colour into your living room

Above: Blyton pillar candles in Sage, from £4; Corinium tray, £69, all neptune.com

Looking for more ways into the home colour trend? Check out our edit of the best sage green buys below…

Sage green is a fascinating hue. Or, rather, a fascinating family of hues. Despite the specific name “sage,” the greens that are contained within this category are many. The common traits shared by sage greens, however, include the fact that they are rather muted greens, and they also have undertones of grey. Sage green has gone in and out of “fashion” in interior design over the decades, but right now it’s a very popular choice, for good reason.

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Sage with Black.

As a soft hue, sage green might feel too delicate to pair with black, but to keep the colors apart entirely would be a mistake. Black accents, including black frames on sage walls or sage artwork, increase the aesthetically dramatic effect of the otherwise subdued sage.

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Versatile Sage Color.

Sage greens are an excellent neutral because they are subdued, soft shades. Sage greens also make great pops of color, though, because they can be warm or cool, contrasting beautifully within a space to draw attention.

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Modern Sage.

Something about the soft, stable vibe of sage green makes it feel almost traditional. Which sage color can be. But it works beautifully as a component of modern design as well, perhaps due in large part to its very nature of historic-feeling charm.

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Deep Sage vs Pale Sage.

When you consider which direction of sage you want to lean toward as you design your space, consider this: a dark, warm version of sage will feel more muted and somber than a very pale, cool sage, which is much more vibrant. If you want the color to pop, this is something to think about.

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Organic Sage Green.

As the name suggests, all sage greens pretty much have an organic, earthy vibe about them. But this attribute is particularly apparent when sage is paired with wood and/or dark elements. The good news is, sage color is considered to be one of the easiest to work with in design.

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Cool Sage.

We’re not talking about the hip and suave version of cool, although that could certainly be an apropos description. Sage color in general trends toward the cooler side of the spectrum, which means it can look quite grey, particularly in a space with pale or little natural light (like a north-facing room). Be sure to test it out to get the temperature you want for your space.

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Sage with Metals.

The grey undertones of sage color make it a cool neutral, but one with some color (as opposed to relatively color-less neutrals such as beige or grey…which are great in their own ways). Brighten up the sophisticated hue by incorporating metal detailing for a sleek and contemporary aesthetic.

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Warm Sage.

Warm shades of sage tend to be deeper, darker grey-greens. These colors pair beautifully with other rich hues such as deep reds and golds. Even with this warmth, the colors maintain a more contemporary feel when given plenty of white space.

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Moody Sage.

There’s no denying that a deep, dusty sage wall brings together all sorts of characteristics. It’s got brains, beauty, and brawn all rolled into one. Furnishings that match the depth and tone of a moody sage make a gorgeously sedated, reflective, and wise space.

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Sage Pattern.

Patterns or prints of sage can read like an interesting neutral if the other color(s) used are on the lighter side of things, such as eggshell or cream. Or if the pattern is comprised of lots of US $1 bills. Bonus: this way, one can’t be accused of flushing money down the toilet.

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Neutral Sage.

The grey-green backbone of sage color makes it a prime candidate to the be neutral of choice in a space with an otherwise tight or restrained color palette. Textural accessories, such as touchably soft pillows, play a key role in a sage space in warming it up, also.

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Standalone Sage.

As a soft yet sophisticated neutral, sage is often the color of choice to paint the walls or furnish the large pieces. However, the color works equally well as a standalone object. It’s noticeable yet unobtrusive and unassuming, which makes a sage green piece perfectly charming.

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Sage and Earth Tones.

Any temperature of sage green works well when paired with natural, earthy tones. The calming effect of a sage-and-wood combination is decidedly calming and sweetly inviting.

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Masculine Sage.

Sage color can take on the look of any space its place in, due in large part to its incredible versatility. It takes on a definitive masculine appeal when placed in a space with other dark and heavy components because those components themselves are masculine. This is particularly true of sage green in a library or other visually busy space; sage balances the aesthetic weight of other pieces, though, by lifting the visual load rather than overwhelming it.

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Retro Sage.

