Sage is used in magic for cleansing, purification, healing, promoting longevity, prosperity, passion, and wisdom. It can also be used in spells and rituals to promote divination, domestic harmony, increased energy, happiness, and to inspire creativity. A belief is that having a healthy sage plant in your garden means that you will be prosperous. According to Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery by Kris Bradley, sage is associated with the element of Air.
Sage is said to provide powerful protection, both physically and metaphysically, as well as maintain spiritual and physical health. It’s long been used for improving memory and mental function (a 2003 study helped support this). Tea made from sage leaves helps to regulate and improve digestion, and may ease some digestive issues. In cooking, common sage (Salvia officinalis) goes well with poultry, beef, pork, and many pumpkin dishes. Sage has a strong flavor, so less is more. Fresh sage has a milder flavor compared to dried sage.
There are hundreds of types of sage. White sage (Salvia apiana) in particular is popularly used for smoke cleansing rituals by many people for spiritual and religious purposes. While white sage is excellent for this, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s become over-harvested due to its popularity. Alternatives are growing your own white sage or using a substitute, such as clary sage (Salvia sclarea) or rosemary. How to Grow Your Own White Sage is a great guide if you’d like to grow some in your garden. More information can be found here for growing sage in general.
Warnings: pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should avoid ingesting sage due to the possibility of consuming thujone (a chemical found in some sages), which could pose serious health risks.