Dies Martis:Salvia officinalis (Translation, Tuesday:Common Sage)

All this talk about plant names prompted a discussion between my husband and I into the Latin names the various vegetables and herbs in our garden have. So every Tuesday I will take a look at the binomial name, genus and species, and Latin meanings and origins of one of my herbs or vegetables, so this week it’s Common Sage or Salvia officinalis.

Right now I have (8) sage plants growing in my garden, and as ultimately they will grow to about 3′-0″ tall I have planted (2) seedlings to every 12″ X 12″ portion of the SFG grid. They can withstand the heat. so I am only watering them when the soil is completely dry.


The genus name Salvia derives from the Latin word salvere which means “to be saved,” while it’s species name officinalis means “used in the practice of medicine.” It should be noted that although thousands of plants are used for medicinal purposes around the world, Sage is one of only 60 plants worldwide that bears the the species name officinalis.

Throughout history sage has been used medicinally to treat maladies of all kinds, and has even been used in contemporary medical trials as a treatment for mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. It is also thought to aid in the general improvement of memory function. Sage has also been used as an astringent, formulated into aftershaves and toners, and as an antiseptic, in various preparations used to treat mouth ailments such as sores and ulcers, and even sore throats. In addition, many modern day holistic toothpastes contain sage as part of the formulation. Common culinary uses aside, Sage is powerful stuff. Which brings me to my next point, if you decide that you would like to incorporate Sage into your hygiene or health care regimen make certain that you consult with your Doctor first.

Next Tuesday… Celosia Cristata or Cockscomb


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