Despite its deep roots in the desert climate of Mother Earth, sage color can pull of a categorically authentic retro vibe when paired and patterned in the right way. It’s a refreshing and unexpected twist on this classical neutral color.

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Sage Furniture.

A streamlined, clean-lined sofa and chair set in a khaki-leaning sage hue provides an important subtly contrasting feature against violet walls. Funky pillows complete the modern, hip vibe where balance reigns supreme here.

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Sage with Grey.

Grey has come to be considered the decade’s (and perhaps beyond) neutral of choice. Sage is a neutral as well, so when the two are paired together, one becomes the foundation and the other a “pop.” A couple of sage color throw pillows on a gunmetal grey sofa provide a great energy in a monochromatic grey space while keeping things comfortably muted.

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Sage and Gold.

I’m hard pressed to think of a color that doesn’t work with gold on some level, but sage is one hue that looks particularly luxe and gorgeous when paired with gold. This sunburst mirror is set off beautifully by the warm sage green wall behind it.

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Sage as a Rug.

Over medium wood flooring, a sage colored area rug creates the perfect mix of organic neutral (which complements the floor) and helpful color (which creates definition within the floor space). The combination is subtle yet so useful in some spaces that require intuitive definition.

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Sage and Olive.

As two green hues well-known for their muted, grey undertones, sage and olive green share a forever bond. What some people don’t realize, though, is that sage and olive work quite well together. The end result of this pairing is a cool, calm blend.

9 Fabulous Shades of Green Paint and One Common Mistake

This is the problem with green. Well, it’s not exactly a problem, but it is.

Probably about a quarter of the colors in the fan deck are some shade of green. There are a zillion shades! It takes nothing for green to pop out of colors that don’t look green UNTIL they go up!

In fact, here’s a post with some of my favorite shades of green paint that don’t say “green.”

green, green, green

Books By the Foot

This is especially true in north facing rooms. One time, several years ago, I was helping a client with her bedroom. Everything and I mean everything looked green. Even pink looked green. It was the weirdest. Finally, we went with a lovely cream which took on a very pale celery color and it was lovely.

With that in mind and that you probably want to go to sleep at some point today, I’m going to give you the usual 9 fabulous shades, but am going to steer clear of the less obvious shades of green for the most part.

Maybe. I don’t know.

You see… there are too many fabulous shades! I could probably list 200! But I won’t.

This post will center around shades of green paint that are unabashedly green. Nothing to make you go blind, but 9 really great shades for you to try out.

What is the common mistake with shades of green wall paint?

I’ve been through this mistake before but in case you missed it or this is the first time with us on laurel home, here it is.

You get all nervous that it’s going to be “too much” and you dilute it with white. (mixing it at “50%” or something like that) Or, you wimp-out and pick that really sickly, icy tooth-pasty minty-green. AKA: Hospital green. Or Crest Toothpaste

Please don’t. You’ll hate yourself if you do. And after you read this post, that lovely sage green is not going to look like too much, I promise you.

One thing to always keep in mind and I forget it too is that unless the room is a basement or something, most rooms have windows, doors, furniture and stuff on the wall. Usually, the paint color is a backdrop, not the main event.

Many of the greens today are not ones that I have done, however… they came highly recommended by people I trust and I checked them out and I approve.

source unknown but it’s a cool color chart for sure.

Nancy Braithwaite

While I think the styling is a bit lagging, and some of those hurricane jars look like they haven’t been cleaned in a decade, this is such a wonderful dining room. The rich mural, chairs and drapes all out of the same cloth is just right.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Antibes Green with dark wax finish and gold leaf accents.

Annie Sloan has become pretty hot. Apparently, painting furniture with her paint is about as idiot proof as one can get. Smart lady. And she provides lots of tutorials to show you how easy it is (for her.)

Miles Redd

Benjamin Moore AMAZON MOSS 2037-10

I adore Miles so much! He can take a really ugly green like this and make it glorious. I mean, it really IS billiard cloth green. Like ewwww… But here, no. That’s genius!

Another thing I’ve realized is that green loves itself more than any other color I think. If you don’t like the green you’ve chosen, select art with other shades of green and it’ll start to come together.

