I love nothing more than the constant re-discovery of what an herb can do, especially one as abundant and “commercially useless” as Sagebrush!
Known throughout the Western United States and Canada by the Native Americans, who luckily passed their knowledge of this incredible plant on to us, Sagebrush is a veritable treasure trove of helpful, lifesaving, and life enhancing goodness.
Used as a tea after childbirth, it helped control bleeding and was used for a returning warrior on his battle wounds, both externally (as a wash) and internally to address hemorrhaging. It was seemingly used for everything at times, and considering that Sagebrush is 40% camphor, its use was likely justified.
Used as a decongestant, an eye wash, a wound wash (the steeped leaves placed gently over eyes) or a poultice; it was also such a powerhouse disinfectant that a decoction was used as a floor and wall wash in houses after an illness.
The list of what Sagebrush treats just goes on, malaria, bronchitis, bad colds and coughs, dandruff, hair loss, even said to keep the hair darkened, a combination shampoo and conditioner (the flowers create a soap-like feel). Deodorant, headache, nerves, weak legs and swellings.
Menstrual disorders, gas, indigestion, stomach disorders, foot neuralgia, moist wounds, and cholera . And we’re just getting started!
So what are the drawbacks? Well, there are things to be careful of. If you have allergies to Sagebrush, you probably don’t want it on your eyes! And like any herb, there is too much of a good thing. While there are no toxicity reports, there have been reports of possible liver damage, and inadequate blood clotting after prolonged use. But keep in mind, the very same can be said for something as simple as acetaminophen (aka Tylenol) or aspirin. It’s important to learn for ourselves all that we can, and ask the advise of a medical professional if you are unsure. Better safe than sorry is still the best course.
For the treatment of asthma, a poultice applied to the chest and back nightly, as well as a tea internally (for 5-10 days) can be used.
Sagebrush can be harvested in the late summer or early fall. The parts used will be the leaves and the seeds. Make sure when you do harvest that it comes from a source that hasn’t been treated with any chemicals, and harvest responsibly (there…I hope I covered all the bases. :))
The herb can be covered with water and allowed to soak overnight, and used as a tea the next morning, or a wash, ect. To make a poultice you would mash up the herbs and pour boiling water over them. Place a linen or gauze type cloth over the wound or skin with the macerated herb inside it, and wrap it for security.
As for tea, the dosages vary as widely as the herb itself, so my recommendation is start small, and see how it goes. Maybe 4-6 oz of water with 1/4-1/2 t of herb. You may even want to make sure you’re not allergic to it by testing a small patch of skin with a wash.
This herb takes some getting used to…yes, it’s bitter, but you can always add a little honey and see how it goes!
Let me know your experiences!
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Do not take anything from any website, including this one, and try it without proper research and medical supervision. To put it bluntly,
“If you take anything you read from any web site, including this one, at face value, and then go off and try something you read about, without having appropriate safeguards and/or medical supervision and knowledge, you mayget what’s coming to you, which could include, but is not limited to: death, permanent disabilities, damage, headache, bad breath, or worse.” –Dave Asprey
I encourage you to do your own research. Learn everything you can on any given herb or medicine, and in doing so, you will be coming from a point of knowledge rather than hoping someone else is right. It’s always better to learn from two or three good sources, and more if you have the inclination and time.