WHITE SAGE (Salvia apiana) Uses and Chemical Constituents
White Sage (Salvia apiana) has been used for thousands of years by Native American Indians in Southern California as an edible plant (new leaves) edible seeds and externally as a remedy for wounds due to it's very effective chemical composition which is Antibacterial, Anti-fungal, Antiviral & a Rubefacient primarily attributed to it's Volatile Oils. Native Americans also used the leaves in sweat houses and smoked them for colds, or drank tea as a blood tonic and for serious cases of Poison Oak that entered the blood stream, as a deodorant and a soap less shampoo, to dye and straighten hair, and to cover human scent while hunting. White Sage was also burned in Ceremonies as a smudge or to fumigate after an illness like measles. (Source: Saubel & Bean "Cahuilla Indian Knowledge Usage of Plants" ). Both Native and Settlers alike, have used sage tea for Microbial Infections, to wean Babies and Animals, by drinking large amounts of the tea or by washing the breasts of humans and the teats of Animals. Sage is still used this way for goats and sheep or other animals. Sage tea or Hydrosol is used as a disinfectant mouthwash, an antimicrobial skin wash and an anti-fungal douche today. It also stops perspiration and secretions, and is a natural deodorant. White Sage can be harvested year-round, it is actively growing in the Winter like many Native plants in Southern California, and is considered to have the highest oil content in the Mid-Morning Hours.
Chemical Constituents of Salvia apiana-White Sage Oil:
the primary chemical constituents are as follows: (95.1%) 1,8 -cineole (34.5%), camphor (21.7&%), B-pinene (7.4%), a-pinene (6.4%), delta-3-carene (6.4%), camphene (3.9%), limonene (3.5%), myrcene (3.2%), and terpinolene (1.3%), This study deduced that the chemicals in the plant work by synergy on microbes or other uses. No thujone (ketone) was found in this study.
From: Volatile Constituents of Aerial Parts of Salvia apiana Jepson: Takeoka, Gary R.; Hobbs, Christopher; Park, Byeoung-Soo; 2010
Journal of essential oil research: JEOR 2010 May-June, Vol. 22, No. 3
For more Information on Salvia apiana "Potential anti infective agents from Eriodictyon angustifolium Nutt. and Salvia apiana Jeps.by Dentali, Steven John, Ph.D.; University of Arizona, 1991.
BOOKS containing information on White Sage, Salvia apiana:
Michael Moore; " Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West" or Medicinal Plants of the Pacific West'"
Cahuilla Indian Knowledge Usage of Plants", Saubel & Bean and
S. Foster & C. Hobbs; "A Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs"
CAUTION: Salvia apiana has little monoterpene ketones (a-thujene .3%) with no a- or B-thujone reported compared to other sages such as Salvia officinalis or native plants like Artemisia (Sagebrush) and is considered very safe to drink as a tea or use topically as an Herb or Oil just so it is diluted with other oils (such as Olive or Almond Oil) before topically applied to the skin.
It has been recommended that Pregnant & Nursing Women not use Sage Essential Oils or Tea unless approved by their Doctor or those with Epilepsy (internal use).