Mario Buatta

Benjamin Moore 416 TASTY APPLE

Benjamin Moore CHIC LIME 396

I love this cheery chartreuse. What makes me laugh is the little chair facing the adults? And the end table blocking the door. You’re not leaving until we say you can leave! haha.

Madcap Cottage

Benjamin Moore PEACEFUL GARDEN CSP-830

John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon, the guys behind this company, gave a charming talk at the Design Blogger’s Conference last month. They’re all about traditional elements expressed with exuberant color and fun fabrics. This green is a classic sage but not boring.

Buaia Burge & Associates

I couldn’t resist sharing this charming dining nook featuring green Chinoiserie wallpaper

Hotel Particulier in the Marais en Paris


Tres French

Maison Jansen via 1st Dibs

Gotta have a little Chinoiserie detail from this fabulous over-priced chest

Above and below by the extraordinary Sheila Bridges. You may recall that she’s one of the top 20 interior designers that I would hire. This color is said to be

Farrow and Ball CHURLISH GREEN 251

which is a fabulous green-yellow. The original images looking nothing like Churlish, so I edited them. They were both far greener than this lovely yellow-green.

The lesson is: Never trust a color from an image. 9 times out of 10, the real color will look very different.

Gil Schafer

Windsor Smith brings the outdoors inside, in this lovely room with a spectacular view

Farrow & Ball STUDIO GREEN 93

This green is almost black but it’s not; very sophisticated.

Love this enigmatic painting by Malcolm Rains

Photo by Julie Bidwell for the Wall Street Journal

Benjamin Moore FRESH CUT GRASS 2026-50

A very yellow-green, but fresh and lovely as you can see here.

Charles Spada

Benjamin Moore GREEN THUMB CSP-870

a true grass-green from Benjamin Moore’s newest collection of colors–Color Stories. I’ve been following Charles since I was a student back in the 80’s. Fabulous interior designer!

Farrow and Ball

Farrow and Ball CAULKE GREEN 34

Is a true English library green, but could be used in other rooms as well.


And here is the info graphic with all of the colors except for fresh-cut grass and the Annie Sloan color.

Spring has sprung in New York. The trees are finally budding, the birds are chirping. Interesting things are happening. Much more to come!


Taking a Fresh Look at Sage

For many people, sage is that dried herb used once a year in the stuffing for the Thanksgiving turkey. But the wonderful flavor and aroma of fresh sage should be enjoyed year-round—its scent reminds me of eucalyptus and its taste of the tannin in a good red wine, with hints of lemon and thyme.

A shrubby perennial with delicate bluish-pink flowers, sage thrives on the dusty hills of dry, sunny climates and is native to southeastern Europe. Fittingly, Italy’s robust cuisine is a perfect match for fresh sage, as in the classic saltimbocca—pan-fried veal filets wrapped around prosciutto and sage.

If you’ve not experienced cooking with fresh sage, try this classic sauce for pasta: heat 1/4 cup butter (or olive oil, as I prefer). Add a dozen or so sage leaves. Cook until the sage leaves start to crisp (and if using butter, it turns deep amber). Add a squeeze of lemon and toss with cheese ravioli or tortellini.

This recipe demonstrates deliciously that sage is bes t when carried by the fat in the dish. With its slightly astringent bite, fresh sage cuts through richness, whether it’s a butter sauce, an oily fish like salmon, or the skin of a roasted chicken. In the same way, sage balances the sweetness of winter squash or caramelized onions—other classic partners for the herb.

Sage is best cooked. Like thyme and rosemary, sage is one of those hearty herbs of which a little can go a long way and which is best when cooked. Raw fresh sage feels a little harsh on the tongue, both in texture and in flavor. If you use it raw, say in a spread, use only small, tender leaves and chop them finely.

When you cook with sage, add it early on to starchy or mild-flavored ingredients such as grains, squashes, beans, and meats, so that they can absorb its assertive flavor. Outspoken ingredients, such as garlic or fish, can handle the bittersweet strength of barely cooked sage quite well.

Buy dried sage in whole leaf form. In summer, I use fresh sage exclusively, picking the leaves from my sage plant as I need them. Fresh sage leaves don’t keep well. If you don’t have a plant—they’re a great addition to an herb garden or even a flower garden—you can keep a few sprigs in a jar of water or in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a few days.

As for dried rubbed or ground sage, I generally avoid it; by the time it’s been dried, ground, and jarred, it has lost much of the volatile oils that make sage so special.

Instead, I either dry my own sage or look for dried whole leaves, available at some specialty markets and by mail-order. If a recipe calls for dried or ground sage, I simply rub the dried leaves between my fingers or grind them just before use in an electric spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle. If using dried in place of fresh, use half the amount.

Experiment with fresh sage

• Top salmon fillets with a chain of whole sage leaves and then bake. The leaves add flavor and look pretty, too.

• Add finely chopped tender sage leaves to soft whipped cream cheese. Season with a drop of lemon juice and some black pepper; spread on crackers.

• Fry whole sage leaves for a mildly pungent, pretty garnish: sauté in hot olive oil seasoned with a dash of sea salt until the leaves are crisp.

• Add chopped sage to mushroom risotto for a subtle layer of floral spiciness.

• Toss diced potatoes with some olive oil, salt, minced garlic, and chopped sage leaves. Roast and serve with grated parmigiano reggiano.

• Cook white beans with sage, garlic, and black pepper to create a richly flavored vegetarian stew.

Common sage (Salvia officinalis).

Cooking With Sage: The Do’s and Don’ts

Sage is a popular herb in both European and American cuisine. Many Americans recognize sage as the herb that shows up in most recipes for Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing. It is a member of the mint family and has a unique flavor that can be described as minty and earthy with light piney and citrus notes. While it is familiar to many, it has some unique characteristics and should be used carefully. Consider the following dos and don’ts of using sage.


Do use sage very lightly, especially if you are unfamiliar with it; it is a pungent herb that can completely overwhelm all the other flavors in a dish and leave it bitter and unpalatable. A little of it will go a long way.

Do use sage to flavor fatty meats. The pine and citrus notes of sage are good at cutting through the richness of meats like pork and lamb. Sage is also beneficial in these dishes because of its ability to improve digestion.

Do add complementary flavors to dishes that contain sage. Sage is pungent but still needs to be paired with other flavors in order to provide an appealing overall flavor profile. Other herbs and spices that go well with it include garlic, rosemary and bay leaf.

Do add sage at the right time. Sage is often used in dishes that require long braising times like roasts and stews. Like many herbs, the fresh version of sage has a milder flavor than the dried version. This difference dictates the right time in the cooking process to add it to a dish. While fresh sage is pungent enough to hold up to long cooking times, the best results come when it is added just before the end of the cooking time. Add dried sage at the start of cooking so that it can mellow out as the dish cooks.

Do preserve sage correctly. Sage is one of the most versatile herbs when it comes to the methods that you can use to preserve it. Options include sage honey, which involves infusing honey with dry sage leaves. Another option is to freeze your fresh sage leaves in ice cubes. Other preservation methods include making a sage vinegar with fresh sage and sage butter, which is a compound butter containing fresh sage.

Do use sage with dairy products. Sage goes particularly well with the mildness and creaminess of dairy, so much so that English cheese-makers use it in their sage Derby cheese.

Do use sage in sausages. Sage is traditionally used to flavor fatty pork sausages in Germany.

Choose fresh sage carefully. As with any herb, you will want to look for the freshest and most vibrant-looking leaves. This means that you should opt for sage with leaves that look brightly colored and with leaves that stand up.

Do prepare sage correctly. The correct method is to remove the leaves from the stalk and rinse them thoroughly under cold running water. You can then mince or chiffonade the leaves as you would basil or mint, both of which are related to sage.


Don’t use sage raw. While this is a matter of personal taste, raw sage has a cottony texture that some people find unpleasant in salads and other uncooked preparations.

Don’t consume sage if you are pregnant as it has been reported as a cause of uterine contractions.

Fresh Sage and 16 Ways to Use It (That Don’t Involve Poultry or Stuffing)

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.

Today: We’re full of sage advice.

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Meet sage — another member of the mint family (siblings include basil, lemon balm, shiso, and thyme, among others), and a particularly lovely member, we might add. Sage leaves have intricately patterned tops (2, below) — like the vegetable world’s answer to stingray skin — and delicately veined undersides (1, below). Plus they are soft. Very soft. Just try and pick up a bundle of sage and not pet the leaves — it’s as if they came straight out of a child’s touch-and-feel book.

Don’t get the wrong idea though: Just because they are soft — so soft — doesn’t mean they aren’t strong. Unlike other types of fresh herbs that should be added near the end of cooking, lest their flavor get lost, sage can handle the heat. Deborah Madison adds: “There’s no need to add sage at the end, unless as a garnish, as with fried sage leaves.”

The most commonly available type of sage is — you guessed it — common sage. There are a number of different kinds of sage (a handful of which we actually eat), but there is one type you might regularly eat without realizing it — chia seeds. Chia seeds come from a type of sage grown for its seeds rather than its leaves.

If you grow your own sage, when summer rolls around again, don’t miss out on the blossoms; they’re pretty, but they’re really tasty, too. Sprinkle them on salads, whip up a batch of herb and blossom tempura, or make sage blossom jelly or syrup, the latter of which can be put to good use in cocktails and lemonade.

More: If you have more fresh sage than you know what to do with, try drying it.

Sage’s reputation is too often limited to that of a ubiquitous stuffing ingredient or a misunderstood act of purification. We don’t need to tell you that sage’s comforting piney flavor is a natural with roasted vegetables or that it goes perfectly with pork and poultry, and you’re probably already pairing it with herbs like rosemary and thyme — as you should. But are you eating much sage for breakfast? (And sausage doesn’t count.) Are you sticking it in sauces or serving sage in appetizers? If not, you should start doing all of those things, too:

Begin your day with sage.

  • A Sage and Honey Walnut Milkshake
  • Butternut Sage Scones
  • Sweet, Sour, and Savory Sticky Buns
  • Toasted Walnut Teacake with a Lemon Honey Glaze

Snack on some sage.

  • Fried Sage Leaves and Pear Chips in a Gorgonzola Yogurt Dip
  • Sage Candied Walnuts
  • Herbed Butternut Squash Chips
  • Pumpkin Rugelach with Sage and Walnuts

Let sage get saucy.

  • Cider-Sage Gravy
  • Sage Oil Drizzle for Tuscan Bread Soup
  • Winter Fruit Salsa
  • Sage Butter for Spätzle with Parmesan and Toasted Hazelnuts

Get to know sage’s sweeter side.

  • Cranberry Sage Pie
  • Maple-Sage Ice Cream with Maple-Sage Sugared Walnuts
  • Sage-Infused Crème Caramel
  • Honey Cake with Sage Lemon Glaze

Another added bonus of consuming more sage: It just might boost your memory power, and as we enter into another hectic holiday season, couldn’t we all use the extra help?

We also like sage in beverages — boozy or otherwise. Tell us: How do you like to use fresh sage?

Second to last photo by James Ransom; all others by Alpha Smoot

How to Identify the Herb Sage

Salvia Officinalis, commonly known as garden sage, is a culinary herb favorite. It contains thujone in the volatile oil, which serves as an antiseptic, antibiotic and a vermifuge (expeller of parasites), and it is a member of the Lamiaceae (mint) family. Sage is a hardy perennial evergreen with several variations: icterina with gold leaves, purpurea with dark purple leaves that later turn green, tricolor with cream, green and pink leaves, berggarten with large oval leaves and minum, also known as dwarf garden sage. Native to Mediterranean regions, it is currently cultivated in many parts of the world.

Observe the plant as a whole to notice if it has the common identification qualities of garden sage: small shrub growing no taller than 2 feet height and spreading 1-2 feet wide.

Come closer to the herb and observe its leaves and stems for the following characteristics found in sage: purple or green woody, square stems covered in a fine down. Leaves have a leathery texture also covered with soft hair and are stalked and opposite. When observed closely, they show a network of veins on both sides of leaf and their color depends on the variety of herb (mentioned above).

Rub leaf between thumb and index finger to gather scent on skin. Sniff for the characteristic lemony smell of sage.


Flowers are numerous, short stalked, erect to hanging, in compact clusters arising from leaf axils, or branched in loose racemes up to 20 inches long. Opened flowers are yellow and petal-less, about 1/8 inch across, with a few pale yellow, thread-like pistils extending out from the center. Bracts and stalks are silvery white from a dense covering of fine hairs.


Leaves are uniformly silvery green to whitish from a dense covering of fine white hairs, but are sometimes more green on the upper surface and white underneath. Shape may be variable but is generally elliptical, to 5 inches long and 1 inch wide, with rounded or pointed tips and no stalk. The lower leaves are often lobed at the tips but leaves otherwise have smooth edges. Stems are unbranched or much branched, and gray-green from a dense covering of matted white hairs.


The leaves are aromatic when crushed. White Sage vaguely resembles Prairie Sagewort (Artemisia frigida) from a distance, but the latter has small leaves deeply lobed in linear segments, is more clump forming, and usually rather shorter. Also similar is Sawtooth Wormwood (Artemisia serrata), which has toothed leaves that are dark green on the upper surface and white on the underside, and hairless stems below the flower cluster. There are about 7 subspecies of A. ludoviciana (or more depending on the reference), most of which are native to western and southwestern North America. Subsp. ludoviciana is the most common, found throughout the US and Canada, and is the species found in Minnesota.

Identification of the Components of Sage (Salvia officinalisL.) and Thyme (Thymus vulgarisL.) Cultivated in Isfahan Climatic Conditions


Salvia officinalis L.; Thymus vulgaris L.; chemical constitutes; GC/MS.

1. Introduction

Sage (Salvia officinalis L.) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) are perennial shrub and aromatic plants belongs to Lamiaceae family,native to Mediterranean Basin. The sage genus Salvia contains about 700 species of annual and perennial herbs and shrubs and is worldwide in distribution. There are perhaps 58 annual and perennial herbs species in the Iran . The plant is mostly diffuse in the Mediterranean Basin,in South East Africa and in Central and South America,where it is largely cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes . The published results reveal that major volatile constituents obtained from the (Thymus vulgaris L.) aerial parts of the plant are thymol,carvacrol,p-cymene,γ-terpinene,β-caryophyllene,etc .

2. Materials and Methods

Plant materials

The aerial parts of (Thymus vulgaris L.) and (Salvia officinalis L.) were collected from the center of Iran,Province Isfahan (33◦,45_ N and 51◦,16_ E,1998 m above sea level) in 2011. The aerial parts of plants analyzed by using GC/MS in Islamic Azad University Khorasgan (Isfahan).

GC/MS analysis

The GC/MS analysis was carried out with an 20 Agilent 5975 GC-MSD system. HP-5MS column (30m x 0.25mm,0.25um film thickness) 20 was used with helium as carrier gas (1.5 mL / min). GC oven temperature was kept 20 at 50 C2 B0C for 4 min and programmed to 280 C2 B0C at a rate of 5 C2 B0C/min,and kept 20 constant at 280 C2 B0C for 5 min,at splitless mode. The injector temperature was at 20 280 C2 B0C. Transfer 20 line temperature 280 C2 B0C. MS were taken at 70 20 eV. Mass range was from m/z 35 to 450.

3. Results

Figure 1: Chromatogram of (Thymus vulgaris L.) dried aerial parts compounds.

Figure 2: Chromatogram of (Salvia officinalis L.) dried aerial parts compounds.

4 Discussions and Conclusions

Man cannot completely avoid contact with animals and for many,the benefits of having pets far outweigh their fear of zoonotic infections. It is therefore the duty of the veterinarians,medical practitioners and public health personnel to provide the necessary education for safe handling of animals to minimize the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.

Camparison between these results and the results of the other reports showed differences,probably due to that plant varieties or sites,as well as the time of harvesting. Differences observed may be due to the different environmental and genetic factors,different chemotypes and the nutritional status of the plants or any other factors that can influence the oil composition.


This research project has been supported by Islamic Azad University,Khorasgan (Isfahan) branch,Isfahan,Iran. This support is highly appreciated.

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